You Have To Laugh Tag

 

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I was tagged by Gemma at Colley’s Wobbles to take part in You Have to Laugh‘s brand new #youhavetolaughtag. It’s all about being able to smile and have a laugh about the many trials and tribulations of parenting which I firmly believe we all need to do, once in a while!

Here are my responses;

1) Fill in the gap: Before I had children I never …..

…thought I’d recieve a picture of poo via WhatsApp.

…thought I’d be happy to go to the supermarket alone

…went to soft play centres

So many things!!!! I feel this is a never ending list.

2) What is the most annoying toy that your child owns or has owned and why?

He currently has one of those big floor mat piano’s and I groan everytime he gets it out. Despite it being awful cute that he says “Mummy this is your song” and hums down his microphone to it whilst wiggling his little bum, it’s more the aftermath. Leaving it playing to itself…or not turning it off so when he runs over it, whilst plays with something else, it starts up again with the most annoying demo song ever and then he just leaves it playing whilst ignoring my requests for him to turn it off.

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3) Would you rather be covered in poo or covered in puke?

I fear that if I was covered in poo, I might puke anyway so let’s go for puke then there isn’t two substances. My gag reflex isn’t great so it’s bound to end up in tears anyway!

4) Is Peppa Pig more annoying than Postman Pat is bad at his job? Discuss.

I’m subjected to more Peppa Pig in my house than I am Postman Pat.

Little L doesn’t watch Pat, and thank goodness because his inept skills frustrate me every episode! How that man has not been sacked is beyond me and how he’s never lost Jess, what cat stays to their owner like that furball does?

Yes, Peppa is a total brat but I can deal with that anyway over Pat, I can ignore Peppa, I get drawn into Pat’s rediculousness!

5) What time constitutes a lie-in in your house now and how does this compare to your pre-child days?

These days I’m pretty happy if it’s after 7am when our son invades our bedroom. I get up for work at 6:30, three days a week, so 7am feels like a lie in. Recently I’ve not been sleeping as well so despite not being woken up, I’m usually awake. I make the most of laying in the dark in the peace and quiet. Pre-baby, a lie in would be 9/10am probably. I remember feeling shocked if anyone suggested doing anything before lunchtime – ha ha!

6) What is your favourite swear word or swear word combo and when was the last time you used it?

I don’t think I have a favourite swear word and I don’t think I’ve ever combined two together but maybe I should!

The last time I used a swear word was last night when I called our cat a “dickhead” for puking in our bedroom. I’ve been known to refer to my son as an “arsehole” when he’s been having a particularly challenging day, not to his face, but to the dismay of my mum. Like she’s never called me an arsehole!

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Arsehole Cat

7) Tell us your worst ever nappy or potty training experience.

The worst poonami I ever experienced was in Frankie and Benny’s disabled toilet whereby my darling son had managed to poo so much that it had pretty much filled his babygrow from head to toe. He was massively upset by the situation (who wouldn’t be?) and was screaming so loudly that I was sure the whole restaurant could hear. All he wanted was a cuddle of reassurance but there was no way I was covering a squirming pile of poop so I just had to set to attempting to clean him up. I reckon I used nearly a whole pack of wipes and because he was so upset, he was managing to smear it all over the changing table too. Not my finest hour. I eventually emerged and a Mum who was waiting with her child said “Are you okay? That sounded traumatic!” 😂

8) There is no electricity and won’t be for the next week. NONE. After eating the contents of the freezer (assuming you have a gas cooker) what the hell do you do with yourself?

I do have a gas cooker and I’ve never thought of that as a benefit till now. I like to think that I would do crafts n sh*t with my son but I would probably set up camp in a soft play if the weather’s shit and the park if it’s nice. Anything that entertains my son, keeps me happy!

9) If you didn’t need the money and didn’t have a little one what would you spend your days doing?

Oooooh the dream!

I would travel around, seeing the UK and the world. I would volunteer at primary schools, reading with the kids. I would do a cake decorating course and perfect my baking. I would have at least one duvet day a week! I’d read a book, watch box sets, meet friends for lunch and days out, learn new skills! What wouldn’t I do?!

10) What’s your guilty pleasure?

Crap TV!

When the boy is in bed and the hubs is at work I love nothing more than indulging in trash TV: Hollyoaks, Geordie Shore, Ex on the Beach, Say Yes To The Dress, Cake Boss…the list is endless! I get very excited around August/September when I know my weekends will co dust of evenings watching SCD and X Factor – sad but true!

11) If you could have anyone round for dinner, alive or dead, which 3 people would you choose? (NB – If you pick a dead person they would be alive during dinner – you wouldn’t just be dining with a corpse. That would be creepy)

A) Without fail, Robbie Williams. It’s at the top of my bucket list to meet him one day. I adore him and will be at his Heavy Entertainment Tour on the 2nd June – I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen him live.

B) My Dad. He died when I was 17 and I’d love to know his thoughts on my little family now.

C) Philip Scofield – I’m caught between fancying him a little and thinking he’s make a great dad stand in! Such a legend.

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12) What is your favourite funny blog post ever (your own, or someone else’s)?

I don’t think I have one specific one! I love BrummyMummyof2‘s vlogs, especially from when she was going to/in Disneyland. I was very jealous but she puts a funny spin on everything and regularly makes me smile, which I appreciate.

