mums the word…

Today I had a fab day – I was awoken by the munchkins at a latest ever record time of 7.20am, lets hope this is the end of the 5.30am starts! My lovely husband then took them downstairs so I could have a mothers day lie in until the smell of bacon was wafted upstairs and breakfast was served.

I then said goodbye to the boys as they were off to visit the Bristol lot and little miss s and I were off to my mums for the day and to get there on time I finally got to use my Christmas preset from Dan – my scooter! My two wheeled, flashing stick of death… at one point little miss s turned around and asked why my scooter was so slow, but we made it in one piece and settled in for a lovely day with my mum, my sister, little miss n and my grandmother, we were four generations, three generations of mums with the lady responsible for it all at the head of the table.

I have written before about my mothers day experiences here and here now that I’m a mum but I wanted to take a moment today to tell you a little bit about my mum – or Alpha Mum as I like to call her!

My mum is the bomb – ok so everyone thinks that but she really is. She is the person I go to when I need to get away from daily life and she is the person who sends me home again when I need to get back to it!! She will never turn away my little family and we can often be found ‘popping’ in at tea time (result!) and when we needed somewhere to live she was moving furniture to make room before we had even asked! Since having children we have become a lot closer, as a teenager I think its safe to say I was a little ‘challenging’ I was nicknamed Kevin by the parents, probably because I only really grunted at them for about 2 years, and then I went off to University where I was miserable. I would ring home and just take out all my frustration on mum with most phone calls ending in a ‘arggh Whatever’ and slamming the phone down, but she was worried and I was away from home. Now being a mum I can totally understand the conversations that we had and how frustrating I must have been.. I finally get it and man I hope little miss s doesn’t take after me!!

As I sat in front of the fire this afternoon and watched her take time out from looking after us all to have a cwtch and chat with my little girl – it made me so grateful for all the lessons she has taught me, how through her actions and the way she has brought up myself, my sisters and brother she has shown us how to love and be loved. She has taught us right from wrong, to not just follow the crowd and to always be true to what we believe. I am forever grateful for every sacrifice that she made for me and the ones she continues to make, for the time I spend with her and for the amazing Nin she is to my two munchkins. We really did hit the jackpot with our mum – thank you for the memories, the roast dinners, the chats, the tears, the tantrums, the laughs, the rows, the cwtch’s, the advice, the pancakes, the hot-water bottles, the prosecco, the cups of tea, the fairy lights, the phone calls, the random smiley faces, the drop in calls, the babysitting, the treating your 30yr old daughter with new clothes, the smiles, everything, thank you for everything and more.

Happy Mothers Day to all you mums out there, it really is the best and most rewarding job on the planet x


my mum xx

time is a funny thing

So in the last installment of everything ketchup you were introduced the little miss N, I explained her condition and let you all know that my very talented sister would be creating a print to sell in aid of the British Heart Foundation, the funny thing is that this was now a little while ago…

I am very pleased and proud to announce that my sister has finally hit the ‘where does the time go, what have I done today’ stage of motherhood. In all her new mum naivety and excitement she announced she was doing these prints and so the blog was written (ok, eventually!) the coffee morning we planned has been and gone and alas still no print! Little miss N had a cold and then she needed a bum change and then she was just plain grumpy and with smug smile I am pleased to say it has taken K a little longer than expected to create and print this little masterpiece!

She finally gets why for 3 ½ years I have been running around like a headless chicken and why getting up ½ hour before you have to leave is a thing of the past. In our house every morning little miss s must wake way too early (so in reality we have plenty of time) have her first ‘end of the world’ meltdown, get dressed, get undressed, put her tutu on, take her tutu off, get dressed, have breakfast, finish my breakfast, take her socks off, brush her hair, clean her teeth, attempt another tutu change, put on her coat, put on her shoes, take off her shoes, put on her socks, put on her shoes and FINALLY leave the house. Then comes the walk to school… every curb MUST be walked on and we must wait until the road is completely clear (thankfully there is only one road!). Ah the fun she has to come!!

And so, I am pleased to be able to finally reveal the fab print she has designed, these will be a limited edition with only 50 being produced and once they are gone they are gone. They are designed and screen printed with metallic gold ink and a blush pink by K, it is not framed but the print size will fit an Ikea frame which is always useful!

