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How I keep my kids entertained in the summer

‘This is my entry into Waltons blogger competition to win a wooden playhouse. If you’d like to enter please visit Twin Mummy and Daddy for the details’.

So the fact is people think for kids to have a lot of fun in the garden it requires money and lots of toys when in fact it does not.  Till a year ago I had no garden toys basically just a paddling pool, and the plastic ride on cars.

So I got creative I so wish I had pictures of this I do but for some reason I can not find them.

I would tape cardboard boxes together flat on the floor and cover with paper.  Giving the kids paint and wearing just a swim suit they I would let them paint,  They would roll around in it making imprints of their bodys on the paper and and have a paint fight.  The kids love doing this unfortunately they use all the paint but the fun they have is amazing!  When/if I find pictures I will add them.  I have however added rainy day ones from when we do it in the house just not as messy or as much space

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So as you can imagine this much mess in the conservatory you can only dream of the mess outside!

Along with messy paint there is mud kids love mud love playing in it making a mess and in general laughing at mum and dads faces when they see the mess.

Unfortunately pictures are old and not very good as they where scanned

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Number 2!!! Also another great thing paddling pools unfortunately ours has burst so needs replacing but this is something all kids love and it cools them down parents tend to moan about the house becoming wet but what the hell kids need to have fun even if it is running in and out of the house wet.  Another cheap and fun thing to do!

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Now my kids love the idea of running through/under water.  I did not want to pay loads of money getting one of them toy sprinklers cue the pound shop.  They had a garden sprinkler that works just as well and only costs £1!

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Then there is cars and pushchairs my kids love nothing more then racing in the garden with their pushchairs.  Fun and uses their energy and knocks them out for the night,  Along with bikes and a sand table if only I had a bigger one that small thing for 5 kids really causes some arguments!  but still a lot of fun!

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And the recent ones we have just got these which the kids love as well trampoline and swing/sea saw.  Great fun and big enough to share!

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And last what my one year old loves to do in the garden simple.

Playing with pop up tents and balls

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So you see money is not needed for having fun in the garden yes it adds games and such things but you can still make your own fun with no or very little money

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In the words of buggys lets get rolling

So in the last 9 years I have had many buggies. Singles and doubles, Tandems and strollers.

But lets be honest there is not perfect buggy because well everyone has different views and likes what one person thinks is amazing and the bees knees is to heavy for someone else.

My first buggy was good at the time remember this was like 9/10 years ago!

A pushchair which you fitted the car seat on top of.  So here is a picture (not my picture) of the buggy I had my first ever buggy.

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So the thing about this buggy was it was great light you could remove the car seat and keep baby asleep in it.

Downsize it was still the same width when folded and it was still quite big.  You could easily see baby but getting the car seat on and off when baby was heavier was harder.  It was in the end just a simple buggy or it would be now anyway with the latest gadgets on buggies these days.

My next buggy was one similar to this one. It cost me like £30 new it was simple light weight and umbrella fold great!  Bur boring I got bored quickly of it.  By the way we are still on my first child! And he was maybe 1 by this time lol  So this is a picture its similar to this.

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Cue me buying yet another one for my son.  I got this one at a car-boot sale for £15 I believed it looked great couldn’t wait to test drive it as I had carried my son there and got him in it immediately! So it felt great to push but was a pain to fold and after so long again I got bored and wanted something else.  By that time my son was to old for one anyway.

So here it is probably the best buggy I had with my son if only it folded easier! (picture not mine)

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So cue the twin now you can guess how hyper I was in 2010 to buy a buggy from the fantastic new ones there was and to be buying one for twins!

So my first buggy was a obaby twin side by side simple umbrella fold Looked great and was light weight felt great to push. Reclined seats and specious and 2 shopping baskets amazing! Downside the handle bars are not suitable for short people! If your as short as me 5ft then your arms hurt from having to stretch so far and when your walking up the hill its like your doing exercises which ends up putting your in pain!  So after 3 months bye bye my first twin buggy.

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During the first 2 months I also bought a single buggy so it was easier getting on and off buses  I would carry one baby in the sling and one would be in the buggy.  This buggy is great if you have twins and don’t want to push them both and carry one.  Very light weight and means that when you get to someone’s house you can remove the car seat and put the twin your carrying in the buggy and both babies are safe.

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My second buggy was an Icandy this buggy was amazing you could have carseats carrycots or seats.  You could have one car seat one carry cot.  The height of the handle was adjustable so my partner liked that aspect most where to small and meant him bending over to push it!  Truly an amazing buggy with a lot of features. You could also use it as a single.  It has tabs one yellow one blue so you knew which seat when in which place.

