Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Home sweet home.

November 30, 2012

Just walked in the doors from our holiday. Snort was unwell for the first half, but the second half was awesome! How depressing to have to wait a year to do it again!

I, of course, did no sewing on The Great Stocking Project 2012. I did buy most of what I need before we left, except I forgot about stocking linings, and come hell or high water the kids will have stockings this year.

All of that being said, I’m sure there are more posts coming, but we are busy unpacking bikes, wet swimming stuff, muddy boots, and a pair of fleece pajamas that may or may not be covered in poop.

Talk to you all soon, my lovelies.

Off to swim, bike ride, swim, hike, swim.

November 26, 2012

Just a quick note to say we are going on holiday this week. I feel okay telling the Internet that as TMD’s dad will be in the house. He’s our watchdog.

But I’m not sure if we will have Internet access or phone reception.

The one thing I AM sure of is that I hope the weather isn’t as absolutely shit as it has been this past week, since we will be outdoors most of the time. Bought the kids rainsuits, but it’d still be nicer to have sun!

Embracing the holiday spirit.

November 30, 2011

No, I don’t mean ‘holiday’ as in trees covered with tinsel, I mean it as in ‘vacation.’ A time away from your normal life, where things somehow feel much more decadent. Chances are your whole immediate family are with you – no one has to work. Your two year old daughter wakes up at 5:30, comes into your bed where you have – ohmyamazinggod – tv in bed. She snuggles in under the blankets and learns about the glory of a good duvet and some tv. Your son feeds ducks out the patio door. And squirrels.

This place is so good because it’s clutter free, the days are yours to do with as you will, and it’s The Awesome. I suspect the level of awesome directly corresponds with the level of Suck when you return home, particularly for those of you in the workforce.

Well, screw it, I say. I don’t want our holiday to end. And to that extent, I declare every day Holiday Day. Because, let’s be objective about this, why shouldn’t it be? I no longer work. I have no set timetable to keep to, especially now that naps are pretty much a thing of the past. THE WORLD IS MY MOTHERFLIPPING OYSTER.

Yes, I am changing nappies time two (sigh, maybe a year from now there will be no more nappies….at least on these kids), layering myself and said children up like we are about to embark on an arctic hike every time we leave the house, and toiling with remembering vitamins and teeth brushing. But, hey, we had to do those things on holiday, too.

Living the spirit of the holiday means just relaxing more. Because, yes, I DID just order Domino’s at 3:30 pm on a Tuesday. Because, yes, we CAN drive forty minutes to go check out a semi-local museum that happens to be free. (Free things accelerate the holiday experience, which is odd as most holidays are not free.) Because, shitfire, if we want to stay in pajamas till ten and brush our teeth after lunch WE CAN.

None of this is new to any of you, I bet. But I sometimes feel like stressy urge to have everything figured out, amazing days planned, morning routines done by 9 am. This holiday stuff means I have worn fleece trousers every second this week that I have not been in public. It also means we have watched the twenty minute Corduroy movie seventeen times today, and no tv at all yesterday (but lots and lots of Christmas music!). And it’s all okay.

I can enjoy life because at this point I am lucky enough to not be a slave to work schedule, and PLUS I am hanging out with two year olds so it is now my job to do all the fun shit I want to do which might be seen as slightly creepy if I did it without children present.


I’ll have to stop now. Our pizza will be here soon.

YUM. Life is delicious.

First family holiday, just us!

November 29, 2010

You all know we went away for a week, but did you know it was our first family vacation? Sure, we’ve gone on transatlantic flights – but that was to visit my family. We’ve also gone and stayed with TMD’s family.

As far as holidays with just our little family go, this was IT! We went pseudo-camping (think electricity, running water, full working kitchen in a little cabin, mixed with longish walks through SNOW to get anywhere) about two hours north of where we live.

I picked this place because of the indoor Subtropical Swimming Paradise. I love me some swimming pools, and this country is sadly lacking in pools in hotels and things. Seriously. And basically no outdoor pools, at least when compared to Country A.

I can firmly recommend the Subtropical Swimming Paradise for Thanksgiving week (a new family tradition, perhaps!). It was mostly families with babies and toddlers (no Thanksgiving here in Country B), so no big kids going apeshit splashing….ha ha, big kids. Hope you enjoyed being in school while we went on the water rapids, waterslides, wave pool, and toddler pools!

I liked this place because it has activities from baby age through to kids, teens, and adults. Lots of progression for future trips, even though I hope Snort & Coconut just want to stay in the pool area the whole time.

Things I want to remember:

At one meal, Coconut finished first and was roaming around. Every now and then she would come by me, and I’d hand her a tiny piece of food. Then I heard raucous giggling, from two kids. She was stood looking up at Snort, who was still at the table, and he was putting food in her mouth!


