OK, so I am discounting the actual first week. I mean did anyone do anything? It was so blooming hot that just a short walk to the shops was exhausting. I spent most of the week in the bare minimum of clothing, refusing to go anywhere. The boys weren’t up for it either – we were just three hot sweaty messes!
The second week though, well things picked up. The temperature dropped over the weekend and it led to a rather pleasant week. Although I am writing this on Friday and it’s been about 30 degrees again! Still, I can’t complain – it’s way better than a rainy six weeks!
So, the second week. We had fun – lots of fun!
On Monday we woke up and didn’t actually have any plans. Initially I was thinking of heading over to the White Water Rafting Centre because it’s free, but then Zach asked if we could go to the Gunpowder Mills and since he was showing such enthusiasm, I said yes. Sadly, it wasn’t free and cost us £19 to get in, but we took a packed lunch with us to soften the blow a bit.
Typically, as we got into the car, it started raining a bit, and in fact, for the first ten or so minutes that we were there, it was a bit showery. It soon disappeared though and the boys had loads of fun. They did some experiments, like checking out UV pens and seeing the writing revealed, messing about with water beads, trying to hold bubbles, and making slime.
We then had a stroll around the grounds whilst we tried to get Oscar to sleep (it took a spot of Mr Tumble, don’t judge!), and then we had our lunch whilst he slept. Unfortunately, the nap was short lived when we popped into the rocket making room because the lady was rather loud and he woke up.
We saw the science shows (Oscar learnt a new word – fire!), rode on the land train (which is a tractor), fired rockets and made t-shirts.
They had such a fun day, it was really wonderful to see them enjoying it together.
On Tuesday, we had arranged to meet my Sister over at where my Dad is buried. It’s a big woodland burial site and because it was recently the anniversary of his death, we wanted to pop over and let the boys have a roam around in the forest. We popped to see Dad and put some flowers down. Zach was the cutest because when he got to the plot, he bent down, kissed the wooden plaque and said, I love you Grandad. I think as time goes on, he becomes much sadder about the fact that he never got to meet him and it really comes out when he does stuff like that.
Once we had spent some time there, we headed into the forest areas and ended up on quite an epic walk through some very muddy puddly areas. The boys absolutely loved it, with Zach having a test stick to see how deep the puddles were and whether Oscar was able to go through them with his slightly smaller wellies or not. There was a lot of picking up mud, a few tumbles by a topsy turvy toddler, and a lot of me on edge waiting for him to fall into the biggest puddles (thankfully he didn’t).
Once we had finally got back to the beginning, we said our goodbyes to my Sister and headed home. The afternoon was spent chilling out with a quick pop to the shops thrown in.
On Wednesday, we had plans to go to Paradise Wildlife Park. It’s not far away from us and so I had bought season tickets for me and Zach (Oscar still goes free), meaning we can just go whenever we want to. There is so much to do there that it makes sense to just have access to it. This time, we dragged my Mum along and it was her first ever trip. She came to our house and I drove us all up there.
Once we were all in (we had to go in separate queues because she hadn’t pre-booked), we headed straight to the dinosaurs. When we previously went, it literally poured down with rain all day, and so it was lovely to be able to wander round without worrying about how wet we were getting. Oscar absolutely loved it this time because he was on foot instead of being in the buggy under a rain cover, and Zach was still super impressed.
After we had gone round, we went on the dino train and then headed into the animal part so Mum could see some of the animals. Zach immediately gets bored at this point, his love of animals not really there! But we managed to see some lions and tigers before we gave into his constant requests for lunch. Again, we had taken a packed lunch with us so we sat and ate at a bench in the shade.
Once we had finished, it was time to get Oscar to sleep so I took him for a wander and once again, Mr Tumble got him to sleep. If only Mr Tumble could breastfeed him at night, I might actually get a night off!
Once he was fast asleep and snoozing, we let Zach have some fun on the big slides. And because I initially had to go up with him to assist him in his nervous state, I had a quick go too!
Whilst we were in that section, I bumped into two of my old school friends which was lovely! We had a little catch up and met each others children and then headed in different directions. Them to the animals and us to the ice cream stand. At which point Oscar woke up and joined us for his first ever all to himself ice cream!
After that, we headed to the big play area where they had a ton of fun and then our final stop was to the splash park. It’s basically a giant concrete paddling pool and they had so much fun. I was in there with Oscar, dress tied up to the tops of my legs and I got absolutely drenched! They were both going down the little slide into the water, Oscar was crawling around on all fours through the water, jumping up and down, sitting and splashing, whilst Zach ran around chasing other kids! And then I looked at Oscar, realised he was shivering a lot and so got out and got him dry and dressed and then did the same with Zach. We left way later than we were supposed to, and unknowingly there had been several accidents on the roads surrounding our journey and it took an hour to get home when it should take 15 minutes. The other half even beat us home from work and was prepping dinner when we finally arrived!
Thursday we had the boys cousins coming over and Zach badgered me all morning asking when they were arriving. We popped out to get Oscar to sleep, although he only slept for half an hour and woke up just before they arrived. They all had so much fun playing together in the garden, upstairs and in the front room, whilst their Mum and I drank tea and had a good catch up. Then they all headed home at about 3pm and the boys spent the rest of the afternoon on and off the tablet/iPad, being generally exhausted and Oscar constantly asking for boobah until the other half came home and we had dinner.
And then Friday, we had a day at home. It was scorching outside, so other than a brief trip to the shops, timed perfectly for Oscar’s nap, we chilled out in the garden and in the house. It was a bit of a tough day, Oscar didn’t nap properly again so he was grouchy, everyone was hot and Zach was on one a bit with his attitude. So I did what any normal mum would and ate cake whilst they busied themselves outside with the play-doh!
It really has been a mostly fun week and I am so glad that we finally got out and about. I now have the other half home for two weeks and a little trip to the seaside planned too. Hopefully lots more fun to write about!