Lurgy

I meant to publish the last blog post yesterday but then big cub Ted got sick and I got slightly distracted! Hopefully that’s the last vomiting child for a while. Fingers crossed we’re out of the tummy bug season and can just embrace the common cold instead. At least that doesn’t involve changing all the sheets three times in the night! What with camping and vomit I feel as though the washing machine will be permanently on from now until Christmas. I think the biggest shock about having three kids is the sheer volume of washing that has to be done on a daily basis. I knew it would be bad, but not this bad! And on that happy not I am off to put another load on. Oh the glamour!

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End of summer camp

We’ve done quite a bit of camping this summer, starting off with a fantastic birthday camp for Ted at Bodiam and ending with a wonderful couple of days last weekend at a glorious campsite just outside Oxford.

Exploring the woods

Exploring the woods

Barefoot campsite is in a tiny little village called Appleton right on the riverside. It’s also the home to Northmoor Lock and there was great excitement when the kids found out exactly what a lock was, and were even asked to help some boaters with the lock gates. We had a fantastic time exploring the campsite and eating picking blackberries well into campfire time.

Sibling buddies

Sibling buddies

Obligatory sausages cooked on the fire

Obligatory sausages cooked on the fire

Ted got completely into fire lighting and fire tending and was mostly to be found either by the fire, or with his new pal who taught him to fly a giant kite. Was slightly alarming at one point as it was pretty breezy and Ted’s feet started to whizz across the ground! I was so impressed with his fire making skills as I always use about a billion matches when lighting a fire. Ted, just like my granny, did it with just one!

FIRE!

FIRE!

We decided to leave our own bell tent at home for this trip as the forecast was for torrential rain and we didn’t want to have a repeat of the last time we camped and had to pack up in the wettest, wet field I have ever encountered. Instead we hired a beautiful bell tent which stood on its own raised platform (a godsend against chilly evenings and cold floors), with a wonderfully comfy double bed, and all the camping kit you could possibly ever wish for. I think it was better equipped than our kitchen at home!

The kids commandeered the bed first thing in the morning!

The kids commandeered the bed first thing in the morning!

As we had envisaged the evenings were really nippy and we all slept in thermals, pjs, jumpers and with duvets and rugs on top. The kids even had hot water bottles, so we were all pretty toasty in the end.

We spent Saturday reminiscing in Oxford. Typically I had caught some grim bug off one of my peskily, germy kids (Bert!) and spent most of the day shivering and hoping I wasn’t going to be sick! Everyone else had fun in the Oxford University Natural History Museum spotting dinosaurs, dodos, badgers and bee hives. It’s such an amazing museum and C and I felt all nostalgic as it was where we both had lectures (actually I felt relieved that I would never, ever have to sit through a logic lecture ever again!).

I do love an iguanadon and an Orla

I do love an iguanadon and an Orla

After that we wandered  around Jericho, had ice cream at G&Ds (apart from poor sicky me!) and then had a paddle in the river at Port Meadow. We didn’t do half the things we meant to do (like seeing our pals in case we gave them the lurgy) so just means we’ll have to plan another trip very soon. Hurrah!

We got back to camp in time for fish and chips at the local pub and a magically lit evening walk back. Despite feeling pants and having a ridiculous amount of washing when we got back this was our favourite camp of the summer. We’re going back next year and this time we’ll be taking our swimming cossies for a few wild river dips!

Bert loves a camp!

Bert loves a camp!

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Back again!

I won’t even dwell on the aeons it has been since I last blogged, cos now I’m back! Going to try and blog a wee something every day to get back in the swing of things. Nothing like a new school year to bring out some new schemes and plans, eh? I’ve had a day of feeling slightly rubbish after catching a sick bug from littlest (germy) cub, and so need a bit of oomph and inspiration to perk me up a bit. I’m now off to look at a few blogs as not had as much as a sneak peek at any recently. Will report back on my findings tomorrow.