So, there you have it, I hope you laughed.
Time for you to carry the baton;
1) Em from BrummyMummyof2 (She’s funny so bound to put an hilarious spin on it!)
2) Matthew from Leeds Dad
3) Stacey from Teaching Mum (who I always tag in these kind of things!)
Copy and paste the twelve questions below into your own blog, or if you don’t have a blog, just do it on Facebook. Or the back of your bus ticket.

Answer them.

At the end of your post, tag at least 3 bloggers/friends who you’d like to fill out the #YouHaveToLaugh tag and let them know!

Add two of your very own questions and remove two that you don’t like as much from the original list – it’s all about evolution.

Use the badge code at the bottom of this post in your own post so that people can click to see this page and these rules!

Let us know when your post is up by tagging us on Twitter with #youhavetolaughtag at @youhave2laugh and we will retweet it. We’ll also link to it below in this very post so your answers could be seen by everyone else in the world who completes the tag! We could be talking literally tens of people!

The questions:
1) Fill in the gap: Before I had children I never …..

2) What is the most annoying toy that your child owns or has owned and why?

3) Would you rather be covered in poo or covered in puke?

4) Is Peppa Pig more annoying than Postman Pat is bad at his job? Discuss.

5) What’s the funniest question your child has asked you?

6) What is your favourite swear word or swear word combo and when was the last time you used it?

7) Tell us your worst ever nappy or potty training experience.

8) What is the funniest thing that has happened to you as a parent?

9) If you didn’t need the money and didn’t have a little one what would you spend your days doing?

10) If squirrels ruled the world, what do you think would be the advantages and disadvantages?

11) If you could have anyone round for dinner, alive or dead, which 3 people would you choose? (NB – If you pick a dead person they would be alive during dinner – you wouldn’t just be dining with a corpse. That would be creepy)

12) What is your favourite funny blog post ever (your own, or someone else’s)?

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An Open Letter to…my Wifey

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My best friend S is due to have her first child at the beginning of June. She lives with her lovely fiancé, J and their hilarious Beagle, Juno. I have referred to her as my ‘wifey’ ever since we shared a room together at university. 

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To my dear Wifey,

Within the next month (hopefully!), you are going to begin a new adventure of motherhood and I’ve been thinking about writing a post in relation to this for a while, however Teaching Mum beat me to it! Ha ha! Jokes.

Still, you’re one of my best friends. We have known each other the majority of our lives: going through school, sixth form, university and teaching together. We’ve picked each other up from break-ups and made each other laugh until we cried (this will now become laugh until we pee a bit, thanks to the wonders of child birth). We’ve ranted to each other, criticised each other, fallen out, made up and everything else in between. All of those experiences have added a new dimension to our relationship and now, motherhood will be another thing we have in common.

At 34 weeks pregnant (as I write this), it may not feel like it – thanks to the aches and pains, the baby limbs sticking in you and the fact that you can’t see your feet…or other areas for that matter – but it really is a wonderful time and I’m quite jealous. You are experiencing something I have experienced but will never experience again – the first time. You only have one first pregnancy/baby and I am lucky enough to have the gorgeous Little L but I’ve done the firsts. The first time you do the pregnancy test, the first scan, the first time you feel a kick, the first time you have to get someone else to paint your toes, the first time in child birth…the list goes on. Yes, hopefully I’ll be lucky though to go through it again but second time round you’re already in the know.

As frustrating as you may be finding it, not knowing is beautiful. It’s innocent and blissful, with thoughts of family cuddles and gazing adoringly at your newborn. I remember being thoroughly frustrated that there was nothing I could do to prepare, particularly with breastfeeding. It wasn’t something that could be practiced, you just had to wait and see and that was incredibly difficult for me! You know I like to be prepared! Truth be told, you can prepared as much or as little as you want, until that baby is here and your get to know it, you can’t prepare because you have to go with the flow. From the moment the baby arrives, it’s in charge! Ha ha!

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One thing I do know, you are going to be a wonderful mother. You and J will be wonderful parents. Yes, you will find it hard but anyone who says they doesn’t are lying. I can see the apprehension in your face and hear the worry in your voice when you ask questions. It’s endearing and sweet. You strive to be successful in all areas of your life, this is another, and I have no doubt you will be in your new challenge. You are a caring and sensitive soul who likes to make others happy and as much as these traits will aid you in your parenting journey (yes, I used the cheesy ‘journey’ analogy!) you must be selfish within the next few months and try to please yourself, baby and J first and foremost.

I told you the other week

“Listen to all advice but only take what suits you.”.

Here’s my few words of wisdom…

Be outspoken. Don’t be afraid to tell people how it is. If you’ve had a night of no sleep and crying (the baby and possibly you and J!), you don’t know your arse from your elbow and you want to hibernate with your little family for the day but you’re expecting visitors or someone asks to come round, say “No”. Don’t be afraid to offend because most will understand and those that don’t, don’t deserve your time. Alternatively, you say what goes regarding your child, so if you think they’re being passed about too much or someone wants to pick them up when you’ve just got them to sleep in the moses basket, again, say “No”. I remember being at a family party where L was being passed around from family member to family member, he’s just get settled then he’s be passed on. In the end I stepped in and settled him in his buggy. I heard the odd comment about being over-protective or something, but I ignored it. I was the one that would have to deal with the fussy, agitated baby later on.