If you would like to order a print please do not hesitate to get it touch with me or K (if you know her!) and I’m afraid that mail orders will be subject to a small postage charge (only Royal Mail!)

‘Heart of Gold’ Limited Edition Charity Print £25

print 1 heart-of-gold (3 of 7) heart-of-gold (6 of 7) print nols

As mentioned ALL money from the sale will be donated to the British Heart Foundation.

matters of the heart x

150 – this is my 150th Blog post, in this little world of kids, babies, tantrums, husbands, work, family, holidays, wonky faces and not so wonky faces, friends, dreams, memories and prosecco, lots of prosecco!

I wanted to use this post, this milestone to write a little something about someone very special to me. I have written in great detail about little miss s and master r well now they have a little sidekick, id like you to meet little miss N…

Little miss N is my niece, she is a little bundle of smiles and chat – her big blue eyes stare at you and you cannot help but melt (also, ok master r has been hard work but dam she makes me broody!) mind you she’s a little diva, she has this wonderful ‘you think I’m doing that?’ down the nose face and she has well and truly mastered the ‘shit up your back’ nappy! She is my twin sisters first daughter and which by default makes her my second daughter-ish, it’s a difficult relationship to explain and a relationship that was proved in her very first few days. As I mentioned, she is my twins daughter, now my twin is a diva and a bit of a drama queen so it is only natural that little miss N would follow suit!

The first time I met her she was only a few hours old and to be fair I was just happy that K was ok and that she looked like crap (I know that’s really mean, but you have to look like that – you’ve just given birth) she had joined this very special club they call parenthood and I couldn’t have been more proud. Now the second time I saw little miss N she was relaxing under a sunbed with some fetching goggles demanding the attention of all around (yep definitely my sisters daughter!). This thing called parenthood starts with a bang and you can never be prepared for what it throws at you, if your lucky like me and dan you stumble through with poo on your hands and sick over everything and three ours of crying is the worst it will be.

Now little N’s parents really did have a shock, for the little madame had to be admitted back into hospital at 2 days old after a series of ‘episodes,’ K and J had to make a call – they didn’t know what newborn babies were supposed to do or not, they didn’t know what was ‘normal’ because nothing is normal after the event. They made a call, the right call and her episodes were investigated over a week – they stayed by her bedside, they watched her, they held her and they fed her. They became a family, the way in which every family becomes a team – yet they did it in hospital surrounded by wires, nurses and a little sunbathing wired up little miss N. Now I said I was proud of my sister after the birth – I was, but that was nothing compared to the pride and admiration I felt for her when I visited them in hospital and she was there, had been there for days, was feeding her baby herself, was not only in control of the situation but was in control of her family (she had sent J for coffee!) – she was a Mum. That night I went home and held onto my babies thankful that I was a mum and that I have been lucky enough never to be in that situation.

So a little bit about that coffee boy… ok so he didn’t just get the coffee. When K was feeding he was on hand to fetch drinks, hold leads and wind his little girl, when both his girls were sleeping he was watching over them and when they told him to go home, he said no. This little girl needed her dad as much as her mum and I know for a fact that her mum needed him more than ever before and he was there for every step.

And it turns out that, yes little miss N is special – not just because she has my nose (seriously, random!) but because she has been diagnosed with a condition called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW) now I could get all technical on you and go into long explanations about the orthodromic atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia (yep check me! Ok so totally copied and pasted that!) but in a nutshell it means that little miss N’s heart sometimes goes a little nuts, the beats per minute can raise and this is not a good thing. To counteract this she is on medicine daily to ensure that her heart remains steady, K and J have to take her heart rate daily and she will see specialists periodically for the foreseeable future. This syndrome is a sly little bugger and can go undetected for years – many just think thy are having a panic attack as the symptoms could be confused, light-headedness, dizziness, shortness of breathe and palpitations to name a few. The fact that little miss N has been diagnosed so young is a testament to her parents, they knew what was not normal for their 2 day old baby girl – it proves the whole ‘trust your gut’ theory.