Downside don’t get pregnant or back problems!! This buggy is heavy I had to give it up after just 6 months because I was pregnant and it was just to heavy to push My partner was no impressed after I spent £500 on a second hand one!

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So my next buggy was this low handles and light weight easy to push.

Downside not much space for babies and to big side to side awkward getting on and off buses and don’t even think about if someone else is on the path with a buggy its like buggy wars because of how wide it is but the plus side is the bar is not just 2 handles at either side there is just one long handle! yay

Next up hauck duo put it this way no test drive was done….. Why? because it fits through most standard doorways apparently? what a load of rubbish I put it together couldn’t get it out my living room so had to fold it into the hall wouldn’t go through my front door outside would not fit through my gate so immediately asked for a refund or alternative because clearly it was not small

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So the next one unfortunately I can not remember brand or have a picture.

It fit through the door just and was very light and small great for getting on and off buses This was almost the last double buggy I had if it had not been so hard getting around shops I would have kept it.

Cue the worse ever buggy to get never even look at one seriously! It was a double buggy but like a single small to be used for a baby from around 2 months and one from around 8 months.

Smallest in the back biggest in the front.  Back seat reclined from seat did not.  Weight of it was like 4 buggies seriously the handles way to high for someone 5ft and not far enough out for my partner to push because he kicked the buggy when he pushed it constantly worse buggy ever.  Forgot about the part where when its laid down the seat actually comes further out then the handles!

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Almost forgot about this one. Quinny speedi not a bad buggy but top long and heavy again.

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And last amazingly my last child who is now one bless her has only ever had one buggy this one

So here is a mother care one a old versions.

Like the icandy but cheaper and not as equipped.  You can have seat unit or car seat.

Does not weigh to much and handles adjust.  Downside sometimes going down/up curbs the front wheel turns and the buggy tips forward there is an art to doing it so it does not do this,  Which after a year of having it I have mastered.

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So in my honest opinion my favourite buggy was the icandy expensive but fun and stylish great as long as you do not have a weak back or are pregnant.

The worst would have to be the babzee twin one in front of another its like a mountain and weight the same as about 4 buggies.  test drive as many buggies as you can there is no law in your putting your buggy up and pushing it round the house it it does not feel right or there is a slight thing you don’t like in the house pushing it send it back!! It will be worse outside!

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Dads are just as amazing and important to.

So fathers day is coming up and I want to do something big and different for my dad this year.  You see to me he is the best dad the most amazing dad anyone can have.  Now I know everyone says that but he is and reading this you will see why.

My dad deserves to be rewarded I am one of 7 kids all his.  For the last 18 years he has gone without many things for his kids.  He has slept in the living room on a sofa and is still to this day looking after my little brother who has some disabilities.

You see my dad has always put us first, He would when we lived with our mum after they split pick us all up and drive us to school and my mum to work then take us all home again.  He at one point ended up sleeping in his car for some time without a home but still came to us every day to take us where we needed to go.

He would watch us while my mum went on holiday abroad take care of us.  He carried our blankets and pillows back and forth from our house to his when we had to stay there and he did not have any.

We eventually moved in with him full time.  And none of his kids made life easy most parents think one of their children coming home once a week drunk is hard and tough.  My dad had 5 of us to watch.  Needless to say most of us drank every day, drugs, got pregnant, crime etc I however was to shy and push away from it because I saw my brothers and sisters do it I seen the consequences I ran away from that life.  I spent most of my time with my nana or in my room.

I do not blame my dad for how things went he did what he could with very little money 7 kids and grand kids and not much support from family or anyone else.  He was an amazing dad he made sure we never went without.  He would not eat for days just so we could and a lot of it just got thrown back in his face.

Now I am 27 I have 5 kids myself and realise how hard it must have been for him to watch some of his kids spiral off the path like that yes things are sorted now obviously not perfect but who is?  But I have my partner and only 5 kids and I can only image the hurt I would be in if I was ever in the same situation as him.

He has not had a holiday in over 15years hes not really had time off been a dad even now at 60 yes 60 hes looking after my little brother 21 who has learning disabilities and can not look after himself.  He suffers a lot of medical problems yet even to this dad he puts us first.  He does not eat to make sure my brother has his food if money is low.  He ensures my brother has the best birthday and Christmas he can.  And he still does anything for us and yet still gets taken for granted.  Asked to take my brothers/sisters shopping for food.  To peoples houses anywhere and he is like a personal taxi.  Me however I realise that its time for him to be able to have time to himself and enjoy the time he has left.

He has never met anyone famous before never been to a concert or anything like it.

