A day in our life: with a 17 month old

A day in our life with a 17 month old is still very similar to a day in our life with an 11 month old as we now have some good well established routines that haven’t changed much over the last six months. The biggest difference is that Jake is much more independent and often wants to play on his own without input from me. Here is how our day usually pans out..

7.30 am. Jake wakes us up. He is now generally waking up a little bit later which is really nice. We take it in turns each day to get Jake out of his cot, change him and dress him.

7.45 am. We all go down stairs. Jake has his milk followed by a bowl of weatabix with saltanas. He now eats his weatabix on his own with a spoon! Which is lovely to see and makes him seem so grown up! During this time Jamie and I both get dressed and have breakfast.

9 am. Jamie goes to work.

9am – 12pm. Jake and I will either go out somewhere either to a baby class (we currently do baby signing and toddler yoga) or will play at home in the livingroom. Jake is much more independent now when he is playing which gives me more time to do some housework / watch this morning : )

12pm – 1pm. Jamie comes down from work and we all have lunch together.

1pm. Jake will go down for a nap, he sometimes has a small nap in the morning, if so he will nap for about an hour. But if I’ve managed to keep him awake all morning he may have up to a two hour nap. During this time I get some housework done or sometimes have a little nap myself ( I am pregnant so think it’s justified! )

3pm. Jake wakes up and we either play at home or go out to the shops or for a walk.

5pm. Jamie comes back from work and plays with Jake while I cook dinner.

5.30 pm. We all eat dinner together.

6pm. More play time. Jamie tends to take the lead at this time of day while I enjoy watching their antics from the sofa. It usually involves lots of running around and screaming!

7pm. Jake gets his PJ’s on and sits with me for 15 minutes of quiet time with his milk before bed.

7.15pm. Jamie takes Jake up to bed and does a couple of books with Jake in his room.

7.30 pm Jake goes to bed.

So there was our day, over in a flash as usual!

Things I love about Autumn / Winter

Things I love about Autumn / Winter

Now that we a fully into the Autumn / winter season I thought I would write a little list of all the things I like about this time of year.

1. Frosty sunny mornings
2. The colours of the trees
3. Going for cold walks with a hot coffee in hand
4. Making and eating a warming winter stew in the slow cooker
5. Wearing my cosy pj’s and thick socks
6. Watching kids films on TV
7. Going to watch the Christmas lights being switched on
8. Drinking hot chocolate
9. Christmas : )
10. Not having to mow the lawn anymore
11. Wearing boots and leggings
12. Going to Christmas markets
13. Lighting candles
14. Sitting snuggled on the sofa wrapped in a blanket
15. Seeing frosty cobwebs outside
16. Baking cookies
17. Watching fireworks
18. Spending time with friends and family eating and drinking
19. Seeing my son experience the magic of Christmas
20. Eating chocolate

Hopefully on days when it is wet and miserable outside I’ll be able to remember all of the nice things that this season brings with it too!

How to get the most of your Center Parcs holiday

How to get the most of your Center Parcs holiday

I’ve have blogged about our visits to Center Parcs before so it should be no secret that I am a big Center Parcs fan, I have visited almost every year since I was about 4 years olds! I therefore like to think I am somewhat of an expert in how to get the most out of your stay, so here are my top tips:

1: Look for the cheapest weeks and best accommodation for your money.

When you are booking try to be as flexible as possible on the weeks you can go as sometimes even going one week earlier can save you a good chunk of money, of course avoiding the school holidays is always cheaper but sometimes some non school holiday weeks are cheaper then others. Also some weeks of the year the same price is listed for up to three different grades of accommodation, so obviously always go for the best grade possible!

2. Expect it to be busy on arrival and departure days:

We always enter the park at the earliest time possible on arrival day to get the most out of our money, and leave late on departure day, and so do lots of other people. Therefore these days the park is always much busier. Usually the busiest places are the restaurants that are closest to the car parks as people arrive and then think they will kill time before they can get into their accommodation buy having a drink or lunch. If you want to do this too head for the restaurants that are furthest fro the car parks as they will be quieter, usually this is the country club. Or alternatively take a packed lunch for this day and enjoy it on one of the many picnic benches around the park.

Or if you are very organised, you will have packed you swimming bags already, and can head straight to the pool. Must people won’t have done this so they won’t be able to go to the pool until after they have unpacked their car at 2 or 3pm so heading for a morning or early afternoon swim on arrival/departure day can actually be a really good idea, and there is food available in the pool too.

