Family Stuff · Ramblings

Summer Holidays

So the summer holidays have started and I find myself in a quandary.  I have been so looking forward to a bit of time free from the tyranny of the school run and with plenty of time to faff about with the kids and dogs.  So far it has not worked that way.  I’ve been plagued with the worst hay fever I have had for years.  It’s been too hot to take the dogs out in the middle of the day and we’ve already worked our way through one bottle of sunblock, in Northern Ireland!  It’s unheard of!

Summer Holidays having fun
Holiday peeps

Sunny summer days…

The unusually warm weather means that really (despite my moaning!) we have had quite a nice first week at home.  We’ve had friends round to play; we got out to Murlough and Tollymore; we have made excellent dream catchers and generally faffed around a lot.  I was hoping to pack a bit more in but I don’t know whether I am just setting myself up to fail by planning so much or whether I need to get my finger out a bit more.

I haven’t signed my kids up for any summer activities yet, despite knowing that it would give me some well needed time to myself.  Last year the boy child attended a few week long activities and got fed up and upset after the first day or so.  He’s not great in big groups and needs a lot of 1:1 attention which he’s not necessarily going to get at a summer scheme.  We’re currently going through the process of assessment to try to understand his issues but until there is a diagnosis we aren’t eligible for any extra help in these things.  I’m hoping that all my planning will make life a bit less stressful and a bit more fun for us all.  My default mode is as something of a disorganised mess so planning does not come naturally.  I’ve been a mother for seven years now and it’s only starting to get a little easier!

A Summer of Craft

I had a good bit of sewing lined up for the summer but somehow my sewing room has been taken over by my tiny humans.  Their bedrooms upstairs have the feel of saunas with the exceptionally hot weather we’ve been having so they are currently camping out on mattresses on the floor of the sewing room.  Downstairs is cool and comfortable and a much better place to sleep but now all my stuff has been shoved into a corner to make room for the little people.  I will still get to do some sewing but it will now require a bit more planning!

Instead of spending a lot of time on my own selfish sewing I have decided to get stuck into crafting with the kids.  We have come up with a few crafty projects to work through and the first of these was to make our own dream catchers.  My own effort hasn’t been finished as most of my time was spent helping the kids but we had a lot of fun and they have been left with lovely things to make their transition into sleeping in a strange new room a little bit easier.

Summer Holidays Crafts - dream catchers
Kiddie made dreamcatchers

I also really hope that I will be able to start to teach my kids a little machine sewing on this awesome wee thing that I was given.  It’s a mini sewing machine but very serviceable.  My favourite feature is a very handy safety guard to save tiny fingers from being sewn through.  Having sewn through one of my own fingers I think this safety guard is essential for little hands and I’ll be a lot happier teaching the little ones to sew knowing that their fingers are kept well away from the needle!  so even if all we do is make some little envelope cushion covers or tote bags I think we will all be happy!

A Summer of (frugal) Adventure

The view from Dundrum Caste

I spent a couple of days before the summer started trying to wrack my brain for places to go and things to do so I now have a spreadsheet to check up on for ideas. Unfortunately everything costs so much money so our days out are going to be limited to what I can do on my tiny budget.  Thankfully we live in a flippin’ beautiful part of the world so  I am mostly planning to do a bit of free-ranging with the kids.  We are going to see where we can explore close to home!  There are some cool places nearby that I haven’t visited for years so we will pack up a picnic and heading out for days of fun away from loads of people and things that will cost loads of money. The Mourne Mountains, Tollymore and Castlewellan forest parks will all feature highly as will Dundrum Castle and probably some of the nature reserves that my husband manages. Hopefully I can keep the smaller people too busy to think about spending time in front of screens!

A Summer of Calm!

I really hope that we can spend this summer having fun together and we make it to September without killing each other.  All this time together will drive us potty if we don’t make some time to chill out too.  I’ve started using Headspace, both on my own and with the kids, to try to teach us all how to be a little more mindful.  We’ve been using it daily for the last week or so, mostly before bedtime so I’ll report back in a while and let you know how we get on with it!  So far it definitely helps to get everyone a bit more chilled out before bedtime; even though the little ones hearts aren’t necessarily in the practice!

So we have another seven weeks to survive but I think it’s doable, just about!  Are you planning anything fun for the summer holidays?  Use the comments and let me know what your plans are.  All ideas will be considered here!


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