Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Monday, 26 August 2019

SWOS 2019: Week 5 - Under The Sea

As weeks go this one has been fairly hard going so we've done less themed stuff than we usually do in a week and have instead done quite a lot of TV watching as the week has gone on! 

The boys behaviour has been hard; lots of bickering, screaming, tantrums and meltdowns, lots of not listening, lots of attitude... and my patience ran out.  Friday afternoon was a particularly low moment when after a 'sleepy drive' still hadn't improved the situation with the younger two, when Jon got home from work I was pretty shouty and sent him off packing with all three kids in tow to Xander's swimming lesson! 

I think this final week we need to really crack down with some bedtimes again! 


Under the Sea week commenced with a day trip to Birmingham Sealife Centre.  So many sea species to see including penguins, seals, massive jellyfish, an octopus, star fish, sharks, rays and a huge green turtle in the 360 tunnel.  It was a great day out, all three boys were mesmerised by watching the sea creatures and we went around the centre twice!   Although today was also clearly the beginning of the boys turbulent week when we were already on our way home again around 3.30pm because the boys were so clearly tired! 


Monday was a bit of a quiet day. In the day time at least. We watched Finding Nemo (of course!) and then the idea was we would pick Jon up from work and then take the boys for a scoot somewhere coastal / watery.   Instead Jon spontaenously decided this afternoon / evening was a good day for school shoe shopping so we ended up in Bridgend outlet getting the boys their shoes. So as a mega treat the scooting became a walk around Cwmbran boating lake and a play in the park at 8.00pm at night! The boys obviously thought this was great!   


We took a little morning visit to the garden centre to see the fish - some of which were just as enormous as those that had been at the Sealife centre on Sunday! We needed to get a few last bit for  Grandma's birthday present (who was 90 today!) so it seemed like the perfect excuse to fit in some more sea creatures.  We then of course visited Grandma and then had another lazy afternoon at home. 


Wednesday was trip to Barry Island with our friends day!  We all opted for a late start which I think we all needed and got down to Barry in time for a late lunch. Another day where my boys weren't quite as easy going as they could've been but a lush day nonetheless. Once they had all settled in to playing on the sand, and a splash in the sea of course, it was such a lovely lovely afternoon! 


Another lazy morning watching Finding Dory before Luc had his first settling in hour with his new childminder as of September. Not really new to us though as already a friend of ours and Jon's from all the way back to high school.   I think this just about sums up the level of tiredness by this point of this week....


The less said about Friday the better! Haha! I knew the children were shattered, so we didn't do much at all. More lazing, another visit to childminder for Luc while the rest of us popped to Asda. And when a sleepy drive after this didn't do the trick for the children's mood it turned into me losing the plot, Jon doing a solo swimming lesson and me culling the playroom! 


The summer has returned! Hot and glorious weather meant we got the paddling pool out (as we had missed the boat with the previous hot spell)... cousins up for the weekend meant cousins came up for a paddling pool party too - tenuous like to 'under the sea' no?! 


Standard Sunday along with the addition of an evening to the beer garden! What's not to love! I think this is possibly only the 2nd or 3rd time we've attempted a beer garden with children in tow and it felt like a real treat. Meaning we had another late night bedtime (ooops) but it was great watching the children run around with their cousins and friends. Super evening. 

Now, sixth and final week starting a day late tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday has been Grandma's party day!) and we're choo-chooing into Trains week!    Can I bury my head in the sand about this time next week?!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

SWOS 2019: Week 4 - Circus

Yet another week down! 

I cannot believe that in two weeks we'll be back on the hamster wheel of term-time! 

This week was Circus - ending a day early today because tomorrow we're starting our next theme a day early with a trip to a surprise somewhere for the boys! 


At the end of last week I was feeling quite unprepared for this theme; that it was all a bit flat without an actual circus booked. (I found one in Bridgewater that sort of clashed with our trip to Plymouth and other dates that were expensive; was kind of surprised how much money it would be to go tot he circus!) Then after some googling, by chance I found a circus themed day event at Parc Play today and booked the children onto it. 

First impressions were not great. The 'clown' wasn't particularly engaging and apart from dumping a bag of tired looking circus toys (juggling balls etc) on the floor and waving some bubbles around... I was beginning to feel disappointed after the boys had lost interest after 5 minutes. 

BUT the day improved. 