Confront your feelings. Having experienced many women close to me suffering with PND, I was overly aware of how I was feeling and quite open about this. My husband knew if I was feeling sad, happy, stressed etc. I found that by being open about it, I was supported in the appropriate way. One of the things I love about you most is that you wear your heart on your sleeve, carry on with this as a mother. Say if you’re struggling, there’s no shame in it. Looking after a baby is bloody hard work at times, and very hard work depending on the type of baby you get so people need to know how you’re feeling so they can support you. Luckily, although I was tired, I was actually very happy most of the time and I’m sure you will be too.

Don’t be alone. When J goes back to work after those initial two weeks, don’t be alone. If you’re struggling to get you and baby out of the house, invite people round (under the pretence that they make the tea and bring cake!). I know our bestie B said that getting out of the house more the second time round was really helpful to her. Staring at the same four walls with only a non-speaking baby (and let’s not forget Juno but as we know, she’s not the best conversationalist!) to chat to can send you a little stir crazy. I was the same as B, I had to get out of the house or the days went sooooooo slowly, especially when you’re up in the night too, they all blur together.

Ask. If you’re unsure about how to do something, if you think they’ve got a bit of a temperature/rash/virus, if you think something isn’t quite working or you need some tips for possible things to try to settle/get them to feed or sleep etc. Just ask. I guarantee, people will be happy to help. In the first few weeks, my family/friends that were also mothers were amazing to ask for advice as they all had little tricks they’d used on their own. One was bound to work!

Finally do what makes you happy: breastfeeding or bottle feeding, sleeping training, co-sleeping, dummies or no dummies, routine or on demand. Whatever it is, whatever others opinions are, if it makes you happy then that is the main thing. After all, it’s true what they* say “Happy Mum, Happy Baby”.

(*I’m not sure who the mysterious “they” are but they are wise.)

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I cannot wait to meet your precious little bubs and see you be an amazing mother. You’ve already tackled many bumps in the road during pregnancy and done so in a calm, level headed manner that I knew you will deal with whatever is thrown at you during motherhood in exactly the same way. You’ve trusted your body to house your child and protect it, now you have to trust it to bring him/her (him, in my opinion but we will see!) into the world. Never doubt yourself Wifey, you are one of the strongest women I know and you can do it.

All the love in the world, Becky. xxxx

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**UPDATE** My lovely bestie had her SON on Wednesday 17th May at 2:20pm by emergency c-section. She’s already a natural with little Frederic James and I’m so proud of her!

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Frederic (Frdddie) James – 7lb3oz of love

If you’d like to read more about my lovely friend and our Core Four group, click here. I’m thinking of making “An Open Letter To…” into a monthly series. Do you like it? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below or visiting my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. 

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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Piglets Adventure Farm – Egg-Stravaganza! 

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Easter Monday – be lazy and hang around the house all day thinking about the impending doom of work the next day OR go out for the day, doing something fun and helping you forget about said responsibilities that follow? Given that we had been invited to Piglets Adventure Farm, near York, to review their Easter Egg-Stravaganza, the latter was definitely more appealing!

Piglets had been popping up on my Facebook newsfeed a lot last summer however, with our trip to Australia, we never got chance to visit. Luckily, we had more free time and decent weather in the Easter holidays so it was a perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss was about.

After a short 40 minute drive from our home in Wakefield, we arrived at Piglets with an excited 2 (nearly 3!) year old who immediately spotted a digger and, straight away, his day was made.


Whilst L pretended to dig (we didn’t put any money in, he just pretended) we could watch the most adorable little piglets chasing each other around in a big muddy field. It was so lovely to see them out in the open, running around and playing in the fresh air, unlike most farms where they are in smaller pens.


Once we’d handed over our voucher (thank you Piglets!), one of staff gave us a map and pointed us in the direction of the different features and activities.


Baa the Playbarn (ha ha see what I did there? Baa – sheep – farm 😂) we could pretty much see everything on offer from the entrance making it easy to navigate around. Our son was on the run straight away, his little legs pelting down the hill towards the Kidbine and Tractor.


Mr Roversi got very excited by the Olympigs Obstacle Course and immediately dragged us all over there.


Most of Piglets Adventure Farm is aimed at younger toddlers, making it a great place for my son to get involved in most things. The obstacle course had a few tricky bits that were a little too old for him but it didn’t stop him enjoying himself and I’m sure those older siblings that have come with younger ones particularly enjoyed this section, like my husband – the big kid.


As my husband said, towards the end of our visit,

“It’s a good place to let them have a bit of independence”

With all the play areas and sandpits, you can take a step back and let them explore and play without having to hover over them all the time. By loitering a few metres behind, they can explore the variety of play areas for themselves. L loves sand so he was completely engrossed in the Farmhouse and giant sandpit, doing his favourite things: climbing, sliding, digging, building and wrecking sand castles.


My immediate impression was that there were lots of little activities to do, rather than other places that have big ones that take a lot of time. This meant you could tailor your day to what your kids like and there is no need to rush. Little L was able to spend as long as he liked on the different areas, meaning no tantrums and a relaxed atmosphere.