In the toddler area, there was one pool for very little ones, and one pool for slightly bigger little ones. That pool had two waterslides, and Coconut was determined. She kept climbing out of the toddler pool and marching over the the big pool, trying to climb up the slide.

One morning we were there before anyone else, so I told TMD to just take her on the smallest slide before we got caught by the Age Police. TMD climbed up to the top, set Coco down, and then Coco essentially came down the slide on her back, by herself. The look on her face as she whizzed by me was extraordinary. I have NEVER seen her look so happy, so joyous!


In other swimming related new, Snort managed to fall and his entire body was underwater, despite the lifejackets they both wore. I guess lifejackets are pretty fucking useless in eight inches of water when you are flat on your back, but whatevs.

It was like time froze, and a lady nearby scooped him out while I was reaching for him. He just blinked, rubbed his eyes, and grinned before toddling back off to the water fountains he loved splashing in. Water baby!


We were lucky enough to have the best fucking cabin in the world, considering it was the cheapest one – seriously a few steps below economy.  We had to bring our own toilet paper, people.

But luckily the people who own the fake camping place understand the families deserve some good times. Our cabin was the closest to – you guessed it – the Subtropical Swimming Paradise – and also situated right on a lake. So we had plenty of little visitors.

Namely, ducks….and consequently Coconut learned the word ‘duck!’ which she was prone to enthusiastically yell, 700 times in a row, every time the ducks appeared. There was also plenty of quacking….from her, and him. And the ducks, I suppose.

Both were a bit shocked by the sheer size of geese, but Snort was particularly amazed by squirrels. His whole face lit up and he couldn’t take his eyes off this little ballsy squirrel that hung out with the ducks. TMD bought duck food, and tried to open the patio door to throw some out to convince him to stay around for Snort’s sake, but the fucking squirrel ran at TMD, much to her horror, and tried to push past her into the house.

He got no food that morning.


We also took the babies to their first fireworks! It was lovely, really. Everything was Christmas themed, so lights everywhere, music playing, etc. The fireworks were over the lake.

Due to some finangling mistakes with our borrowed double stroller and common sense, we had to babywear them to the fireworks. TMD was horrified because, as you all know, I’ve been in a pretty bad relapse (week four as we speak). But I really didn’t want them to miss the fireworks, so we popped on a baby each and walked down to the big lake.

Coconut was speechless, which is pretty rare. Her eyes were huge and staring. Snort apparently just kept beaming up at TMD. So sweet.

They were both on our fronts, but really at this age the back would be better – they both were leaning their heads right back so they could get a good look around.


Our last morning we went to softplay, where Snort latched onto a giant hula hoop and would not let go. He took it on bike rides, on the seesaw, everywhere. He was also blown away by the slide. He’d never been on one, not really, and I held him as he swooped down (and his big blonde hair stuck up in every direction from static electricity!). The second he bumped down to the bottom, he held his arms out to be picked up and given another ride!

Coco ended up being pushed round on a bike that was way too big for her feet to reach the ground, and she freaking loved it. She adores being on bikes.


Our main afternoon activity (we went swimming every morning…those fucking changing rooms!) was walking around the little centre – though we occasionally watched people play indoor badminton or wandered through a sweet shop (an incredibly big hit with both kids – all of the colours, tiny little sweetie toys and tins, the big clear candy canes filled with stuff). Coconut is enamored with walking and fearless.

She just walked and walked and walked and walked and walked. And got pissed if you tried to direct her or lift her up.

Snort really had the opportunity to practice as well, and our few afternoons in this place saw him get like 300% better. He, too, is fearless. He made friends with every adult male for miles. Including a crane driver who told me he could see my boobs.


Snort’s mad giggles when we were in the pool singing ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ and lifting him up and then speed splashing him down into the water. The kid loves this song anyway, but when it involves multiple throw downs into water, he BEAMS. Love.


All in all, it was a rockin’ holiday. Singing reindeer, glow in the dark swans, a trip to the emergency room. All of these are ingredients in any great trip.

I can’t wait till our next time away. It should hopefully only get easier. It takes so much TIME with 15 month old twins to get ready to go anywhere. For any activity we did, we easily spent three times however long it was just getting ready to walk from cabin to activity and vice versa.

They slept on a twin mattress (ha!) we dragged into the lounge next to the couch. Hopefully next time they can sleep in the freakishly tall beds in one room, and we can sleep in the freakishly tall bed in the other.

I adored our trip and could write another million words about how I manifested a McDonald’s, the fucking blizzard we experienced (by Country B standards, anyway!), paninis for lunch ‘a’,  the way they both sucked down fruit smoothies from Starbucks, or the items yanked from the grocery store shelves that exploded when they hit the floor.

