My Inability to Travel

Having been back from our first family holiday for a few days, I now feel ready to talk about our travelling journey

I don’t travel well, I know it, Mr DC knows it, in fact everyone knows it…. I … do… not… travel… well! end of story.

I do blame my mum for this trait, as she also doesn’t travel well. It is not pin pointed to a particular mode of transport, in fact I have been known to get sick travelling to Bluewater Shopping Centre (20 minutes journey from our house)

Anyway our holiday started at 3am, as we left for the airport, already I’m feeling that ‘travel sick’ feeling on the journey to the airport. Fuzzy head, tight throat, anxious tummy. Due to some confusion with our flights and check in, we were in a complete rush to get to the gate, which made me an emotional sicky wreck (really attractive right now as you can imagine) Mr DC managed the luggage, the children and me! I had made multiple trips to the toilet by this point. Our hotel was 60 minutes from the airport, which we booked a private taxi. There is no way I can manage the tour operated coach journeys. If I can I generally sit in the front when travelling, so I let Mr DC fit the babies in the back and I sorted myself out in the front with the driver. I hate the feeling I get when I travel, I try and sit as still as possible but my head, my eyes all feel horrible!

But we arrived, it took me a good hour to feel normal again, now to enjoy our holiday….

The day before we return I start getting the anxious feeling knowing we will be doing the whole travelling thing soon. The journey home was slight better although still horrendous. Our taxi was due to pick us up at 715, it turns 720 and no sign. Mr DC could see my anxiety levels were increasing, and I was on the verge of tears once again. It was all a bit of a language barrier mix up, we said 715 and they thought we said 750! Luckily one phone call to the taxi driver and he was there within a few minutes. Normal car journey and I sit as still as I can trying not to stir the sickness pot. I do pretty well, until the very last minute. As we pull up to the drop off point, the driver opens the door and I immediately throw up all over the floor. A poor cleaner passes me a plastic bag and waits with a mop until I have finished! A lovely Spanish lady offered me some water. Oh the shame!!! the rest of our journey despite a small delay actually was ok, no more sickness, and back to normal a few hours later.

I have now decided it is time I do something about my inability to travel. I know certain things that help; eating, sipping water etc but I really want to get to the bottom of this issue. I really want my children to see the world, and right now my ability or inability to travel will put a stop to that. I do not want Mop Top and Bear to be bad travellers, and as they get older I don’t want them to pick up on my anxieties and worries.

I am yet to do any research into fixing this problem, but I am thinking hypnosis?! If you have any top travelling tips feel free to comment.

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P.S I would never attempt to read whilst travelling!

Love Kelly

10Day Exercise Challenge

cropped-cropped-logo-11.pngPre babies I was all about hitting the gym, getting sweaty and burning calories. However since babies i’v lost a whole load of energy and motivation to commit to getting my butt back in the gym.

I recently read an article in a magazine about a new exercise crazy. Ten days of HIIT workouts, everyday with no rest day. Perfect for an specific event or to squeeze into that LBD.
Well does it really work? Is it actually possible as a busy mum? I wanted to find out!!

So that was the plan…. 10 days, 10 HIIT workouts…. simple….. hmmm well this is what happened.

Day 1 full of energy & raring to go I did a 20 minute Powerwave workout. If you haven’t heard of this type before, be sure to look it up. It’s a hefty bit of equipment, but It’s only 20 minutes and an absolutely killer! It’s seems a craze at the moment. We have one at home so as soon as the babies were soundo I went to work with my Powerwave.

The next few days were ok, mixed it up with some Joe Wicks; Body Coach workouts from YouTube. Although it’s not getting any easier, I have to say I’m not really feeling that much different.

Mr DC had to force me to do my daily workout on more than one day! I have a little confession here…. I’m blaming motherhood (like I do everything else) I missed day 7 and 10. So actually it’s a 8 day challenge…oh well

I’m not going to bore you with the before and after, no one really needs to see that on a Sunday night! I lost a tiny bit of weight (didn’t change eating habits during the 10days) but little change to body shape/appearance. No LBD to test I’m afraid. I do not think its an exercise programme that’s maintainable. You body needs the rest days. Plus (playing the tired mum card again) you need a whole bucket of self motivation.

I am all for HIIT workouts as they burn fat, are quick, and don’t need to get boring. As a busy mum finding 20 minutes after the kids are in bed isn’t actually that hard, finding the energy is the hard part! The urge to snuggle down on the sofa is pretty easy.

It’s much better to do it with a gym buddy, friend or other half. They can provide the motivation that you lack.