Our little man has been on bouncing pillows before but he REALLY loved them at Piglets. I think it was because there were two separate ones: for over 5’s and one for under 5’s so he wasn’t battling the older ones knocking him over. Everyone was his age and he giggled away with a little girl, bouncing on his bottom and falling over.


From the bouncing pillows we headed to the first special Easter activity which was an egg hunt! We watched a video where the Mad Hatter told us about the chicken’s around the farm who were hiding their eggs however we had to watch out for the cheeky fox and rabbit who might get in our way! We were given a basket and a sheet and our hunt began!




Little L really loved running ahead and finding the eggs, obviously Mummy and Daddy (plus an anagram solver) had to work out the word at the end but the eggs were planted around the farm too, meaning we could combine seeing the animals with our egg hunt.

I love this picture! 


On the finish line, L declared “CHAMPION!” and went in to claim his prize, a malteaser bunny! The ladies running the Easter egg hunt were really lovely, asking the kids lots of questions about their Easter and generally making the whole experience enjoyable and easy.


The egg hunt was followed by Magic Hatter’s Magic show. All the kids watching were giggling and laughing. Little L had his slack look on as usual then decided he was “a little bit scared”. God knows why because he wasn’t scary at all…actually reminded me of Mr Tumble a little but L doesn’t like him much either! Personally, I thought he was really good (from a kids point of view)!

Slack face


I have a couple of favourite moments from the day:

1) The Barrel Train Pick Up


Much like any stereotypical little boy, Little L is obsessed with trains, diggers, trucks, and tractors therefore this little ride made his day. “Make sure you drive it!” My hasband told our son and, of course, he took this very seriously! The little smile on his face he was pulled around and appeared back at the start was a picture. Be aware though, it does go quite a way from the start and therefore the parents which one little one wasn’t so keen on. Although it makes a great game – taking bets on which child in which barrel will come back crying! Ha ha!



2) The Bale Play Baaarn

A new addition to Piglets Adventure Farm incorporating ride on tractors, a wave slide and a drop slide, rope swings swings and a giant corn box.


To get there we travelled by tractor, a short journey past some pigs. There is a heated seating area where there is a coffee shop and ‘Piggy Pizza Parlour’. We sample a couple of pizzas for lunch and they were really tasty and homemade in pizza ovens.

Margarita and Three Cheese Pizzas


Little L was in his element in here: fueling up tractors, sliding, climbing up hay and digging in the corn.


My husband and I looked at the Rope Swings but I think we both thought L was too young, but then I thought “Let’s try him”


The picture may be blurry but you can see the utter delight on his face! I was impressed by his bravery! In all honesty, I thought he’d let go and fall into the hay below but he didn’t!

Obviously, with the sand, hay, mud and corn, I wouldn’t recommend your children wear their best clothes! Piglets is a place to let your little piglets get mucky and enjoy it!


We really enjoyed our day at Piglet’s Adventure Farm. It’s a place where you can spend a couple of hours or all day however at £9/10 per person, I would say spend as much time as you can because it makes it more worthwhile. Under 1’s are free and it’s slightly cheaper if you book online. They also do family annual passes which, if you live nearer would probably be a great idea!


We will definitely be returning to Piglets Adventure Farm, probably for some summer fun, as we had a lovely day out. Next time, we’d be tempted to take a picnic as the food outlets are limited but there are lots of nice places to sit and eat. I can imagine that there is a lot planned for Piglet’s to expand, as they seem to have a lot of land, and I look forward to seeing how it develops.

Have you visited Piglet’s Adventure Farm or do you have something similar near you? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below or find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also follow other days out that we have!

This post is in collaboration with Piglet’s Adventure Farm however all opinions are my own. 

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Stockeld Park: An Easter Adventure

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Back in August 2015, our son Little L was just over one year old when my husband and I took him for his first adventure to Stockeld Park. Since then, we made a trip to see Santa in 2015 and 2016 however, strangely, I haven’t written a post about it! I will have to this Christmas.

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The reason why the Roversi’s keep returning to Stockeld Park is because, whatever the season, it is a magical place that you can spend anything from a couple of hours to all day at so when the lovely Sarah invited us to visit on behalf of my blog, I was over the moon, to say the least!

The Easter Adventure is running from the 8th to the 24th April and, as usual, the magical fairies and wizards who transformed the park have surpassed themselves. The attention to detail is outstanding with decorations everywhere you look:

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Huge painted eggs around the Enchanted Forest…

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Table decorations in the cafe…

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Beautiful Spring flowers in the Ice Cream parlour

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Our first stop on our Easter Adventure was a maze – an area of the park we’d not experienced before. In previous years, L had been a little too small to last walking around the maze and the Enchanted Forest so we’d always just done the latter. This year we wanted to do everything his age allowed, which was pretty much all of it!

To keep the kids (ahem, and adults) entertained while they were getting lost, the aim was to find all the bunnies and write their names down in a booklet we were given at the entrance.

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I’m slightly annoyed to say that there was ONE that we didn’t find, we must have took a wrong turn at some point and missed it. It was probably around the time WW3 nearly broke out amongst Mummy and Daddy Roversi, maybe a maze is similar to IKEA in terms of the rate of divorce of married couples post visiting – ha ha! To distract you further on your quest for the exit, they also have cute little road names and activities of the children en route. I really liked the maze but I was glad we waited until our little man had bigger legs as we were in there a good 45 minutes.