So little miss N has a heart condition, it will not define who she is, her Mum and Dad will make sure of that – I am also pretty certain that she is going to have her very own personal bodyguard in master r when they grow up (seriously the boy is a beast!) But matters of the heart can affect anybody – just this year as well as little miss N’s diagnosis my Granddad underwent a triple heart bypass. You never know what is round the corner so to help raise a little bit of money my sister will be creating a print to sell with all proceeds being donated to the British Heart Foundation. The money that we can raise will directly go to fund research projects to better understand how to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure heart disease.

Sooo, put your hand on your chest, feel your heart beat? – Now, hand in pocket please!!!!… well not quite yet, blog with print visuals and order details is to follow shortly!

Nols smiles

our little miss N

Nols Family

one plus two makes three xxx


A little pre-Christmas trip with my pre-schooler

And just like that BAM Christmas is over. With all the build up, excitement and most successful bribery tool (Santa wont come) gone for another year. I hope you all had lovely ones and that Santa did come!

Just before Christmas hit this year, my mum and I took little miss s to Norway to see my sister in the ballet, it was a girly trip, the first time that I have taken her anywhere on my own, the first proper time of leaving master R and her first time on a plane. And in true little miss s style she made it a trip to remember…

Her first little moment came when her bag had to go through the scanner…cue screams of “no, no, Elsa, Anna no, no my bag” along with tears, her little figures were in her bag and in her defence she had carried it all morning. I was however obviously distracted by these screams and left my phone in my back pocket so instead of being able to comfort her I was promptly frisked. Now, I have been frisked before, this frisk took on a whole new level – the lady was very thorough even to the point of feeling a little violated (hands in waistband!). It only took 5 minutes but the reason for this frisk soon became very clear for not only was little miss s harbouring Frozen figures but I apparently had forgotten to check my bag – a bag given to me to use by my own father. For in the side pocket of said bag was a serrated edged flip knife – yep a fully fledged flip knife Bear Grylls would be proud of. Cue red faces, stuttering from me and my mum and the knife was disposed of, they then proceeded to drug swab the bag… thank god I didn’t learn anything else about my Dad that day!!

Little miss s got over the security ordeal pretty quick and throughout the trip continued to entertain us, she sang at the top of her voice in the departure lounge, she has a little bit of a Jesus obsession at the moment so Away in a Manger was on repeat. We then boarded the plane and she was asking about the pictures on the back of the seat, “mum can we do that in a minute, can we do that in a minute” I explained that all of those things happened in an emergency and that we didn’t really want one… cue little miss s assuming the brace position! She full on copied the card and was ready to brace, her innocence and excitement was contagious and after initially worrying about keeping her entertained for 2 hours in one place we had a great time and I even managed to keep the iPad in the bag!

Once we had arrived in Norway she was amazed by the snow and her selective hearing seemed to worsen, mum and I could have walked off and left her, she wouldn’t have a clue, she was in her own little ‘Frozen’ heaven oblivious to everything. It was when we took her to the Ballet that she really went into her own world – my elder sister (the ballerina one!) had arranged for us to go back stage before we saw the performance of the Nutcracker. Little miss s, full strut followed Em round like a pro, she was treated to some glitter by the make up department before being allowed on the actual stage (at this point I was very glad that I was her mum – I mean I wouldn’t get this type of treatment, where kid goes, mum goes!!). Throughout the performance she was mesmerised and as we were in our own box pretended she was a ballerina tip-toeing back and for. Mind you, we very nearly missed it as in true little miss s style she decided she needed the loo just before curtain up… we ran, very fast! It was her very first experience of Ballet and she loved it – Auntie Em is her new hero and has actually achieved Elsa status in our house, for when little miss s wears her Elsa dress we get told “I am not S, I am Elsa” and when she wears her tutu we get “I am not S, I am Emma”.

The trip was a huge success, I was initially worried that after having so much attention for four days she would be the she beast when we got home, but in actual fact she has been the opposite. She has been kind(ish) to her brother, done what she has been told(ish) and has generally behaved more grown up (well, less like a stroppy two year old!). Although over night she seems to have developed a bit of an attitude and the ‘little miss s’isms’ have been coming thick and fast, my favourite so far… (whilst on the loo) “ah mum, you carry on playing I may be a while” my little girl is growing up and quickly.