So my view is 2/3 times a week chuck on your gym stuff, YouTube a HIIT workout (I would recommend The Body Coach) and get sweat on!

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Pre-holiday Jitters

With the countdown of our first family holiday now well and truly into single figures, my holiday anxiety is climbing somewhat.

Before children, I thought nothing of packing a few things in a suitcase, booking a holiday online a few weeks before and off we went. Its a whole different story with two babies in tow…..Image result for travelling baby meme

I started packing about 2 months ago… nothing like being prepared right. And now our holiday is imminent I have packed up everything including the kitchen sink ready to go. I have clothes for the children to wear until Christmas, nappies coming out my ears and travelling snacks to feed approximately 50 people.

I am not the best traveller (pretty big understatement if I’m honest) but now we are taking two children on an aeroplane my anxiety levels will no doubt be through the roof come boarding time. Although I will be super anxious travelling with two littles ones, I really don’t want my nerves to rub off onto the babies. I want them to be good travellers, enjoy travelling and want to see the world. I am put off going to so many countries purely because of the length of time needed to travel to get there.

We are staying in an all inclusive resort, so once we are there we will pretty much stay put for 7 days, which is fine by me. However there are so many things that worry me despite being settled in one place. The water, balconies, the food, the people. I guess its just being away from your home comforts, away from people you know, people and things you rely on.

In the lead up to this holiday, I have read quite a bit about travelling with babies. I have found some great reads about this topic. Especially Carrie from Flying with a Baby who helped with my in flight entertainment  for the babies. I also found Bridie By The Sea article about their trip to Australia really helpful. (There’s me worrying about a 2 hour flight??!?)

I was going to write my top tips for holidaying with young children, but actually I thought Id better survive this holiday first! I have a feeling I may need a holiday to get over the holiday but as long as the children are fed and have a good time that’s all that matters at the end of the day!

If you have any last minute top tips, feel free to pop a comment here.

Love Kelly xx

 

Mumma Guilt

My mum once told me parenting is 80% guilt, and you know what they say your mum is always right! and I am finding out how true this is on a daily basis.

I previously wrote about the guilt I faced at Christmas. Well I am finding it is a constant battle between being the perfect parent and giving in ‘just this once’ both followed by ‘mumma guilt’

If you like our facebook page; funwith1plus1 (feel free to click and like) you will know the Easter Bunny took Mop Tops dummies last week. I had been prepping her for a few weeks that the bunny would take the dummies but may leave her something yummy in return. So Easter Sunday arrived and she merrily put her dummies in a basket and as if by magic they were gone and had been replaced with a little present and some chocolate. So far so good.

We were pretty busy the whole weekend so it hasn’t seemed to bother her too much. Nap times are a bit more of a battle but actually she has coped really well with out it.

It wasn’t until I went into to get Bear the other night as he was crying that I looked at her innocent sleepy face (they share a room) with no dummy in, that the guilt hit me. What a mean mummy taking away her only little comfort. By this point I am sobbing to Mr DC telling him I am a horrible parent! I convinced myself she definitely hated me, and would remember this for an entire life time. Ok I am sleep deprived so am entitled to exaggerate a little.

I remember feeling a wave of guilt when Bear was small; as I wasn’t able to do everything with him that I had done with Mop Top. I took Mop Top to Baby Sensory, but it just wasn’t possible with Bear. Mop Top had lots of new things as a baby, but poor little Bear everything was second hand. Second child syndrome right there.

This ‘mumma guilt’ carries on everyday with every decision we make as parents. We are raising these small human beings and based on our choices and decisions determines the adults they become.

WOW what a scary statement!

But hey we can only do our best right! Some days, usually after a sleepless night I just give in to the demands of my very demanding 20 month old and some days I try to stick to my guns and I am in charge. I have to say I very rarely feel in charge, its usually Mop Top.

Do you suffer ‘mumma guilt’ I would love to hear your stories…

Love Kelly

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The Minefield of Childcare

This week I have been finalising childcare for when I return to work (*sob*) and it is a serious minefield when it comes to government schemes, tax credits and free child care. It appears to be such a complicated system and yet still so expensive for so many.

We are super lucky as we have parents nearby who can help out, so we only pay for one day a week, which for two babies is still very expensive.