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Due to Mummy having her nails done in the morning (a lovely yellow with grey accent nail), we were late setting off so, after the maze, we visited The Woodland Cafe for lunch. (Any possibility of our son getting ‘Hangry’ must be avoided.) L’s favourite of sausage was on the menu so he was happy and the hubby and I both chose fish and chips. As I remembered from previous visits, the food was quick but still good quality and tasty. Those three meals, plus drinks, came to around £25 which I was happy with however there are lots of places to enjoy a picnic too so, if you wanted to save money then it’s a option. A picnic in the beautiful surroundings of Stocked Park would be lovely!

We were able to bribe L into eating the majority of his lunch by the bouncy castle, bouncy pillow and park outside which was handy! Our 2.9 year old on the pillow was a little hilarious…reminding me of a drunk man seen on the streets of Wakefield on a Saturday night…due all the jumping on the castle and pillow, pictures were a little blurred!

As I’ve mentioned previously in this post, L is obsessed with trains so we LOVED the wooden one in the play area next to the Woodland Cafe and spent a good while exclaiming “All aboard!” and “Ticket’s please!”. I was both proud and amused when his Daddy asked where we were going and he said “Huddersfield Town” (the football team we support – my brainwashing is obviously going well!).

Obviously, on a sunny day, everyone wants to be outside making Stocked Park a perfect place because the majority of the events/activities are outside. One thing that makes the Spring and Summer events different to the winter, is the outdoor play area. Themed with tractors, it has plenty of opportunities for young people to test out their climbing, balancing and sliding skills. I believe that L would have stayed there all day if we let him. He showed his bravery by tackling the huge blow up slide, first with Daddy….then by himself! Proud Mummy!

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“Here Mummy, your chicken nuggets.”

From the 10th to the 17th April, Stockeld are celebrating Chocolate Week (what a great week to celebrate!) and in the marque, they had Chocolate Story York helping people make their own chocolate products! We made lollies but I know they are also doing truffle rolling, designing chocolate transfer, painting chocolate eggs and making chocolate nests and mini eggs – delicious! It was really easy to do and Little L really enjoyed decorating his lolly…even if he did go a little overboard with the extras! There’s a little video here from the website.

Whilst in the tent, it would have been rude not to get an ice cream to walk around the Enchanted Forest with so we headed over to Yummy Ice Cream Parlour. I am a sucker for ‘proper’ ice cream and the amount of different flavours they host means that there is something for everyone, or in my case, too much to chose from! Little L had a teddy bear cone with strawberry ice cream, Mr R had a rainbow cone with caramel ice cream and I had a rainbow cone with white chocolate ice cream, salted caramel sauce and a flake. Obviously, when Mr R saw the sauce, he wanted some too and they were very accommodating.

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How’s a girl to choose?!

Our final adventure was the Enchanted Forest which is may favourite of everything at Stockeld Park. Mixed in with talking trees, fairies, trolls, owls, miniature houses and other magical elements were a series of play areas which again, now L is older, he was able to appreciate more. This forest is truly beautifully at night, lit up with fairy lights everywhere, nevertheless it was just as interactive during the day. There were eggs situated around the track with letters on which we could note on our activity booklet before unscrambling the word (I won’t tell you what it is, you’ll have to go and see for yourself). A new addition to the forest was…IMG_4660

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Anyone remember those little wooden boxes with the bug that had wobbly legs in it? This is what the spider reminds me of!

To be honest, pictures speak louder than words when it comes to Stockeld Park’s Enchanted Forest:

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Hanging Around. I love his little face on this picture.

The great thing about Stocked Park is that you can tailor it to your budget. For example, you don’t have to do everything you can pay for certain parts I.e. just the forest or the maze. Secondly, you can able to take a picnic which cuts down on food costs. The only activities that cost extra are the bumper boats on the lake around the forest (£6 per boat) and the bikes you can use to go around the Enchanted Forest if you don’t want to walk. L was too little for either of these things but personally, i think you must miss a lot of the magical elements of the forest if you don’t walk around it. We didn’t do the skater ring as, again, Toddler L is a little too young but it looks like lots of fun and sparked a conversation between me and Mr R regarding my lack of skills with boots but not blades.

So, after 9 days off work, Mr Roversi goes back to work and it’s been a lovely week and a half of fun, ending perfectly at Stockeld Park.

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Have you been to Stockeld Park before? Do you have something similar near you? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below or find me on Facebook and Twitter!

This post is in collaboration with Stockeld Park however all views and opinions are my own. 

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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Holiday: PrestHaven

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I’ve been craving a caravan holiday for a while. I wasn’t sure why however, after a week at Presthaven Sands in Prestatyn, North Wales, I now know…

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Peace

Yes, travelling with a toddler is never going to be 100% peaceful, especially one like Little L who rarely stops talking, nevertheless the site at Presthaven is peaceful. Located by the sand dunes, it’s a large site and yet, as we walked around the quietness was calming and comforting. No teenagers running riot, no drunk people returning home, no shouts and screams from children playing in the morning. The most we were woken up by was seagulls making themselves known.

