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Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Life with little ones is hectic at the best of times, I should know I’ve had three in three years! Leaving the house is a daily battle, you almost need a military operation to pull it off and coming out the other end can leave you with some post-traumatic stress. It might just seem like a trip to ASDA, but to my kids it’s a defiant battle with three main targets, how to:

A) Give mum a heart attack thinking they are missing/been kidnapped

B) Find the most valuable and breakable item in the store and destroy beyond all recognition, making sure Mummy has to pay for the damage they’ve caused

C) Scream, Swear or just plain whine enough to make an entire store of strangers glare at mum like she’s raising the Antichrist.

That is just a trip to the shops, so how are we going to pull off a holiday? I mean all of us, leaving the house, for longer than a few hours and all coming back alive and unscathed…is that even a possibility?

Let’s be honest, we go on holidays to relax, unwind and escape reality, when you’ve got kids it can be really difficult to achieve that, especially in an unfamiliar place that you are spending your hard-earned money on. The average family go on one holiday a year, so that’s a lot of built up anticipation and expectations, you need to make sure it’s going to be worth it and that you actually unwind, relax and maintain your mental health whilst having your kids with you.

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Here are some tips on how to ensure you stay healthy, well and relaxed on holiday:

#1 Plan

Some prep before hand is essential to have a relaxing time, I don’t mean organised activities from hour to hour, I mean…DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Questions

First things first, your accommodation:

Does it have a travel cot?

Does it have a safe deposit box?

Stair gates?

Washing machine or nearby launderette?

Important factors you need to be aware of. The last thing you need is to arrive and realise there is nowhere for you to keep your expensive belongings or money safe and that your toddler or baby has to starfish in between you and your partner every night, because it’s either that or the floor when the hotel have no travel cots…I don’t know about you but I don’t find a swift kick in the face very relaxing and that is the reality of bed sharing with a toddler.

If you’re in a villa then is the pool gated?

If you’re in a hotel is there a crèche? Is it safe and governed? Or is there a creche nearby if you want to stay in a villa? 

Are there real reviews?

Check it all out, the key to a successfully relaxing holiday is peace of mind.

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Activities

OK so I know I said no activities, you don’t want to be rushing from place to place to get somewhere for a certain time, but it is handy to know what is going on in and around where you are staying.

If you know there is a certain show or activity you were interested on from say 1pm it might be nice for you to make your way over there in plenty of time, but if it gets a couple of days in and your on Google searching for where to go and what to do because the kids are getting restless, it just means more time wasted on that, that could be spent relaxing.

Have a little look on trip advisor before your holiday, find out where has the best reviews and save your self the disappointment of getting food poisoning from the 0 star restaurant you could have avoided.

2# Indulge and Hydrate

Drink, drink and drink some more…water!

If we’re talking about a summer holiday, especially abroad, staying hydrated is a no-brainer. I mean it’s a great idea to stay hydrated every day of your life, but when you are in an environment where you will become dehydrated rapidly, it’s important not only for your health but for your enjoyment to make sure you drink plenty.

You don’t want to risk causing yourself damage and ruining your holiday just because you forgot to drink, I mean you’ll get thirsty so you’ll more than likely drink, but it’s important to drink bottled water and be healthy. Even if you aren’t usually a “healthy” person, you are out of your usual environment so therefore are more at risk if you do dehydrate.

Little ones will have no idea they have to keep themselves topped up with water, they might tell you they are thirsty but don’t wait for that, make sure you remind them to drink plenty. It’s only a small detail that won’t even seem like a big deal, carrying water around with you, but it could be the difference between your holiday being relaxing and healthy or ruined by being unwell due to dehydration.

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Eat safe

Also make sure you eat plenty, if you’re planning on a busy holiday with lots to do, then don’t forget to eat and eat well! You are in an unfamiliar place so look at your surroundings, look at how hygienic the area is that you are eating in, if you don’t feel something is quite right then don’t eat it, but don’t stop your self indulging, you’re on holiday after all! It’s important to stay healthy but holidaying is a time of enjoyment so scoff the cake and for that week or two don’t worry too much about your waistline, a bit of indulging never killed anybody.

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3# Book Smart

Be realistic

When booking your holiday, you flick through the brochures and watch the adverts of the couple clinking their wine glasses together, snuggled in a shawl, watching the sunset. That’s great there’s no reason that can’t happen, but be realistic! If you are taking little ones with you, then book into a family friendly place, DO NOT book into a couples paradise.

Pandora’s Box

It’s all well and good thinking your kids are well-behaved, but when all the couples are cooing at each other over a candlelit dinner and you’re trying to contain Pandora’s box (a.k.a your kids) it isn’t that relaxing.

If junior decided to catapult meatballs across the room at a family friendly restaurant, then the waiter will no doubt duck without batting an eyelid because he will have become a master of dodging little people food fights and Freddie his new best friend with will be in fits of giggles at the other side of the room.