Unplanned, a uni friend and her boys also turned up and our children all had a blast having the opportunity to play together. They all had a play with the circus toys again and the 'clown' improved.  Later in the day having a walkabout on stilts and entertaining the children and a particularly impressive circus tricks mini-show including 'knife' juggling, 'fire' juggling and 'fire' eating - which Xander was especially excited about. 

Super start to the week in the end. Arriving at the centre for 11.00am and then still have to literally drag the boys away at gone 4.00pm! 


Tuesday was baby club day. We spent the day at the Boating Lake and Lucas totally cracked scooting; suddenly speedier and more naturally building up momentum. Still wanting me to push him along though. Park, duck feeding, ice-cream and blue lolly eating, scooting kind of day.  

Then we shirked off swimming lessons to instead snuggle down at home to watch Dumbo.  Luc has spent the week since cuddling a toy elephant we had bought for Xander on his 2nd birthday at West Midlands Safari... of course, now renamed, Dumbo. 


A rainy day spent camped out at Mum and Dad's house.  Mum offered to bake cakes with the boys and use up old icing (from Luc's Gruffalo birthday cake) to make clown face fairy cakes.  She is very good at getting on board with my themes!   Inbetween making and decorating we did some arts and crafts - turning some black and white portait photos of ourselves into clown faces.  I love them and they're definitely becoming the new feature of the fridge!  (My kitchen / diner is now almost completely a boys art gallery!) 


A really busy day!  We were going off to Plymouth this afternoon, but with Jon working from home this morning I needed to keep the boys busy and out of his way.

So a trip up to the 'funny faces' park (Henllys Village up the road) was on the agenda and for 45 minutes we had the entire park to ourselves! It was brilliant. All the boys had a great time exploring and taking risks and exploring movement. All the kind of things trapeze artists would do!

Then we came home and did a massive bubble experiment in the garden. It worked better than I was expecting it to and all three boys loved exploring the mixture and attempting to make their own bubble tubes and tunnels with the mixture.  A whole bottle of fairy liquid in the tuff tray plus filled with water worked best, but I would love to know how to improve the solution to be able to make enormous bubbles using the hoops. 

Then quick dinner and off to Plymouth we went for the second night of the annual fireworks festival on the Hoe.   It was a great evening! My sister-in-law had found a golf club the opposite side of the Hoe which meant we weren't in the thick of the crowds but still got a fantastic view of the firework displays. The boys had space to run riot (which they did) and it was a completely stress-free outing. Blankets, processco, tea, glowsticks, fireworks and a very late night (back in the cars just before 11.00pm!) but we really enjoyed ourselves. It may become a new annual tradition! 


It bucketed down today and we had six very tired children. It was a day of short visits to other family members in Plymouth, a pit-stop in the tent shop (aka GoOutdoors) and an afternoon of snacks and film watching before driving back home at bedtime. 


Another quite day. Well kind of. Jon cut the hedge back and I sorted through all the uniform, tried it on all three boys, finding the next size up of stuff that Zac could get away with, handing the smaller stuff to Luc, taking Xander's trousers down so they fit him another term or so and then ordered the socks and  bits of PE kit we needed.  Pleased we can get away with the rest of the uniform we have for now meaning it is only PE trainers and school shoes to sort next week! 

Then a double bill of family film night: Dumbo the acted version, followed and wrapping the week up with The Greatest Showman, or course! 

Lucas dancing to the opening sequence might be one of my favourite things of the week! 

Looking forward to our day trip tomorrow and splashing into (see what I did there!?) Under the Sea.  It will be September again before know it. 

Monday, 12 August 2019

SWOS 2019: Week 3 - Dragons

Another week gone and already half way through the summer holidays. I dislike that the weeks pass by so quickly and that already I'm starting to think about going back to school / work. After giving myself two solid weeks off, this week I've been working again and starting to prepare for September and beyond. 

Each summer seems to go by quicker and quicker. As does each year of life I guess. 

This week was Dragons Week - which perfectly complimented our previous weeks theme of Knights and Castles. 


You would think my children would have had their fill of castles last week wouldn't you?! But no, after a morning spent at Penarth Seafront and Pier (we went to find some Dragon's eggs), at their request we spent the afternoon at Caerphilly Castle to go and see the Cadw dragons that reside there. I had planned to take them there later in the week, but all three boys were quite insistent they wanted to go there today! 