So this year for fathers day I am spending £150 on him for  2 tickets to see Frankie Valli and the four seasons he deserves a lot more then this he deserves a holiday somewhere away from family drama but right now this is all I can afford.

You see it may take time but everyone is rewarded at some point somehow in their life for their hard work.  I hate to see so many posts and newspaper articles blogs and similar talking about another dad who up and left while his girlfriend was pregnant or just had a baby and how amazing the mum is doing.  People need to realise that sometimes dads get left with the kids and without support but still do everything they can to make sure their kids get everything they need.

So you see I write this post to say that to me my dad is amazing and the best there is I believe there are other dads out there who are struggling alone with kids without a mothers help they need to be recognised and praised because lets face it they do the job just as well as mums do.

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100 Happy Days Day Three

Day three 31/05/2015

An amazing Sunday.  Smiling a lot for a change.

I wrote a letter to my future self making a note of the things that I want to change and achieve in the future.

It made me realise a lot about my life I have over looked in the past few years.

A full day without any bumps or scrapes as well for any of the kids!

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Letter to my future self it is the start of a new me

So after seeing someone post this on twitter and their blog I realised what a great idea it was.

I do often thinking about the negatives in life and don’t take time to really see what it going on around me or enjoy it.  I am always that busy and on the go that I have not accomplished anywhere near what I wanted to,

Life has certainly not planned out the way I wanted it to and I have just been going with it kind of floating on top of the river it taking me rather then me choosing where to go.

Here is my letter if you can not read it I apologise its been years since I have hand written!

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As this is my first time I won’t have done great I am however happy with it.

Just writing it made me realise a lot of stuff, I do feel lost and unsettled I have never really felt settled and at home since a very young age 7/8 years old This is something I struggle with.  I feel like I have lost control of everything in my life at the minute like I have been floating on top of water letting it take me any direction rather then me choosing the path to take I do not any longer feel like I have time to myself or time to enjoy family life.

There is a lot I would like to do and accomplish but I am starting small.  I would love to be able to take time out for myself I mean myself not every 5 minutes checking on kids or work.  And I want to be able to spend more time with the kids and watch them grow.  My main mission is to get time alone with my partner maybe a night or a weekend we have not had this in over 4 years! Something I miss.  I would love to be able to start writing more on the blog I enjoy doing it but often don’t find time and it does not get visited in weeks.

My biggest hurdle will be letting go of the past it often comes back up and reminds me of things which makes me down and that is when I close off and just go with it rather then choosing my path.  I know it will be hard to stop thinking about the past but if I can not then I need to find a way to deal with it maybe writing a blog?  Not 100% sure yet though.

Most important is remembering that kiss every bedtime saying goodnight to all my kids I would hate them to fall asleep without me giving them a kiss goodnight.

So I am intrigued to see what has changed in 2/3 months from now.  Why not write a letter to your future self?

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100 Happy Days Day 2

So here is day 2 of 100 happy days 30/05/2015

Now this might actually sound well weird.

But yesterday my positive would have to be I did no work.  Yes I went on my business twitter and facebook accounts and blog but I did no work what so ever on my shop.

Amazing that is the first day in 7 months I did not edit add a product or update my store!

Meant I spent the whole day with the kids.  Something I look forward to doing a lot more often.

Downside I have catching up to do but at least school starts tomorrow so hey enough peace and quiet to do it 🙂

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100 Happy Days Here Is My Attempt

So here it goes.  I though I would try this 50/100/500 etc happy day challenge.

So what is the challenge all about and how do I know about it?

Several of my friends on facebook have been doing a post a day with it.  Only very small ones maybe 15-30 words and a picture.  I asked what it was all about and it is apparently a great way for people who have a hard time thinking positive to become more positive.

How? Simple it really is every day there is something positive that happens even something small that makes you smile is a positive.  So why does everyone seem to be posting negatives over and over every day about their life?  Because they are not looking for the positives.

So heres my 100 Happy days I will write one each day for the day before.  I will try make them a bit longer and more in depth.

Day One 29th May 2015

Yesterday I realised something, I have the most amazing helpful children.

Even my 1 year old helped tidy yesterday bless her.

We were cleaning upstairs in the bedrooms and moving clothes from wardrobe to draws.  My 1 Year old was putting the dirty (and clean) clothes in the wash basket.  Just shows how much my children learn from watching me.

My other 3 children aged 3 and 4(twins) Where helping me by bringing their clothes out of their wardrobe to me at the draws.

Truly amazing and made me smile seeing how happy children are to help clean and tidy at such a young age and do not know its more like a chore then fun.

Unlike my 9 year old who well does not cooperate as easily now he has realised what he has doing lol

My perfect little family 🙂