Whereas if Junior pie faces the guy who is about to change his girlfriend’s life by getting down on one knee, you won’t get the smirking glance from a fellow mum who knows what you are going through, you’ll get the laser stare of the ice queen who spent three hours doing her hair that your child has just streaked with spaghetti.

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Family Friendly

Trust me…just visit family friendly areas and restaurants! For your peace and tranquillity, even if there are kids running around, you can relax, because everyone’s in the same boat, your kids are running around too, there’ll probably be a crèche or some activities where you can leave the kids so you can get some one on one time. You don’t want to spend the entire trip red-faced or trying to contain a pack of wild beasts, set them free in the right environment, sit back and chill whilst watching the carnage unfold.

4# Open invite

I’m not saying invite the world on your holiday (1. Impossible and 2. Unrealistic) but it’s becoming an increasing trend to holiday with other families or even with a large number of your own relatives. If you don’t have friends (or you can’t stand the ones you have) and your extended family are the reason you need a holiday than this option may not be for you.

Multi-generational

But if Nana and Grandad need a holiday and love watching the little ones, it means you get lifetime memories with a larger portion of your family and let’s face it you’ve got ready-made, trustworthy babysitters whilst you clink the champagne glasses, cuddle up and watch the sunset (see, I told you it is possible).

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Bring your bestie

If your best mate has a family of their own, why not go together? Share a villa (half the cost for each other) you’ve got ready-made playmates for your little ones and you can take it in turns watching the brood of kids from both families while you clink, cuddle and watch the sunset (becoming more realistic now, isn’t it).

Basically, you are making your holiday cheaper (in theory), more relaxing (trusted babysitters & playmates) and more enjoyable (spending time with people you like). There’s every reason to expand the number of people coming on your holiday, for your enjoyment and also for your peace both physically and mentally.

#5 Where to go

Thinking of where to go? Think relaxing, beautiful sunsets, stunning scenery and an air of elegance…Tuscany is a region in central Italy, it is full of character and the perfect place for a relaxing family holiday.

If you’re like me and have a brood of kids, that make the thought of staying in hotel fill you with dread, then a villa is the place to go. No worries about disturbing guests or irritating staff with your kid’s wacky ways.

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Here’s the best place to rent a villa https://www.to-tuscany.com/

They have over 350 positive reviews on Feefo reviews and are a trusted merchant on there too: Feefo

They are also highly commended on thegoodwebguide.co.uk

Check out the To-Tuscany pages:

Facebook Twitter G+ Pinterest To Tuscany Blog Flickr Youtube Instagram Flipboard  To-Tuscany Newsletter

#6 Remember why you’re going

You want to enjoy your holiday, relax and rejuvenate. Make sure you don’t over do activities, booze or just not taking care of yourself. You don’t want to come home feeling like you need a holiday to get over your holiday.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re there and if something is stressing you out or making you unwell then don’t do it. Just remember these three key facts which sum up all the yammering I’ve done above:

  1. Stay healthy (Eat right & drink plenty)
  2. Make it easy (Do whatever gives you mental peace)
  3. Enjoy (Lay down, walk, dance, sleep..if it makes you happy then do it)

    BE HAPPY

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A break from blogging

So  I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging the last few months. I’ve really missed it and feel there are so many things I have missed recording about my little monkey’s.

To re-cap I have two little boys Jack (2.5 yrs) and Michael (1.5 yrs) and write about all the trials and tribulations of being their mummy. Since I stopped blogging things have changed quite a lot, I am now expect a baby GIRL!

I will talk about my pregnancy more in upcoming posts but I’m still in shock it is a girl!

I just wanted to write a quick post about why I haven’t been blogging for a while, there has been no major reason other than life just getting in the way.

So now I have my 2yr old, 1 yr old, 20 weeks Pregnancy and my wedding in 8 weeks! Safe to say I have plenty to write about…..

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Christmas Gift Guide Request

I’m creating a Christmas Gift Guide of tried and tested toys!

I will try some my self with the kids and also accept reviews from real mum’s & kiddies with pictures!

If you would like to get in contact for my boys aged 1 & 2 to try your product or to send your review in for consideration then please get in contact via Facebook or Twitter!!

Happy Holidays!christmas-presents

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Halloween with kids ideas!

I had so many ideas for Halloween with the boys but unfortunately they got struck down with a sickness bug, they are recovering now, but since they are too young to understand Halloween I saw no need to dress them up when it would benefit them more having a cosy day in their PJs. Plus it’s the one night a month they spend at Nanny’s house, so they’re having a quiet one!

But saying that I do love Halloween and think kids are adorable dressed up for it! I really wanted to do Jack dressed as Chucky and Mikey as the baby from The Adam’s Family. I then saw a friend of mine on Facebook, Harriet, who has a baby the same age as Mikey, dressed her and her son Luca up for a Halloween competition and won 1st and 2nd Place!