The next trip away is planned for June, this time both Dan and master R will be tagging along, we’ll see how calm that plane journey is!!

my little travel buddy

my little travel buddy

the kid, the mum and the alpha mum!

the kid, the mum and the alpha mum!

my sister, the cover girl!

my sister, the cover girl!

opera house selfie

opera house selfie

on stage being shy (for once!)

on stage being shy (for once!)

the noise, oh the noise

There was one thing that was not mentioned when we discussed having children, yes we spoke about the sleepless nights, the poo and the sick and even the inevitable lack of social life. What we didn’t factor was the noise…

Today has been a day like no other, yes both kids were surprising well behaved, they didn’t do anything particularly naughty and they both ate all their tea but I find myself wound sooo tightly that bath and bed was done in record time! For today they have not stopped making noise! That’s what kids do I hear you all say, but this was not just any noise, this was little miss s waking at 6.15am and not actually stopping or being in another room until she dropped at 7pm tonight. That is over 12 HOURS!!!!! We had beautiful renditions of, of course ‘Let It Go’ and then a whole host of Christmas songs. We had ‘Mummy, say hello to Jesus’ a lot and at one point she was running around the house in a cape saying ‘I am super Linda’?!?!?! Linda? I don’t know where she gets these things. Add to this master r and his wingey teeth and its been like water torture, at one point whilst feeding the littlest (obviously little miss must sit on my feet for this) he was whining, she was singing, this stupid singing dog was singing, the radio was playing and the washing machine was doing that last cycle mental thing… I thought my head was going to explode. I escaped to the loo at one point only for little miss s to emulate Sheldon with “‘knock’ Mummy, ’Knock’ Mummy, ‘Knock’ Mummy, are you having a poo, do you need any help?” (side note, I was locked in the loo for some peace not even needing it!)

It made me think that yes, this is driving me mad but at any other time of my life pre-kids I may well have exploded in a cloud of swear words – I suppose this means that I may have developed a little of what they call patience and tolerance. With kids these two traits go hand in hand with every other ‘mum’ skill – they allow you to get through days like today and allow you to look forward to hearing ‘let it Go’ or ‘ Away in a Manager’ for the umpteenth time tomorrow. (although I am going on a plane with little miss s for 2 hours this week… I’m taking headphones!)

Today was a rare day, don’t get me wrong usually I like the chaos but for some reason today my head just wasn’t in the right place, that and the fact that Mum is now being said Mmmuuuummmm just grinded. Hence why both kids may have been bathed and put to bed a little earlier, the chocolate orange has been consumed (so I may be on number 5 before Christmas , oops) and I am staring at the Christmas drink trying to be good… and its quiet!

sometimes they make you wana...

sometimes they make you wana…

any interests?

The other day during an ever so grown up meeting about a mortgage we were asked a random question about what our hobbies were. Dan obviously mentioned that he played rugby and enjoyed fishing and then it was my turn…

I didn’t feel it was appropriate to say that my main hobby currently is drinking Prosseco with friends or even in my lazy clothes and enjoying the peace and quiet when the kids are asleep (aka avoiding my children)! These things are so important to me they have become my hobby… as I type I am having the most wonderful evening, the house is clean, the kids are fast asleep, Dan is out, candles are lit, I have a glass of squash (ok so my hobby may have caused a slight headache this morning so no fizz for me tonight!) soppy acoustic music (can I get a whoop whoop for Tracey Chapman!) is playing and I am gearing up to watch ‘I’m a Celeb’…

I think this officially means I need to get an interest! I used to play a lot of football and loved nothing more than having a kick about followed by a pint on a cold winters evening, I used to enjoy going out into town for a good’ol dance and Dan and I could often be found parked up on the side of a beach road in Devon for an evening of fish and chips and a mornings surf ( I say surf, more like drowning!) Since having children though I find myself being repelled by all of my old habits, I mean football outside, in the winter?!?! That just plain weird, winters evenings are for lazy clothes, wine and candles!! Dancing in town – no thanks the cues for the loos are always way too long and I don’t think my post baby holding control could cope. And then there’s our spur-of-the-moment jaunts to the beach in the van – there is nothing spur-of-the-moment about having to pack for kids and the thought of spending a night in the van with my beloved family makes me feel slightly quezzy…maybe when little miss s and master r are a bit older (can sleep in their own tent!)