The caravan’s themselves are placed well so that you don’t feel like you’re on top of each other and our caravan, a deluxe newer model, was clean, modern and comfortable. In fact, I was really impressed with the caravan and so was Mr R who hadn’t experienced caravan living since he was a child.

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It was also peace from everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, we love our family and friends more than anything, yet five days away as a family of three was just what we needed. Our son has loved having Daddy around more and we have made some great memories together.

Activities

One of the reasons I picked a Haven site was because there were lots of activities for the kids to get involved in. When we got here and started looking into which L could get involved in, it was clear that, due to his age, he was slightly limited. This didn’t stop him having fun though as, on site alone, there was:

  • A park
  • Swimming
  • Arcades
  • Sensory morning
  • Puppet show
  • ExperiMental
  • Learn to Bike
  • Play Gym

These were the ones he got involved in however there were also ones we didn’t get chance to do (we will next time we visit a Haven site!) such as Karts (pedalling ones), swimming confidence (lessons), Crazy Golf, beach games and a few others. The main point of holidays such as Haven ones is that they are mainly for the kids, so you have to embrace all the activities and the cheesiest of it all! The staff who run them are really friendly and helpful, making the whole thing really enjoyable.

L loved the amusements (which he called the “games”) and is now a certified 2p machine addict. We realised that him playing on these made it a lot cheaper than the £1 games! Mr Roversi and I desperately tried to win a Troll from the grabbers to no avail…I don’t know why I’m surprised, when does anyone ever win on those things?!

Obviously no holiday is free of tantrums and our biggest one happened in said arcades where our delightful son demanded money, stamped his feet and shouted…

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So he ended up in a makeshift ‘Time out’ while he calmed down and then we discussed that stamping your feet for money was NOT appropriate.

Rhyl

We decided to have a day out of the campsite and drove 20 minutes to Rhyl which (according to Trip Advisor) had a miniature railway and an aquarium. TA was right about both however, unfortunately, the railway wasn’t open. I didn’t think to check opening times and, in April, it’s only open on a few days. Luckily L was napping at this time so he was none the wiser and no tantrum ensued.

We parked up and had a brisk walk along the front, my son and I geeking it up in our matching fisherman coats – don’t be jealous of our coolness.

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Passing a fun fair (which, due to being closed, looked like something out of a horror film), we made our way to the SeaQuarium, as a family we love anything to do with animals and marine life, this little aquarium is no contest for larger aquariums such as the sea life centres around the country nonetheless it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours with species from around the world in nine different zones, including the sea lions, sharks, and the usual celebrity fish, Nemo and Dory. They had a special area called “Fantastic Phobias” which immediately made me slightly nervous as I am terrified of snakes but try not to show this in front of the boy, luckily Little L is OBSESSED with jelly fish and as soon as he saw them he forgot about the snakes, spiders and rats. We practically had to drag him away from the tank…it was like he was in some sort of trance.

We ended our trip to Rhyl with a walk along the arcades (continuing to fail at winning a Troll) and a little stop in the ‘Corner Cafe‘ which was an amazing place that combined a lovely cafe with great food and an exclusive soft play for the customers only which was clean, fun and affordable.

We all had a sweet treat and L was very excited to see they served pancakes. If I’m honest, my little mind started to wonder about setting something similar up in Wakefield!

The Shows

When researching the Haven holidays, I saw that every evening there was Go Tots entertainment starting at 6:15, with L being the mover and shaker that he is, I knew he would like it. As a teacher of Performing Arts, I knew I would have to close my ears for a few nights!

The Seaside Squad (below), along with the entertainment staff, sing and dance their way through and hour or so keeping your little bundles entertained with games and dance moves for them to copy. As the evening progresses, the games become more family orientated instead of child focused before the main entertainment begins at 9pm which involves more signing and dancing, occasionally a comedian too.

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Left to right: Greedy, Ned, Rory, Bradley, Polly and Anxious (weird name for an elephant yeah?)

Sadly we only got to see the main event once, one the last night, as 9pm is a late night for Little Roversi. The only reason he managed it on the last day was because he had a massive nap in the afternoon which he never does anymore! The ‘party’ as we called it, made for excellent bribery throughout the day

“Well if you don’t eat your dinner then you won’t be able to go to the party.”

Everyone else gets through parenting with bribes too, don’t they? Good, glad it’s not just me. In all honestly, it was incredibly cute to see L mesmerised by the characters and staff on stage and one night, he even got involved in one of the games and was squealing with delight!

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We got talking to a couple with a little girl a year older than Lucas so he had someone to dance with on the last night which was awfully cute plus, by that time, myself and the hubster needed someone else to talk to other than L and each other – ha ha, jokes…maybe not.

Chester Zoo

Presthaven is just a 45 minute drive from Chester Zoo and with the weather being so gorgeous on the day we were going, we decided to go there first for the day (you can’t check in till 3pm at the site anyway). We’ve been before, without children and with however L was only little at the time. This visit he was able to run around and fully enjoy everything the zoo has to offer. Again, I braved my fear of the bat cave and attempted not to squeal too much as they flew at my head so that our little man could enjoy it. The “eleflumps” were definitely his favourite, and probably mine this time as there were a few babies who were playing which each other, something I’d never seen before.

