Part of the reason for starting our blog at Kids, Cuddles and Muddy Puddles was to keep a record of some of the things we do that make us happy. Life is just flying past at the moment, and I don't really keep a diary which is a shame as my memory is terrible, and I honestly forget some of the wonderful things we get up to. Some days I'm so busy, I forget to just stop for a moment to take it all in!
I have photos from most days out or special events but they tend to live in my phone or some virtual space somewhere! I need to get my act together and print them out but there's not enough time in the world to sort through and print them all! So starting an online diary of sorts seemed like a great way to remember the fun family things we get up to.
I wrote about our Bank Holiday weekend in our post, Easter holidays, part 1: Keeping it local! So, here are the highlights from the first week of our Easter holidays. Hubby was off work for the first week too so we tried to pack as much in as possible, staying close to home because of the new puppy!
TuesdayHubby got on with some DIY and Dottie had her injections in the afternoon meaning we could take her out in public a week from then. We spent the rest of the day at home, and the kids had fun with the playdough. Then we had the in-laws over for a takeaway in the evening! A nice relaxed day after a busy Bank Holiday.
It's so beautiful up there, and the view out across Tittesworth Reservoir is stunning. Hubby took me there in the snow once when we first got together 13 years ago...talk about dicing with death! At 2 and 4 years old though, the view was lost on the children!
They were a bit annoyed at getting wet and muddy so early in the day, but we like to take them on character-building walks occasionally as you may have read about in our post about a trip to Rudyard Lake! A bit of fresh air did us all good though and somehow, no one fell over!
As a reward for perseverance, we took them to soft play to warm up and play while Mummy and Daddy had breakfast. This was my bribe to get Hubby to agree to take them... he's not a fan of soft play! I think I won him over though because he said it was the best cooked breakfast in town...and he's tried most of them! High praise indeed! Well done Leaps and Bounds in Leek!
We popped home to see to Dottie and the kids played with her until we decided last minute to go swimming! It was 4pm by the time we arrived at Dimensions, Stoke-on-Trent but that didn't bother the kids. With armbands on, they were ready to take on the splash pool, rapids and dragon water slide! I was ready to take on the hot tub personally, but that had to wait until daredevil Rosie had had her fix of the water flume! I've never known such a fearless 2 year old, she surprises me every day!
I think this was my favourite family day of the holidays! We were all shattered on the way home so KFC provided tea and the kids were put straight to bed when we got in. We weren't too far behind ourselves!
We woke up to the first day of sunshine we'd had since last week, so decided to put our Merlin passes to good use before they run out in a few weeks. We set off for Alton Towers, but as we soon found out, so did everyone else! After queuing a while to get into the carpark, we finally made it in and headed to CBeebies Land!
Rosie was so happy to finally be 90cm, so she could finally enjoy all the same rides as her brother instead of watching. What a nice way for her to end our year of Merlin fun! Hopefully we'll fit in one more visit before they run out. After a few hours in the sunshine, playing in the arcades, eating doughnuts, and queuing for rides, we came back home to our waiting pup and played in the garden until bedtime.
The great thing about having the passes is that we don't feel bad for only spending 3 hours or so out, or skipping rides because of queues, because we can go back any time to visit the other attractions. This is perfect while the puppy is so young too, meaning she's not alone for too long.
FridayFriday was a chilled out day after a few days of fun. We took Dottie to the local pet shop to get her kitted out for her first walk. She was treated to a harness, lead and little jumper as it was still quite wet and cold.
We spent the rest of the day in the garden playing with the puppy, testing out her harness and practising on the lead. Hubby painted the shed and mowed the lawn, and just generally pottered about doing jobs!
SaturdayHubby was out for the day working on a landscaping job for family, so I took the kids to Hanley Library to change their books. Since having kids, I've rediscovered the library... it's a fab, free place to take the children. They love choosing books and going to the events that they put on. Read our post on the kids' top 5 favourite picks for April to hear about the kind of books they love.
We popped into the supermarket for a cheap and cheerful lunch and picked up a couple of gingerbread biscuits for later. The children enjoyed them back at home with a few episodes of their favourite programme at the moment... Waffle the Wonder Dog, and I caught up on some washing! There's always so much more when Stanley is off school and the Hubby is at home!
SundayWith Hubby working again, we went to one of our favourite local places, Jackson’s Nurseries and Tea Room in Bagnall. We had tea and homemade cake in the tea rooms and a play in their little park, taking advantage of the rare glimpse of sunshine!
The peacocks were in full display today too! It was nice to break up the day for a couple of hours and let Stanley and Rosie run off some energy!
So our week off together was lovely! A great mix of adventure, excitement and downtime, and all on our doorstep. Hubby was off to his usual job the next day, so our second week of the holidays would be just the three of us! You can read about what we got up to in our post, Easter holidays, part 3: Just the three of us.
Finding joy in the little things: Ah, so many little things brought me joy this week! But most of all, it was having Hubby home with us for a whole week! The children adore their dad and love spending proper, quality time with him.
The other highlight was seeing how much fun the children had with new experiences like the water slide. I admired their bravery and stamina... I lost count of how many times I was dragged up the steps to the top!
The kids really did find joy in the little things this week. This time last year we were in Majorca, but this week has proven that staying local can be just as much fun and just as rewarding.
What are your favourite local places to visit? Do you have any hidden gems? I'd love to hear about them!
I'm linking up this post with these fabulous blogs, because #itsok not to be the "perfect" parent! Your children don't need to "have it all" because having you is enough.