We had been to Caerphilly Castle fairly recently in April but I don't think we really took in the story of the Dragons on that visit - this time we listened to the tale at least 4 times as the boys sat there watching the dragons and pressing the button to activate the story again and again!  We also discovered loads of other parts of the castle that we hadn't explored on our previous visit and the maze had opened for the summer too.  I especially enjoyed our walk back to the car afterwards when we discovered another entrance / exit that we could access and got a view of the castle I hadn't had before.

Four castle in a space of a week is fairly good going isn't it. The boys certainly were more confident on the 'curly' stairs and turrets by this castle visit too and Xander was excellent at helping me navigate the tricker parts of the castle with the buggy!


Tuesday was a play in the house and watch some films kind of day. Some of the boys favourite movies are the How To Train Your Dragon films. So today we watched number one (and Zog too), watched some of the Dragon's series on Netflix and of course played with all of their How To Train Your Dragon toys. We have a fair amount of the playmobil Dragons range including the Isle of Berk. Xander's favourite dragon is Toothless, Zac's is Stormfly and Lucas likes Meatlug!


We went back out to play today to Cardiff Bay. Four different people had tagged me is Cardiff Mummy Says post advertising the Lego figures that are in Mermaid Quay at the moment; so I took that as a sign we were meant to go! Haha!   Everyone knows how much my children enjoy Lego and obviously the theme of the Lego figures fitted in perfectly with our current two weeks themes with statues including an enormous dragon, a knight and princess amongst others.   The dragon was especially impressive with its stats of 7 builders, over 1600 (I think!?) hours and 210,000 bricks used!  

After that we went off for a walk over the barrage to encourage Lucas to persevere a little more with his scooter. The little dare devil he is mind you, by the time we got to the skate park... he of course wanted to have go; which started with me holding the scooter and not being allowed to let him go and finishing with him going down some of the ramps by himself. Even when he fell off twice he just got up, had a cuddle and wanted to get straight back on again.    The things I allow him to do that never in a million years would I have let Xander, or even Zac, when they were just turned three. To think Xander wasn't allowed on these skate parks until fairly recently (and I mean like in the last 12-18 months!) HAHA! 

The other two were well away. Xander whizzing around like a mad thing, and Zac for a while until he spotted a professional graffiti artist decorating the skate park wall (with permission he said - it looked official anyway!) and wanted to watch him instead and question the poor mans ear off. Which he was very good about and seems like like that Zac was showing so much interest.


A bit of a lazy home morning managing to fit in How To Train Your Dragon 2 before we headed to Greenmeadow Community Farm for the afternoon to go and have a look at Cwmbran's very own dragon. I know the boys have seen this one many many times before, but we always enjoy a visit to the farm and it was a good excuse to fit in a visit there this summer. So we looked at the dragon, had a walk around the bottom end of the farm, Xander fed some ponies and donkeys on our travels, we fed the chickens, the boys enjoyed seeing a baby calf and piglets and playing on every park and outdoor play area the farm has to offer! We also walked through the woodland bit that has been opened up again this year over to the paddock; but I couldn't persuade the boys to actually walk around the paddock this time though.


The boys were clearly feeling tired today and the weather was absolutely appalling so we put on our comfiest house clothes and slobbed the day out watching lots of films. We watched Shrek 3 and Shrek 4 and a bit later on in the day we painted our dragons eggs we had collected earlier on in the week. I absolutely love the boys finished results. So bright and colourful!  I'm going to varnish them and put them in our little patch of garden under the bay window with Belle's things.


More yucky weather which meant another excuse for a house day! The boys of course know that the dragon is a symbol of Wales and is on our flag but we decided to learn about Dragons in other cultures too. Xander put on his dragon onesie and we watched a little bit of traditional Chinese dragon dancing and then the boys used colourful streamers to join in the dancing too. Zac didn't want to join in the dancing but Xander and Luc loved it - like little wild things - Luc shouting at Xander to go faster and faster and experimenting with the different ways they could move their ribbons to make patterns. Luc even insisted that I get up and join in so the three of us were jumping around the living room like loons at one point!

After dragon dancing the boys did some more painting. This time exploring using lots of colours and completing free mark-making on one side of a piece of paper, before folding it over the other way to make a symmetrical pattern.  The looked fab and gorgeous impressions of the big and bold Chinese dragon faces we had seen on the youtube videos.

Saturday finished off with family film night watching How To Train Your Dragon 3.