Mr Roversi had experienced something in the gorilla house last time we visited (it involved a gorilla pooping in his own hand and eating it – lots of gagging from us, and the people around, followed.) so he was wary. This time they were all feeling very loving, picking bugs off each other and laying around together… I actually felt like I’d interrupted a private moment!

Little L also experienced another “first” and this was having his face painted. He’s never been bothered for it before so we hadn’t encouraged it but this time he wanted it doing and chose a tiger design. He was really good at sitting still whilst she got to work and turning him into the striped animal and even showed off his knowledge of colours, pointing at the paint tubs and naming them. L’s been a little dodge with his colours over the last few months but seems to have really improved recently. Once complete, it was clear he was very excited about it and immediately ran up to an unsuspecting family and chased after them, roaring as he went. This continued as we left the “Islands” section of the zoo.

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All in all, Chester Zoo is just a lovely place to spend a sunny day, you could literally be there from opening to closing if you wanted to and I’m sure we missed some of the animals however it’s difficult to see everything with little toddler legs. Either way, it was a great start to our holidays.

Prestatyn

Typically, the first and last day of our holidays were the best, weather wise. We’d been undecided on how to spend our last day, thinking about going to Liverpool and Llandudno however, in the end, we decided to explore Prestatyn – where we’re been living all week and not seen! I’m so glad we did, it was a gloriously sunny day and we had a relaxing walk along the beach, our son loves being on the beach and happily makes shapes in the sand with a stick and picks up shells. We climbed on some rocks and explored rock pools then headed over to the park for a play, spotting Crazy Golf over the road.

The pictures below and my favourites of the whole holiday…

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The hubby and I decided to let L experience another first and took him over to play, as expected he got a little fed up after the 13 or 14th hole but he did really well, and even got a hole in one with some assistance!

By the time we finished it was 2pm and we were conscious we still had to drive back home and L would probably fall asleep so we went into the Nova Centre for half an hour and found the most awesome soft play area! It looked pretty new and had a seaside/lighthouse theme with two ace slides – check out my Instagram page for a video of Daddy and L going down one in slow motion!

And that ends our holiday, five days of quality family time, dry and sometimes sunny weather and lots of fun.

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We loved it so much we are planning a Haven holiday every Easter holidays! Have you been on a Haven Holiday? Can you recommend any other sites? Let me know by commenting below or contacting me via my Facebook or Twitter page!

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National Railway Museum, York.

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As you will know if you’d read some of my other posts (Eureka, Cannon Hall Farm and Yorkshire Wildlife Park to name a few), the Roversi’s love a day out, and for the last few months, our little man has become a little obsessed with trains. With the National Railway Museum being only a 40 minute drive from our house, it seemed like a perfect place for our next family day.

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Over half term, the museum had a few special events going on such as a Helter Skelter and Swing Boats, story-telling, the Needs for Speed Science Show and the Flying Scotsman was paying a visit too so it made it a great time to go. Entry is free however the car park is £9. Alternatively, you could make a day of it and get the train or the Park and Ride to the NRM too. I’m thinking that next time we go it would be nice to go into York too and do the Park and Ride, after all Little L also loves a bus ride! Stereotypical little boy I guess.

One thing I noticed about the National Railway Museum was that all the staff were really friendly and helpful. We were greeted at the door by a member of staff who gave us a map and a leaflet of the events going on in the day, there were also additional items that could be purchased for the kids, such as a sticker book and activity book. We declined this as L is still a little young for it but it would be great for the older kids!

As we walked down the stairs and were confronted by these huge locomotives, our sons face was a picture as he exclaimed “Mummy, Daddy! TRAINS!” before running of towards them. That’s how the next hour or so panned out as L ran from train to train with wide eyes. Obviously, he particularly loved the ones were he could go inside and was mesmerised by the medical train which has holograms of people in the train – very clever. I think Mini R thought they were real as he said “That man’s in bed, Mummy!” It’s a very interactive museum with lots of things for children to watch, touch, build and play with.

An under 5’s play area kept L amused for a good half an hour (he would have stayed in there longer if we had let him) where he could build a train, dress up, work in the train station and play with the little wooden train set…just like he has at home yet this was more entertaining apparently. They also had lovely information points around it with buttons to press that triggered a variety of sounds and information.

No trip to a Railway Museum would be complete without a ride on a train and we were lucky enough to get two: the miniature railway and the famous Flying Scotsman! Extra fees apply to these rides however, with the museum itself being free, it wasn’t an issue.

It was a fairly long track and the train goes round twice so it was great value for money. We waved at everyone as we went around and there were little things to spot as we went round which, thanks to our little guy picking the seats right behind the driver, he was able to point out to us. We also rode past the big version of the little train we were sat on which was cool. “It’s his Daddy” said L.

With the famous steam train, the Flying Scotsman, in town we had to have a ride on it. I’m not the biggest train spotter but I could appreciate how impressive this train is and I was amazed when the steam bellowed out of the front as it set off.

Again, L was just pleased to be on a train despite it only going half a mile down the train line and back. It cost £10 for the three of us and although the journey wasn’t long, it was a great experience and lovely to say we’d been on it!