The first decision parents have to make it the type of setting to put your children in. Nursery, childminder, playschool. Previously we put Mop Top into a local nursery,  but this time there wasn’t really that option that would work for us. So we started to look into child minders. I met five child minders, and actually chose the first one I met ( typical woman shopping I guess) For us I felt a child minder could be slightly more flexible than a nursery, and it was more home from home. Child minders now seem very similar to a nursery setting, as they are governed my Ofsted so have to follow all the same guidelines including paperwork, EYFS and training. We shall see how our child-minding journey takes us.

Now we all know the cost of child care is ridiculous so if there are any schemes, benefits, funding available it is worth looking into them. Iv been looking at the Childcare Choices Website (www.childcarechoices.gov.uk) this week to try and get my head around it. Now I am not a pro at this, and this is not an exhaustive list of the help available.

Most people are aware of the 15 hours free childcare, which starts when your child hits 3 years old. Every family is entitled to this. Free child care hours apparently are being increased for some in September to 30 hours. It is only for 38 weeks of the year, the academic year and both parents must be working and earning a certain weekly wage. One to keep an eye on and register for if you are entitled.

Childcare vouchers is something we have used previously. Most major companies use them and most child care settings accept them. You can get up to £933 in tax and NI savings. You can choose the amount you pay into your account and it comes out of wages before an tax and NI (hence the savings)

A new scheme apparently coming soon is tax free childcare. For every £8 we pay, the government will put in £2. Again both parents need to earn a minimum amount, but is available for working families. You can not use this new scheme along side child care vouchers, but are still entitled to the 15/30 free hours.

I told you its a minefield out there with trying to work the best and cheapest way for you and your family. Id definitely recommend checking out the Childcare Choices website, they also have a link to the government childcare calculator, so you can work out based on all your information what’s best for you. It is slightly long winded and you have to input all your incomes etc but worth it I guess.

So many parents are facing the struggle of getting that balance right of going to work for financial reasons or actually ending up paying the majority of their wages on childcare, which I guess in turn seems pointless.

I hope you all find the right childcare setting for those precious little ones and get the help you are entitled to. The most important thing is getting the right balance for your family!

Love Kelly

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Mummascribbles</div

How life has changed!

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If you have recently had a baby I imagine you are quickly realising your life will never be the same again.

It has occurred to me recently how my life has changed since having babies. So here are my top ten:

1: I can no longer wee with the door shut. It’s a privelage that automatically gets taken away as soon as you give birth.

2: It’s a given that I will always share my food with one or both of my children.

3: I can no longer leave the house with just my phone and keys.

4: ‘popping’ to the shop does not happen. It’s a military operation to go anywhere

5: I will sing at least one nursery rhyme a day (it is way more than this!!!)

6: I don’t even flinch at the smell of baby poo. It’s part of my day now!!

7: I can not go out and get wasted on a Saturday night. (Well I can but a hangover plus babies do born mix well!)

8: Birthdays and Christmas have a whole new meaning now.

9: Dinner times are loud, manic and normally full of choo choo trains!

10: We are in bed my 9pm most nights. (Got to get those few extra minutes sleep)

I know people say it all the time but I genuinely can’t imagine my life with out my babies. ❤️

Woyld love to hear how your life has changed since babies?

Love

Kelly ❤️

Peppa Pig: My 1st Cinematic Experience

If you have a small human being in your household I am pretty certain you will be aware of the famous little pink piggy called Peppa. We certainly are in our house, and I am sure Mop Top would watch Peppa Pig from the moment she wakes, sometimes 5am(!!) right through to her bed time if I let her.

Now Peppa Pig is already all over your television, there is a whole world dedicated to this little family, you may even have multiple Peppa toys….well its about to take over your life even more by hitting the big screen.

And we were really lucky to be asked to attend the preview screening of Peppa Pig: My 1st Cinematic Experience in London a few weeks ago. It worked out perfectly as I was thinking that I needed some girl time with Mop Top. So we left Bear with Daddy and off we went to the train station.

When we arrived, there was lots of excited toddlers, and slightly harassed mummies hustling and bustling around, but once we were in we enjoyed the pre-activities that had been laid out for the kiddies to enjoy. Story corner, crown making, and face painting.

You know they say never meet your idols, well that rings true for little ones to. Whilst standing in the queue to meet the REAL Peppa and George, I had a very apprehensive Mop Top gripping to my shoulder. Around me were lots of mummies hoping for a smiling photo with Peppa and George…and for most that is not what they got.

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Onto the big preview…. Nine brand new episodes with some great new characters; my favourite being Kylie Kangeroo (that may give you a clue as to where Peppa ventures to)

If you are anything like me, you probably feel like you have seen every single episode of Peppa Pig available. So as a parent it was great to see some new adventures from Peppa and her friends with some actually quite funny adult jokes snuck in there to.