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Capturing the sunshine

The wee cub and I have had a rather dull, but oh-so productive morning inside doing sorting of small baby clothes to donate to other lucky folk about to have their own little teeny bambinos. I may have shed a small tear or two holding up the very teeniest of the little babygros on my now strapping one year old. After all this emotional orgniasing and some rather lacklustre playing with duplo (on my part that is, B was firmly on board with trying to break up every single construction I tried to create) I looked outside to see it was still completely pissing it down outside. Bert was keen to go out and crawl through some muddy puddles but whilst I quite approve of Peppa Pig’s approach to the great outdoors B is not anywhere near walking and a none-welly owning crawling baby is no fun when it comes to heavy rain, and anyway I wanted a cup of tea. We reached on a compromise, watching the recycling van do its thing from our open front door. B loves the recycling men! Although I am not sure that they appreciate being watched with such glee. Especially in the pouring rain.

 

Feeling slightly soggy even though we hadn’t ventured out I decided we would recapture some of the summer sunshine by looking at photos of our holiday last year. And it made me feel really nolstalgic. Last summer was supposed to be our first jaunt back into normal family life since Bert had been ill. Last August we were all set to go to Green Man festival, from there head off to a yurt near Hay-on-Wye and then to head back to Wales for a week’s holiday with C’s family. And then Chris got appendicitis. After having spending most of the year until then in and out of hospital with Bert it did seem slightly unbelievable that we were going to have to cancel all of our lovely plans because C’s appendix had chosen that particular time to get really sore. Apart from we didn’t! Because C is a complete and utter superstar of a person (and a bit bionic!) he spent one night in hospital after having his appendix removed and then a couple of days limping around at home and then announced he was well enough to drive us all off to Herefordshire and the yurt. He is fab and I love him A LOT. We did have to miss out on an amazingly sunny Green Man and we did only get to spend one night in the yurt rather than three, but we made it there and it was beautiful.

Here are some pics of how wonderful it was.

Bert and the yurt!

Bert and the yurt!

Sunny day

Sunny day

Then it rained. But it didn't matter as the inside of the yurt was awesome. And had a giant dolls house. And loads of brio. WIN!

Then it rained. But it didn’t matter as the inside of the yurt was awesome. And had a giant dolls house. And loads of brio. WIN!

Bert liked the enormous field

Bert liked the enormous field

Ted liked the wild stream

Ted liked the wild stream

We all liked the fire pit

We all liked the fire pit

Ted made friends with a grumpy horse

Ted made friends with a grumpy horse

And fed the chickens

And fed the chickens

Chris recuperated with lots of tea and eggs

Chris recuperated with lots of tea and eggs

Look how beautiful it was!

Look how beautiful it was!

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Let’s go back

So, three years have hopped, skipped and cartwheeled their way by and I feel that I should do some kind of update before diving on in with more everyday blog posts. I guess the main event has been the arrival of sweet wee Bert, the third (and the last!) of the cubs. He was born in at home on the sitting room rug a couple of Octobers ago after a very easy and straightforward pregnancy. The very easy and straightforward pregnancy lulled me into a false sense of security about what having a third child would be like. From the beginnings of my contractions to this very moment, my smallest bean has kept me on my toes. It was not the labour I had expected (far too stoppy and starty – and looooonnnnng ), breastfeeding had its own surprises (undiagnosed tongue tie for three weeks), and Bert has not been the ‘I’ll just slot in with the rest of the family’ bub that I had imagined. Why on earth would I imagine that?!! He was the easiest baby once we had sorted out the tongue tie – a complete dream settling for naps and sleep and never waking up in the night much, and always smiley and happy with everyone he met. Sadly last February just as he turned 3 months everything changed when he was hospitalised with a suspected kidney infection. From then on we had 6 months of a very different routine and life whilst we (and the doctors) got to grips with what exactly was wrong with Bert. I feel as though there are many, many posts to write about Bert’s stays in hospital and many trips to A&E but I don’t think this post is the right one. Basically what is important to say now is that he is healthy and happy now and that I am one very lucky mama. He is now a bonny, cheeky 14 month old who has transformed our lives in a way that I had not imagined, but definitely for the good.