So the young man in out mortgage meeting filled in my hobby and interest box with…

Hannah enjoys spending time with her family and writing.

That is what my free time has been summed up into… spending time with my family is not a hobby, it’s a way of life, it’s my job and its what I do, sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes not so much! And he wrote writing because I panicked just said something, anything that might have made me seem less lame!

We didn’t get the mortgage, obviously based on my lack of hobbies and interests– so by the next meeting I need to be more interesting! Ideas on a postcard please x

thompsons (54 of 65)

my hobby!


There it is again, the music in my head!

Master R is now 5 ½ months old!!! How did that happen?! It seems like only yesterday that he was evicted and started life as the forth member of the Thompsons. At the same time it feels like the little man has always been here and I can’t for the life of me imagine life without him now…

Him and all his little quirks, he is soooo unlike little miss s its untrue, as I have written before we did not get off to the best of starts with me not actually coping very well with the constant crying for the first 6-8weeks. The midwife said he would grow out of it, and you know what he did – and he has kept growing! At 5 months old he is bigger than little miss s at 9 months… he’s a big boy! He is also a stubborn little thing, he has just started this delightful angry growl if he is unhappy about something – it is the cutest as I have this angry 5 month old growling at me because he wants his toy or bottle or any of the other very important life items to a baby!

The boy is also a complete flurt, he has lots of fans around the village we live in and it takes me ages to go anywhere with everyone wanting a smile and look at his hair… he has rather a lot of hair! Unlike little miss s he is not selective when it comes to smiles and he will smile at anyone – luckily the excited sequel has been reserved for only his favourite people! All in all he is a happy little chap, he is now on the move too – the other day he had managed to belly, roll wriggle himself under the sofa! Today after squeal from his cot, I was greeted by baby legs and baby arms stuck between bars across the cot – I honestly have no idea how he managed it but he was still smiling! He adores his older sister and watches her every move, he even seems to enjoy being climbed all over and talked at like one of her dolls! The bond they are starting to create is amazing to watch and cements my decision that I didn’t want just one child. As much as they get on they have also started to gang up on me a little… hence the music in my head!

On the days when we have started the day at 5.30am, had the ‘go back to bed’ discussion until 7am, had the get dressed, clean your teeth, we are going to be late for school, put your coat back on battle on until 8.30am… by 4pm we often get some lovely tandem screaming from the little cherubs, this is when I, if all else fails, put them in their rooms, sit on the stairs and listen to the music in my head – last Friday we had a little ‘Fire Starter’ today a little ‘Cwm By Yar’ (I have no idea how to spell that!) but all it takes to forget the ‘world is ending’ meltdown is a smile from my cheeky chap and a cwtch from the little madame.

Master R has well and truly settled into his role as the noise machine in the house, Little miss s is the performer, Dan is the ring master and I think I am pretty much the clown! I cannot wait to see this little man grow and start getting his own back on his big sister, I also have bets on his first words being ‘Let it go’ thanks to our little performer!


my little monsters!


getting a bit big!


my little helper

to share or not to share?!

Since starting this blog and becoming a fan of other blogs and instagram accounts there has been a niggerling question sat in the back of my mind – what consists of too much information?

This is a conversation Dan and I have had A LOT! He believes that our photos and moments should be kept as just that and not broadcast on social media and that it really is no ones business if little miss s has slept through the night or if I am having a particularly rubbish day! His point is that I should spend more time in the here and now and stop thinking ‘oo profile pic’ or ‘that would be a funny status’ whenever something happens. You know what, I kind of have to agree with him. (I hate saying that!)

He took me away for my birthday on a brilliant trip to Dublin – it wasn’t until we got into the departure lounge at the airport, drink in hand that I realised that I had left my phone in the car – shockingly my first thought was ‘oo no I cant instagram my Dublin pics’ a close second was ‘ how will my mother-in-law contact me about the kids if needed’…reality check. I spent a phone free weekend engaged and present in every conversation and in every moment – it taught me a valuable lesson that life needs to be experienced and enjoyed in the present, not in the facebook pictures you post for everybody else, ok so I knew this before but I kind of get it now!