I wont spoil the surprise but Peppa has some pretty cool adventures; including a holiday of a lifetime time down under, and a visit to the big city. As well as the episodes the film includes interactive clips in between, with Peppa and George and their new friend Daisy. This was probably my favourite bit, as it involved the children, they had to dance, sing and shout along with them.

Mop Top was mesmerised; she sat through most of the screening, which was about an hour in total. Which is quite a long time for a 2 year old, but I think the interactive parts in between really helped maintain her attention. I did notice some people started to leave towards the end, as an hour is quite a long time for a child to sit still for.

It is a big piggy oink from us.  Peppa Pig: My 1st Cinematic Experience hits the big screen on the 7th April, and we really hope if you do decide to go and see it you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Lots of Love

Kelly and Mop Top

 

**I was invited along to this event in exchange for this review, all the views are my own.**   P.S No pigs were harmed in the making of this film.

From 1 to 1+1

cropped-cropped-logo-12.pngA few days ago I wrote about the shock a newborn. So move forward a few months (only about 3 actually) and we have another shock of being pregnant again. Yes I did cry for quite a few weeks but we got used to the idea and now we have two beautiful babies.

People often ask is it much different from having 1 baby and if you have more than 1 baby you may agree or disagree with my view on this. (Would love to hear your comments on this.)

When Bear was born, Mop Top was 5 days short of her first birthday. We were still in nappies, still having bottles and still very dependant on mummy. So add another one to the mix who is also very dependant on mummy and you have a very busy life.

But I look at it like this…..I was already changing nappies, sterilising bottles and making up formula so actually we just carried on with our normal routine with the added work load. Yes it’s busy, crazy and manic all the same time but I genuinely think having 2 is more manageable than 1.

With 1 baby, mummy has to do all the entertaining, but now Mop Top will entertain Bear with no problems (she does need to be told to be gentle sometimes)

There are a few problems with 2 babies…. when they both cry. Who to go to first? Your favourite? Haha just kidding! When Bear was smaller and cried there were only a certain number of things he wanted; milk, change nappy or sleep. So usually I’d sort Mop Top with whatever she needed then could concentrate on what Bear needed. yes it does mean Bear sometimes cries longer than I would like, but I only have one pair of hands.   

Two babies does take me a pretty long time to go anyway and I have to take what feels like a suitcase full of stuff with me everywhere. Its pretty much a military operation; shoes on, coat on, Bear and bag in the car, then Mop Top in, check buggy, lock door and we are good to go.
I have to say currently Bear is not on the move so my opinion may change when he starts to move about as I will need eyes in the back of my head!

It is double the work load, packing double in the back, two lots of milk, two piles of clothes but I say being organised helps with that.

We often need a few deep breaths, and a few bars of chocolate to get us through but going from 1 to 1+1 has not been as bad as I thought.

Have you got more than 1 child, what’s your thoughts on this? If you only have 1 child now, are you dreading having another?

 

The Shock of a Newborn

Before babies, I had plenty of experience with little ones and had been around plenty of babies and children, from family to my friends children. So when I fell pregnant I thought I was pretty prepared for what was about to come.

Oh how wrong was I! There is literally nothing to prepare you for those first few weeks of having a new-born baby.

As first time parents we went to all the suitable parenting classes, read all the books and took all the advice we could get. Naively we thought it would be a breeze…. eat, sleep, change a nappy…. job done right. I can hear you al laughing as I write this, and in fact it makes me laugh thinking back now.

Mop Top was born on her due date, despite a little blue lighting in an ambulance she arrived with little drama. And this is the point our lives was turned completely upside down, and never to be the same again.

She cried a lot, she pooed a lot, she ate a lot. Wow this is actually hard work. One positive she was a pretty good sleeper at night, but during the day she was not the happiest of babies. I breast fed, and fed for what felt like most of the day through to the evening. I’d feed, she’d burp, and then seem to want to feed again. It was a never ending circle. Mop Top had acid reflux, so we had that to manage with medicine and anything else that would help. We tried cranial Osteopathy for her, which really helped. I would recommend this actually as it really did chill her out for a while.

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I remember driving home from somewhere once, and Mop Top had literally screamed the whole way, I took her out of her car seat and just handed her to Mr DC as I had no idea what to do next. I sat on the sofa in a trance while he settled her.