Bert!

Bert!

2014 was quite a rollercoaster year and in retrospect I am pretty glad to see the back of it. It has been a year of change but also one of limbo as there were so many plans that were made but couldn’t be fulfilled. I have a really good feeling about 2015 as I think it’s the year that we will start doing again and I’m hoping it will be a year of health, happiness and action!

 

My big cubs are now 8 and 5 and very much schoolkids with lives, friends and worlds that are less part of me and Chips and more of their own. Which is exactly how it should be. It is amazing seeing how much has changed in them and yet wonderful to see that they are still the very essence of themselves from the year dot. Being their mum brings its own challenges and exasperations but basically I am super proud of them and all their wonderfulness.

Say eggs!

Say eggs!

 

I am halfway through my retraining to be a solicitor, but with Bert being so poorly last year I had a major pause and rethink about work and being a mum in my family. The upshot was that I wanted to make sure that my kids have someone who is around and can be there to pick them up when they’re sick, to be around some of the week when they come home from school and to create the kind of family life that is (reasonably) restful, peaceful and calm rather than hectic and stretched. I have decided not to do the next bit of my course until Bert is at least 3 as I don’t think that until that point I will be ready to embrace full time work/study with looking after 3 young kiddos. I am now doing a bit of work for Chris and hope to do some kind of community law volunteering. Life is still noisy and hectic and chaotic, but definitely not as much as if I was studying full time right now!

 

Right, that’s some stuff covered. There’s lots more to talk about from starting school, to holidays, to first few weeks of a new life, and to growing up. So as there’s so much to talk about hopefully I will be a bit better at updating this blog! Catch up again very soon!

 

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New beginnings

Here I am again! And it’s 2015. Eeek. So a few years have passed, the cubs are bigger (and include one more cub!), many things have happened, some big, some small, some wondrous and some very stressful. Because life is so fast and everything whizzes past at a terrifying, hurtling speed I want to start up this blog again so I can try and have some document about how life was when my kiddos were small. And so it begins again…

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Green is the magic colour

Whilst Littlest Cub was off frolicking with her mate Owe, I was struggling with my Contract Law revision and not managing to answer my mock exam on misrepresentation. It didn’t help that it was gloriously sunny outside, nor that I still have the cold from hell which has now snatched away all hearing in my right ear and made my left ear go all tinny. Grrrrrrr. The highlight of the morning was an early lunch of good bread, yummy goats cheese and the nicest purple sprouting broccoli I have EVER tasted grown by my own fair hand (sort of, um actually not really from our allotment.

This is the time of year that the allotment really starts to feel exciting and it’s looking quite positive up at our plot. Mostly because I think that this is the first year that we will be able to spend more than a couple of hours up there before one of the cubs has some kind of breakdown (normally of the tired/hungry variety). We generally bribe them to stay up there for longer periods of time with food;

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For short lengths of time they’re normally super content to pootle about picking things, digging things, chopping at things or getting lost in their own imaginary worlds:Image

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Our latest exciting news at the allotment is the arrival of a new (well freecycled) shed. Our old shelter blew down a while back and it’s been a bit bleak and bare without it, but very soon we will have somewhere to huddle in the rains and winds, somewhere to store the kids toys and our table and chairs and most importantly somewhere to keep the gas stove, kettle and mugs for tea. A beautiful Spring day, green sprouting up everywhere (yep that would be the weeds), blue skies, blue sea, happy kids and a cup of tea and chocolate biscuit. Happy times.*

* I am not the main gardener up at the allotment. Chatting and drinking beverages with a hint of weeding is what I excel in. Thank the lord for Chips and the other capable folk we share our allotment with!

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