I will be the first person to admit that I am such a voyeur and I love nothing more than to scroll the numerous instagram accounts that I follow admiring other peoples lives, homes and children. Its this last one that has been giving me grief over the last few weeks, I love posting pics of my little ones on instagram and yes writing about them on here. I’m not sure what it is but I enjoy seeing them, I also enjoy the likes or comments a pic may get – self indulgent? Probably! But if I dig a little deeper it may have something to do with the self doubt and insecurity being a mum can often bring – in a job you get appraisals, reviews and a pay rise if you do well! As a mum your not given a manual, a progress report or a pat on the back when your child first uses the loo on their own – not a big deal? HUGE deal in my life! I think that by people liking my pictures, good angelic kids or little monsters it’s a pat on the back that a. im doing ok and b. I am not alone. There are mums out there appreciating my pic of a three year old tantrum because they feel my pain and they, in that moment like the pic because they too have been there! And yes these pictures and these comments make me smile!

I have made a decision to be a little more careful/clever about what I post, partly to respect the views of my husband and father of the munchkins (so he kinda gets a say!) and partly because you really don’t know who is looking at them and can take the photo to use on such things a beautiful baby competition etc due to the beautiful children I have, obviously!

This blog will continue to over share as this is my brain dump I’m afraid so expect more wonderfully thrilling stories of life with the munchkins – I may even write a post one day about grown up stuff…maybe!

A family photo without sharing too much!

A family photo without sharing too much!

doing davina

I’m going to say it. Motherhood has ruined my body.

Yes in the obvious stretch mark, bladder control kinda ways but in soo many more sinister and backhanded ways. I want to get fit again, after putting my body through 9 (10!) months of stretching, aching and changing twice its time to get the young 26 year old bod back…

Easier said than done, as I mentioned before, motherhood has broken me – but only because now that I’m a mum I have to sit on the floor so my knees are shot and everytime I get up I cant feel my feet. Now that sleep is a distance memory and a lie in is 7am. Now that my relaxing ‘me’ bath time has been hijacked by Peppa Pig figures that just stare and judge the whole soak. Now that my daily walks which could have been good exercise take forever due to a nosey 3yr old. Now that a good night out involves good food, good wine and straight to bed with no dancing after to burn it off.

But most of all, now that after a day of chasing after two little monsters all I want to do is stop, put on the lazies, pour the wine and eat the chocolate and get lost in some awful TV – not a really great diet/body happy routine! (right now as I type this I am in my onsie, eating a dairy milk and may have just finished a beer…fail!)

Because of my tendency to drink a little vino in the evening I have been trying to counteract this with a bit of Davina. On the mornings that little miss s goes to pre-school I get up, get her ready, drag her to school and then master r and I spend a quick 15 minutes getting down with Davina. I have only managed the 15 minute quick routine so far as I really don’t think my soul could cope with anymore, especially since my lovely son who has only really just learnt to laugh is in absolute stitches everytime!

So I have made a start, I am only 3 weeks in and already I am getting irritated by how happy Davina is about exercise but hey ho the privacy of my living room is where I am going to stay… for now!

Anyone have any tips for some lazy, quick ways to a goddess bod? All advice welcome (well apart from stop drinking wine!)

holiday madness

Last weekend we went away for a few days, that was 7 days ago, I think we are just about over it! When did it last take 7 days to get everyone back into sleep routines, get all washing done and finally not feel like I need another holiday to recover from it… but you know what… it’s a mad rush of toddler, baby and husband madness but I wouldn’t change it (ok maybe the three in the bed bit!)

I also don’t know when I became organiser, packer and navigator for our mini trip away. Dan came home from work a little early on Friday for us to leave and miss traffic – he wanders through the door and says “So are we ready? Car packed yea?” when did I become his mother? Ok so I get that I have to pack for OUR children and myself and make sure we have all the holiday essentials… Elsa, Anna, Sven, the emergency dummy and not forgetting the toothbrushes. As it was Dan only had to pack for himself and he forgot his toothbrush!