Another time, maybe.

Show me the SEXY.

November 24, 2010

Imagine two hot women, naked, in a changing room. As they move, their bodies occasionally touch briefly. Got that basic image in your head? Good. Let’s see if I can sexy it up for you a bit.

One of the women is bent forward over a changing mat table that has pulled down from the wall. Ignoring all the stern pictures and directions everywhere – MAKE SURE YOUR BABY IS PROPERLY STRAPPED TO THE CHANGING AREA AT ALL TIMES – she has her arms around two toddlers who are sitting on the table. The straps are dangling over the edge.

People keep pushing open the doors, which are on both sides and unlockable.

One of the women says, ‘Two sets of families have seen my boobs.’

The other replies, ‘Everybody in this place has seen my cootch.’

As both women struggle with dressing screaming, overtired toddlers in slightly wet clothing, they are singing. Loudly. So loudly that it almost overpowers the echoing noise of the other 50 babies and toddlers who are also screaming.

So loudly that a lady leads her screaming kid outside their changing door and says, ‘Listen! Someone is singing.’ The kid stops crying, presumably left standing outside the door.

Perhaps he heard one of the women scream, ‘Help! He’s pissing! Pissing all over me!’ as she grabs for a towel (and disturbingly cannot now remember which towel, and no laundry facilities are available) and presses it over her child’s penis. She peels back the towel, starts to use the pee soaked towel to wipe off some of the pee that is rolling down her stomach and coming to rest in her pubic hair, when he begins to pee again.

Strangely, she is so cold and tired that she almost welcomes the warmth of his pee on her goosepimpled body.

Her eye catches the other sign issuing stern directions for the fiftieth time – ‘No one with infectious diseases should enter the subtropical swimming paradise!’ She flushes as she pictures the razor burned mess her inner right thigh has become. Misshapen, red, lumpy. Possibly oozing.

Nevermind, she thinks. At least her swimsuit is red and orange and probably means her thigh/bikini line is not noticeable. Her other side still has the odd merry pubic hair dancing about, but she is now afraid to take a razor to the area again.

Doesn’t matter. In this world, the world of screaming children and tiny family changing areas, razor burn doesn’t matter. Nothing does.

Everyone in this place, this swimming paradise, is human. All of the women have stretch marks and sagging tummies – not to mention their shoulders being pulled out of sockets by children yanking them in every direction. All of the men are far too pale and drawn looking.

Every now and then you hear the low hiss of a father saying to a child, ‘You calm down. Right now. Do you hear me? If you don’t calm down we are leaving.’ This is often in harmony with an unrelated mother a few feet away, grabbing her toddler and heading for the pool, her voice falsely bright. ‘We’d better just go in, darling, there’s no point in waiting for your father any longer.’

‘Passive aggressive,’ one of the women whispers to her wife.

‘Look! There’s that other lesbian couple with twins!’ the other whispers back, nodding her head furtively toward the family walking past.

This is how all ‘conversations’ work. None of them are joined on. You are in the Changing Rooms now, and you are subject to the laws of trying to speed change your 15 month old twins, as an ever growing line of impatient and harried families waits to pounce on the first door to open, staking claim.

You keep singing songs. You eye up the two soaking swim nappies on the floor and consider holding one to your crotch so you can pee, because, let’s be real here, you really have to pee. There is no time for you to worry about your bra being twisted, or about yanking on a winter hat over your soaking wet bun. It goes without saying you have not shampooed or even combed your hair.

You are at a holiday spa for toddlers, and the parents are only along to do the domestic chores. So your thigh is probably getting infected, and is more attention drawing than the original pubic hairs? Who cares. So you leaned over last night talking to two strange men while holding up a small child, only to have one of the men point out that he could see all of your breasts hanging out? Move on.

You have a goal, a primary objective. You will wipe small noses with your thumb and smear it on your sock. You will not bother to rinse off your pee soaked stomach. You will jam your soaking wet feet into socks and shoes with nary a thought for the possible athlete’s foot you are inviting.

You are a mother now. You are in the subtropical swimming paradise changing rooms. You don’t care who sees you naked, you don’t care about sitting on the ground to stop your children from sitting on the ground, you barely have a chance to notice your wife is naked before she jams her equally soaking wet body into clothes.

Your kids are all fashionable and looking gorgeous. You are wearing velour sweatpants and a sweatshirt that is ten years old. Nothing you are wearing matches. Green mittens, brown hat, black scarf, red sweatshirt.

None of this matters.

You are in the subtropical paradise swimming changing rooms. You will spend thirty minutes in the actual pool, but these changing rooms? Prepare to sign away your life, because this is it. Your new home.

People check in, they never check out.