I was nervous to go out in case she kicked off, and was generally tense for the first few weeks of being a new mummy. If she did kick off, family and friends would say ‘what does she want’ ermmmm I don’t know, you tell me! I didn’t feel like we had any form of routine, she would eat, poo and sleep whenever she wanted. She definitely ruled our life ( and still does for that matter)

For the first 6 weeks of Mop Top being here, we literally struggled through hoping things would get better soon. Nobody told us it would be this hard, why did no one tell us the realities of this?? Then I felt guilty because the rose tinted image of having a new-born was not the image we were living in our house.

But…… as we introduced a bed time routine, and a bed time bottle, normality crept its way back into our house. She started to fall into a feeding routine, and we established day time naps. It is by no means easy but I guess we settled into the parenting thing.

So if you are pregnant, or have pregnant friends, please, in the nicest way possible fill them in with the realities of a new born. I am not saying burst the new parent bubble completely, but lets take away that shock of a new born so we all know what’s coming!

Lots of Love

Kelly xx

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Little Street Maidstone Review

If you’ve read a previous post of mine you will know I’m not the biggest lover of soft play. However when we were invited along to a preview event at Little Street,  an imagination role play centre I was very intrigued.

Little street is a reasonably new concept, in fact it first opened its doors in only 2014 in Frimley. So now almost three years later, the husband and wife partnership were keen to expand.

Little Street Maidstone is located in the Royal Star Arcade, on the second floor. It is easily accessible by stairs or lift. However as with anywhere in Maidstone parking can be tricky. But there are plenty of car parks near by, all within a 5-10 minute walk.
With Bear being so young, I decided it would be wasted on him so we decided we’d have a girly day with Mop Top and my niece Sophie-Chops.
As we arrived we were greeted by smiley, welcoming staff who all looked excited for us to see their creations. (Unlike most employees of other soft play)
A few ground rules noted:IMG_9166[1]
– No shoes
– Socks on
– No food and drink in the play area.
(Silly mummy forgot hers, but they had some spares I could borrow)

 

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View from the seated area
The entrance was light and airy with lots of room, with a great place to park the buggy out of the way. A small café bar which sells hot drinks, cold drinks and a few snack and a seated area for mummies to sit and ‘relax’ with easy viewing of the whole play area
Now on to the fun bit. Us girls started in the beauty salon obviously. Fancy dress, make up and mirrors what more could a girl want. It was all so realistic; little straighteners, rollers, brushes, make up.
 To be honest my two aren’t the girliest of girls so they soon moved onto the police station. Sophie was straight into a police outfit, putting me in jail.
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The next areas we explored were the construction zone, more on that later, the fire engine, which is situated in the middle of a road track and the doctors surgery.
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I was subject to being the patient as Sophie and Mop Top ‘made me better.’ It was so lovely to see them really explore and use their imagination. Something you don’t get in your generic soft play centre.
We stopped for a quick drink and snack. Although Sophie took one bite then asked to go and play again. Which I took as a sign she was enjoying her self. 
There was still lots to explore including the café, the shop and a school. They pushed the trolley around the supermarket, and did their weekly shop, before landing up in the café for a quick pretend smoothie and cream cake. The thing I loved most about each section was the attention to detail; individual cakes with different coloured toppings, shopping lists, cartons for them to pick up and put through the till. The list of things they could play with was endless.

 

IMG_9186[1]A very realistic horse stables, with two static horses, meant the children could groom and pretend to ride a horse.

Despite being a kids play centre, I didn’t miss an opportunity to have a little play.

The final area I wanted to talk about was the construction zone. Mop Top and Sophie Chops have a Grandad, Daddy, and two uncles in the construction business, so it was of no surprise they spend the remainder of their time in the building area. Sophie build a very impressive wall, which we sent a picture to Uncle Ollie (the bricklayer) and together they emptied and refilled the cement mixer like pros. IMG_9229[1]

We had a lovely time and a full hour and a half play; the girls were suitably worn out. I have to say I much prefer it to a soft play centre, the children can really get stuck in to role play, and use their imagination to their hearts content.

Mop Top is 20months old and she was able to explore all areas, and so I’d say a child between 18months and 7/8 years old would be the best age group for this centre. Although you can just turn up, booking is advised. They run 1 1\2 hour sessions with half hour for the lovely staff to tidy up in between. I was told there will be a limit on the amount in each session, which saves it getting to busy, so if you book you can guarantee a space. I feel it is reasonably priced, with all price details on their website. (www.little-street.co.uk)

Little Street Maidstone opens today, ands its a thumbs from me and my 1 plus 1.

Love Kelly

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