3. Book activities and restaurant reservations in advance.

Popular activities and restaurants can book up very fast for the best times so book these in advance of your trip. This also helps you to plan your trip better and make the most of your time. Remember if you are doing something crafty, like paint a pot you will need to go early enough in the week for your creation to be dried out so you can collect it before you leave.

4. Take your own…

There are lots of things you can buy or hire at the park but if you have enough car space and you want to save some pennies then I would recommend you take your own bike (will save you £25 hire fee) bike chain (£2 hire fee) groceries ( will certainly be cheaper then the on site supermarket) as well as sports equipment ie badminton rackets etc (will save you a couple of pounds) also take your own disposable BBQ’s and logs for the fire as both come at a premium on site.

5. Be prepared for a long day at the pool:

Especially if you have kids, you will easily be able to spend the best part of a day at the pool. In order to get the most out of this go prepared, take your own drinks and food etc in a cooler bag ( vital as the pool area is very warm) and set up a base of towels and some t shirts to sit on at the pool side. I would also recommend taking some magazines to flick through while you are having a rest from all the pool activities. The pool is the best activity for kids on the park and it is free so make the most of it and use it to its fullest! If it’s a wet day on the park, it will be busy, so wear your costume to the pool so you can strip off in the changing rooms without the need of a cubicle as family changing rooms in particular can be hard to get.

6. Know what services are availible:

There are loads of extra services that the parks offer that not everyone is aware of such as a baby sitting service, take away and delivery service from the restaurants, early check in, baby feeding stations in restaurants and a driver service for people with disabilities. So make sure you read all the literature when you arrive as there might be something really handy that you don’t know about!

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My pregnancy beauty must haves.

Being pregnant is not glamorous. Fact. When I was pregnant with Jake I assumed I would just carry on with my very simple beauty regime and didn’t expect to need to buy any beauty or hygiene extras. I soon came to realise I was completely wrong and there are in fact a number of must haves that I wouldn’t be able to get through pregnancy without. Here’s my list:

1) stretch mark cream.

I’m proud to say I didn’t get a single stretch mark with Jake. I think the key to this was investing in a good cream very early on and using it on a regular basis well before my bump started to appear.

2) Day and night cream.

Once Jake was born putting on a good face of make up quickly become the bottom of my priority list and I soon started looking very tired ( obviously) I tried my best to use a good day and a night cream every day and this at least helped keep my skin clear and made me feel a bit better about my appearance as I could tell my skin still felt healthy.

3) Panty liners.

I won’t go into any details, but you just need them : )

4) Lip balm.

Looking after your skin and drinking plenty of water is really important during pregnancy and I tend to find the first place a lack of water shows on me is by getting very dry cracked lips so a good lip balm is a must to help with this.

5) Hair removal cream.

Usually I shave, but I swapped to using the cream towards the end of pregnancy as I found it easy to do once my bump got very large and balancing in the shower became tricky. The hair usually stays away a little longer too so it helped to not have to shave so often.

November Goals

As I’m now almost 30 weeks pregnant I know I need to be realistic with my goals for this month and not try to do too much, the problem is I also want to try to do as much as I can to make December and January as easy on me as possible. It’s all about finding the right balance I suppose.

Take Jake to baby yoga:

This is a new class that is starting up near us for 6 weeks. I’m very aware that Jake and I aren’t getting out of the house as much recently as I’m finding long walks with the pram a bit more tiring, and knowing that when the new baby arrives we will probably go through a period of not getting out and about much at all I really want to make an effort to do some quality activities while I can so this sounded right up our street and is completely different to any thing we have done before.

Get baby clothes out and sorted:

Everything is still in the garage at the moment so I’m feeling quite unprepared and know I will feel better once I have sorted through everything.

Paint both children’s rooms:

This is really one for Jamie to do now as we have been putting it off for a while : ) but our aim is to get them both done before Christmas.

Go to Centre Parcs:

We’re going to winter wonderland again in a few weeks and I can’t’ wait! It was so magical last year we’re really excited to go again and start feeling all christmassy.

Get the Christmas shopping done early:

I can not think of anything worse them trying to battle through the Christmas shoppers whilst heavily pregnant, so I’m aiming to get all of our presents bought as early as possible this year, so I can wrap them and then forget about them until the big day.