So the car was obviously magically packed by the fairies and we were off. It took us HOURS to get to West Wales, first there was a loo stop for little miss s, then a shopping stop for Dan, then a food stop for master r, then a side of the road layby wee stop for little miss s, then a side of the road swap the child seats round so that little miss s couldn’t reach (poke) master r and I ended up in the back, the screaming stopped!… then we got lost. Now I mentioned before that I was a navigator – apparently not a good one as mid directions Dan stopped and got out his phone for the satnav, seriously I had the map in my hand giving directions – do all partners do this?! As it was I had a mini wife strop (sooo the best kind, all with hushed swear words so the kids didn’t wake up!) the phone got put away and we did it the old fashioned way… we left at 3pm and got to Newport, West Wales at 9pm = EPIC!

This easy journey was made so much more time consuming and challenging due to the two little munchkins that pretty much make everything more time consuming and challenging… but where is the fun in easy?!

After a day on the beach both kids were totally fresh-aired out and Dan and sat on the sofa in our lovely holiday cottage, drank a beer and watched X-Factor. It got me thinking about the last time we were both on holiday without kids, ok so there was the very tearful and ‘probably a bit to early after birth’ ski trip to Norway here but the last time it was truly just the two of us was our honeymoon, our perfect honeymoon in Canada where we drove, discovered and dreamt up our future together. It made me realise how different our holidays have become…

Pre kids : stress free, relaxed chauffer driven car to the airport
Post kids : aagghhhhh car, stuff, kids, more stuff, frozen soundtrack sing-along

Pre : a night of husband and wife-ness
Post : three in the bed and the little one said ‘get out dad!’

Pre : reading books, listening to music with time to get bored
Post: reading? sitting still? bored?… crab catching, wave jumping, sandcastle building and driving on the beach!

Pre : candlelit late evening romantic meal for two
Post : early evening pizza oven special for 3 ½ followed by beer and X-factor

Pre : fish and chips to watch the sunset on the last night in silence
Post : fish and chips to watch the sunset on the last night, “mum what’s that” “mum can I have that” “mum why is the sun red” “look mum the sun plopped into the sea” “mum the sky’s awake, so I’m awake”

Going on holiday without the munchkins definitely had its upside but if I’m being totally honest, it really wasn’t as much fun – the pure happiness and pride that you get from watching your child overcome a fear of the sea and the look on their dads face when they get covered in sand ‘again’ just before getting in the car is just priceless!

Last week I received an email from an old school friend who has started up her own business as an independent travel agent, as she is independent she can book all the normal tour operators like Thomas Cook, Kuoni, Virgin, etc but can also dynamically package things that are a bit more out of the ordinary if you need that kind of service – now I can see how this could be very useful when the travel cot, buggy, backpack and hair chair just wont fit in the suitcase! I am yet to use the lovely Emma’s service as I’m not sure a friends cottage in West Wales required her help but as soon as we start looking for something a little more adventurous we will be giving her a call – and trust me I thinks she knows what she is on about, I have shamelessly facebook stalked her for a while and some of her beach and sunset pic’s are amazing – they kind of put my Porthcawl sunset a little in the shade…just! So if your thinking of booking up a holiday why not look her up… Infinite Travel

It makes me so excited for all the holidays that we have to come, I am hoping to take little miss s on a cultural trip to the ballet sometime (my big sis is some sort of prima ballerina don’t you know!) and we have a big family trip booked up for next year. It also highlights how organised you have to be once you have kids, the days of one backpack and your passport are gone you now have to either travel with the kitchen sink or go somewhere geared up for what you travel buddies require but I’m not sure I’ll ever find better travel buddies! (well that depends on if I have to map read again.. Dan may be walking!)


when it was just us we were still silly


ahh the days when we could afford to stay here!


family holiday essential, wilma shoes and bucket!


new beach gear, sooo useful!


packing light!

p.s. This is my first sponsored-ish post. If any of you contact Infinite Travel for advice and all round holiday guru-ness please quote ‘everythingketchup’. Muchos Grasias! x