Sunday has been a quiet kind of day with a visit to our close friends house for the morning, dinner at the parents, tea at my Grandmothers and then another film to finish the week. Pete's Dragon. We do love all of us snuggled up on the sofa with a blanket big enough for five!

Another exciting and action packed week planned ahead....  rolling into Circus Week!

Monday, 5 August 2019

SWOS 2019: Week 2 - Knights and Castles

This week we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. Back in February we booked to stay overnight in a medieval glamping tent for part of our celebrations and so this week had to become Knights and Castles week and I have to say it has been epic! 


Kicking the week off using our Cardiff Castle keys. (People who live or work in Cardiff can have 'keys' which allow them access to the castle for three years at only the cost of £6.00 per family member over the age of five - which is a spectacular discount considering the usual entry costs to the castle! This has been a great perk of Jon working in Cardiff!) 

We've visited the castle a number of times over the last few years now but each visit still manages to be a little bit different from the last. Today was a day doing the castle family trail, counting how many flags were flying the castle walls, being brave delving through the noisy war tunnels, picnicking on the lawn, running around the grounds chasing bird shadows, looking over the walls in the turrets, climbing the keep (which was me freaking out trying to get the three of them safely single handedly up and down the sheer almost vertical steep steps!), and exploring different areas of the castle. 

Then of course finishing the day with a visit to the Lego shop and catching the park and ride bus back to the car. 


A very rainy home day although not as stormy as maybe had been predicted. We spent the day being creative and turning ourselves into life-size knights. Once again Xander's memory was amazing when he announced we had done this before but had turned ourselves into pirates that time - an activity we did two years ago!  I was especially impressed with Zac's creativity as he drew different features to complete his knight. He is definitely the most carefully creative of the three with very definite ideas! 


Lucas's last day in baby nursery and the last 'big boy' Wednesday as we know it! We visited Caldicot Castle and bumped into an old work friend. We ended up spending a lovely hour or so together and the boys really enjoyed playing with her little one too! The best bit was that he really knew his way around the castle so my boys loved chasing him around discovering turrets and towers.  I had no idea before this visit that Caldicot Castle is free to enter and has huge park grounds and a playground all around it too - which we didn't have time to explore today so we'll definitely be back down!

Thursday and Friday 

We've been married ten years! This anniversary feels like such a significant milestone and I'll do another blog on that at some point. In the hazy days before kids when I was much more naive I imagined that this anniversary would be spent back in St Lucia where we honeymooned, doing some sort of vow renewal and sharing it all with the kids! But of course, when I priced that up for a family of five for even just seven days the costs spiralled into the many multiple multiple thousands. So that idea was knocked on the head and instead we decided to book Warwick Castle for a medieval glamping stay! I know that is quite a contrast in holiday ideas! Haha! 

I have to say it turned into one of the more expensive overnight stays we've ever done anywhere with all the extras we ended up paying after we arrived (swords for knight school at £8.95 each, 1:1 Falconry experience at £7.50 each, the boys dressed as little princes photo, then buying our Coat of Arms as an anniversary gift to ourselves too, the cost of dinner and drinks etc) but the entire experience was totally worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed the castle, climbing to the top of what felt like a never-ending tall tower, a castle tour, the knightly experiences, battles and knight school, jousting show (Luc enjoyed it so much he asked to go and see the 'horses on the sand' on the second day too!), falconry show, princess tower stories, horrible histories maze, archery... and the medieval themed tent in the Knight's Village. I just loved it and everyone got so much out of our stay! Somewhere to go again when they're older! 

Saturday and Sunday 

The boys stayed with Nana and Bampi and we took ourselves off to London to continue anniversary celebrations. We love a London stay and it felt like a real treat of an adult weekend; afternoon tea at the Globe, spontaneously booking a show (The Book of Mormon - exceeded my expectations, lots of laughs, although not for the easily offended!) at a theatre while eating afternoon tea, spending time in Covent Garden and Leicester Square, dinner and a lie in at the hotel, then transport museum and a bit of time on Oxford Street. Such a lovely two days and actually really nice to just be the two of us for a little while. 

So knights and castle's was only a short week but definitely a jammed packed Monday to Friday kind of week! So, Week 3 (already!!!) and we're exploring Dragons - which incidentally has taken us to another castle at the request of the children today!   
My Photo
After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
View my complete profile

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Blog archive


Mumsnet Badge

Written by C.E Morgan. Powered by Blogger.