Well that went fast, didn’t it?! Even with an extra ‘leap’ day, February has felt shorter than ever. Although that could be because we seem to have been stuck in a loop of work, eat, sleep, repeat. It’s been grey, miserable and if it’s not raining, it’s threatening to which has made for a pretty dull month. BUT as I write this, the sun is finally shining, it’s March and it feels like we might just be turning a corner into Spring, at last! (Edit: by the time I finished this, it’s been raining incessantly for days!). Don’t worry though, despite the wind and the rain, we’ve still managed to get out and about, even if it has mostly been in weatherproofs – here’s what our February looked like.
This month we finally made it up to London to visit my brother and his girlfriend. We’d planned to go back in November but thanks to a week long hospital stay with the littlest (including a three day stint on the High Dependency Unit) that all got forgotten. The kids are finally getting to a stage where they’re happy in the car for longer periods, although it’s all very dependent on toilet stops and the mood swings of a certain little lady – unlike the biggest one who thoroughly enjoyed three and a half hours of solid YouTube. Highlight of his weekend, getting to do that up and back! Either way, the toddler gods aligned and we made it there in record time… now for a weekend of exploring!
What a weekend – we walked along the river and strolled around Battersea Power Station, we visited Vauxhall City Farm (because what else would country kids want to see?!) before braving the rain and taking a river cruise along the Thames to see the sights. We took boats, trains and buses; all of which were new to the kids and caused all sorts of fun, especially when they couldn’t work out why the buses ‘kept stopping’ – yeah… why is that?! In the past we’ve tended to stick to my brother’s local area so daytripping in to Central London was quite the adventure and something that I’d usually be quite nervous of but you know what? It was absolutely fine, the kids were a delight (albeit exhausted afterward) and I forget how child friendly cities can be if you give them a chance.
Before we came home we managed one big, exciting thing. A night out, just Dave and I, at the theatre. We were given tickets to Come From Away by my brother along with the promise of a night’s babysitting so we took them up on it. Dinner out, a musical and some quality time just us two – I hadn’t realised how much we needed it, it was like a little step back in time! Despite being hugely tempted to run off and never return, we got back to sleeping kids and reassurances that they’d been positively angelic… thank goodness, maybe we can make a regular thing of it! A horrific drive back through amber weather warnings meant by the time we got home, we pretty much swore to never leave Devon again but we’ll have forgotten that soon!
The next weekend, we took advantage of it being the end of half term and headed over to Monkey World for the day. It’s somewhere that neither of us have ever been but Dave saw an offer that meant the kids were only £1 providing we took some jelly crystals with us… random! We set off for a day out with low expectations but had a great time going around. It’s nice to feel that we’re finally in a position to be able to take the children for days out and them both get something from it, even if the highlight is almost always the park.
What else? We’ve explored the Wetlands with friends, visited the Jurassic Centre in Seaton and travelled back in time and hung out at every park and beach going; regardless of the weather. We’ve made a real effort to split our weekends in to chunks of time so that we have time to do all the jobs and chores at home – including finally getting out in the garden – as well as give us all some quality family time together. We’ve had sniffs and sneezes (mostly me) but nothing that’s really stopped us, even if it has meant that we’re in full waterproofs for most of the month.
February saw us have to tackle some childcare challenges which have seen Dave and I alternating days off of work to cover and as hard as it’s been, it’s also been nice to see him have that time with the children. I always find taking time out of work harder due to already being on a limited number of days, which has meant a lot of home working and juggling in order to get things done. With that in mind, I’ve made some changes at work to start improving things there and help get that balance right – it’s so hard for me to let go in places but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a good thing. Last month I swore that we’d book a holiday and we haven’t yet, something that’s caused many a battle between us… and now we’ve got this Coronavirus to deal with so it’s looking increasingly unlikely. Let’s hope for a hot summer at home instead then, shall we?
Meanwhile nursery and pre-school have both gone well for the kids and they continue to blossom in their respective spaces. I spend forever worrying about how the transition to school will go, not because he’s not happy there but because he’s made some lovely friends at nursery and I’ll be sad for him to not have his little ‘pack’ to move on to school with. Still, his time at pre-school has meant that the transition to school should be pretty smooth for him… atleast that’s the plan! At the same time his sister is fast coming up behind him with an explosion of language and general growing up. Honestly, where did my baby go? She’s now at the point of being able to converse with her and her cheeky personality is definitely shining through. She loves anything reckless or daring and will happily attempt to drown herself during her swimming lessons. She’s constantly pushing her brother to be more outgoing and watching them together always makes me grin. Even if they do still keep me up half the night.
So what’s next for us in March? March should see a bit of a return to normal for us with childcare and hopefully we’ll continue to work on getting that elusive balance. We’ve no firm plans but the boys are pushing for a Legoland trip so who knows, maybe we’ll manage to squeeze one in. I’ve got a spa day planned which I’m ridiculously excitedly counting down toward plus I’m hoping for a bit of R&R for Mothering Sunday – Dave, I hope you’re reading this! At home we’re aiming to get out in the garden more, plant up the back flower bed and start solving the moss issue that’s overtaken our back lawn. I’d still love to look at what we can do with the house but it’s probably a month to pick my battles and instead focus on getting some early nights and a few more books read. And that’s really it… a quiet one but probably what we need right now. The months feel like they’re flying by and I want to stop and just soak it all up, preferably with a large bar of chocolate in hand.
Until next month… x