Like me, Harriet likes to create a lot of homemade sensory activities for her son, she gets creative and look at the results!

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Harriet was kind enough to let me use her pictures for this post!

So there you go a fun and creative way to dress up with your little on for Halloween.

If any readers have pictures of their cute little ones, comment with them or send them in via Facebook or Twitter!

Happy Halloween!

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The screaming, kicking & punching terrible 2’s are here!

Jack turns two on the 11th November, it’s hard to believe that my tiny premature baby that was born at 29+5 weeks Gestation is almost two!

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Especially since he started not even being able to breathe by himself and now he has got a whole personality of his own, saying words, starting to string sentences together, feeding himself, knowing he does NOT want to use the potty and of course the reason they are called the terrible two’s….the tantrums.

He’s always been very loving and affectionate especially to his little brother, but I will give you a few scenarios in the last week that have shown the sudden change in his behaviour.

Tantrum 1 – Biting

We were playing “tractor” which started with me getting a picture of a tractor on google images for Jack to point at and say “tractor” to on my laptop, we have gradually progressed and now he says around 30-40 words, the other day we were playing a lovely game of tractor when Jack started smacking the laptop, so I looked at him and said “No Jack, that’s naughty”, he looked at me with anger, his body went rigid with rage, he ran over to his Daddy who was laid on the sofa and without any warning, bit him on the leg! There was pure anger, from nowhere! All of a sudden he was fine and accepted being told off, he gave Daddy a kiss and a cuddle with an apology. But it was so shocking! He has never bitten before!

Tantrum 2 – Raisins

Jack loves eating his dinner, him and Mikey sit side by side in their high chairs and never have any objections, except for Tuesday, on Tuesday this all changed. He screamed and went rigid, he wouldn’t calm down and just stormed about screaming, then all of a sudden walked over to the table and pointed at a box of Raisins, we handed him the box and he was fine, he then got in his high chair and ate all of his dinner. I didn’t see this as giving into him, as I’d happily give him a snack and considering he ate all of his tea, I saw his anger as frustration that he couldn’t communicate what he wanted.

Tantrum 3 – Bath time

Bath time is Jack’s favourite time of day hands-down, so when I get him out of it, there is a 5 second struggle until he remembers he then gets to watch a bit of Peppa Pig and have his night time bottle. Tonight I laid him on the towel and he kicked, punched and scratched, it only lasted for maybe 20 seconds then he was fine, he had his nightly inhaler and calmed down, I was in shock though, shock that my tiny snuggly baby that needed me to survive would try and hurt me! I know he doesn’t know the difference and is learning from his emotions, but still it’s hard to deal with!

They say that a toddler’s hormones are the same as a teenagers, well if Jack’s feeling the hormones I felt as a teenager I’m going to run and hide…this can only get worse!

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The daily battles of being a Mum

There’s always something that “could be done” in my house, whether it’s housework, paperwork, something with the kids etc. There’s never nothing to do! As I’m sure most mother’s can relate to.

Take the dishes for instance, I can clean the entire Kitchen and nothing makes more of a difference to the naked eye than the dishes, they look the messiest and soon pile up, doing them instantly makes the place look better….so why do I leave them until last?! They’re not hard to do, I don’t mind getting my hands dirty, but I will make excuses in my mind! Like “There will be more upstairs, might as well do them all in one go, so wait”, “They’re one of the quickest jobs to do so leave them until last” or my favourite “There isn’t enough there to justify doing them, wait until there is more”. None of which really matters, because that is all they are….excuses. I just don’t know what it is about them dishes I just can’t seem to get the motivation!

Vacuuming, it makes me feel like a good housewife, while doing it and sniffing in the vacuum smell I boast to myself in my head (Sad? Yes I know) about how tidy my house must be that there is enough floor space to vacuum it! If the house isn’t tidy, the vacuum’s collecting dust in a whole different way…by being sat in the broom cupboard, because I’m telling you if there isn’t a spotless house to vacuum, it isn’t getting done. Therefore vacuuming is a triumph.

Matching socks, the peril of my life. I never saw matching socks as that big an issue, until I became a mum, then suddenly if your child has odd socks it instantly puts you in the “bad mum category”. Not that I think you’re not a great mum if your child has matching socks, I take my hat off to you, but it really isn’t that big a deal to me. I am not a greatly religious person, but since having children I do believe in Sock Heaven.

Milestones, sorry to sound brash but I don’t give a shi*t what milestone my child is at. I only have two children, but they are complete and utter opposites. When parents compare at what age their children teethe, hold their head up, crawl, walk etc. It really gets on my nerves! Every child is different and will develop differently, the will do it, just in their own time. For me personally I am in no rush for my baby to take one more step away from being a baby!

The daily battles of being a momma never end, but they will be the battles we miss when our babies are all grown up! Enjoy it while it lasts!