There are several restaurants, cafes and tea rooms around the museum and also picnic tables if you want to take your own lunch. We treated ourselves to a cuppa and a cake in a tearoom as we planned to visit out favourite restaurant on the way home for our tea. I indulged in a Hot Chocolate with marshmallows and a scone, whilst L has a Babychino and a cookie and Mr Roversi had a coffee and a cookie.

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Obviously we had to visit the shop before we left and, because L had been such a good little boy, we treated him to a new toy train. Typically his next move after buying this was to walk over to the Thomas the Tank Engine (one of those that you put a £1 in and it moves) and say “Get Out!” to the approximately 5 year old boy in there before pushing him so he few out the other side. I think we were all a little shocked and now, when I look back, it was quite comical. However, at the time, our little boy got the biggest telling off of his life , the new train got put in Mummy’s bag and he was made to apologise!

Our final experience of the day was watching the turntable talk and demonstration. The talk wasn’t too long so Lucas remained interested and it was really good for him to see as he has a turntable on his wooden train set but I don’t think he understood what it did!

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All in all, we had a perfect family day. One of my favourite days of the year so far. I would definitely recommend a visit to the National Railway Museum, we’ll be returning in the future.

If you hit follow, you can read any other posts about days out the Roversi’s have, alternatively you can ‘like’ me on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram. You’ll also see daily updates of what I’m up to.

Thanks for reading!

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Rocking Motherhood Tag

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Zoe, from The Tale of Motherhood, tagging me in her #RockingMotherhood post months ago. It’s been the hardest post I’ve ever written. Most people aren’t very good at talking about the positive traits, especially when it comes to Motherhood and I’m one of those people most definitely! Thank you Zoe for encouraging me to look at what I’m doing right.

The idea is to focus on positives and to identify ways in which we are “Rocking Motherhood”. Most of the time I don’t feel like I am, but I’m surviving and here’s why…

1. We’re always doing something…

Whether it be a play date at our local soft play or our regular Tumble Tots session, I’ve always tried to get Little L out and about, socialising and exploring the world around him. We’ve done art sessions, baby raves, baby massage, soccer tots and much more. My son has never enjoying staying in so I make sure we get out and do stuff whenever I can.

2. I became a part time teacher…

As soon our little man arrived in the world, I knew I wouldn’t be able to work full-time and, luckily, I didn’t have to. Originally I dropped to four days but with the threat of redundancy, I lost another day and now work Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I worked hard to become a teacher but when Little L arrived, he took priority and I knew my career had to take a back seat for me to be happy. If I’m honest, being a drama teacher used to be who I was, it’s amazing how much can change when that little person comes along.

3. I juggle teaching & motherhood…

Teaching isn’t a 9-5 job and even on three days, it’s difficult to fit everything in. In fact, I find it more difficult than full time as I have less time in school to get all my school work done…meaning I work on my days off which is not the point of part-time work. Saying that, I think I’m going quite good at not letting work impact time with my son or our family time as a three.

4. My behaviour management skills are tested…

I’m pretty strict with our son when it comes to manners and behaviour and I have been for a while. The naughty corner (or time out corner of you’re being more PC) has been used regularly within the Roversi household for over a year. In my job I see the way I don’t want my child to be occasionally (okay, a lot!) so I’m keen to ensure L knows right from wrong and that there are consequences for his poor choices. Mostly I think I do a good job at this (although occasionally he has a hissy fit and I haven’t got a clue what to do with him…but this is suppose to be a positive post!).

5. We play…

As much as I love sitting in front of the TV doing nothing, that is not what I allow my son to do! Yes we have our TV time, usually early evening before bed, but I much prefer to do fun, creative things in the house instead. My son is already showing he is developing a wonderful imagination and I love encouraging that. Currently, baking is our favourite thing to do at home. I loved baking pre-child so it’s nice to share this passion with L.

6. You take me out of my comfort zone…

I like neat and tidy but I push myself to do crafts and other messy play. It makes me twitch and I’ve still not fully let go when it happens but I’m trying, I really am! Our current love of baking is a difficult one, who can bake neatly? I struggle when I’m on my own, let alone with a two year old helping! The kitchen is usually a cloud of icing sugar.

Also along the line of being out of my comfort zone, as much as I’m a friendly and confident person when around my friends, I’m not so good on my own in new environments but I go to events that I think my son will like, on my tod, and I’m glad I do because he usually loves them.

7. I get up early and in the night…

Need your dummy in the night? I’m there. Having a nightmare? I’m there. Want your teddy? I’m there. In the mornings, I’m woken from my slumber by our son clambering on me, asking for the TV on or to go downstairs. I’ve never been a morning person. I’m still not, but now I have to deal with a toddler whilst sleepy. *yawn*

8. I teach you…

Whether it be colours, numbers, shapes, manners, words, what something is or anything else. I try to teach you as much as you’ll let me. I don’t think it’s just the teacher in me that wants to  impart knowledge, I think it’s that I want you to be the best you can be and I want to do the best I can for you.

9. I put up with Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol and Ben and Holly. 

Like most toddlers he loves these and whilst I’d rather be watching Hollyoaks or some other trash, I let you indulge in your programmes because, when you are allowed to watch them, you exclaim “My favourite Mummy!” which is incredibly cute. Plus, you’ll happily watch a good Disney film too and those are win win!

10. I love you.

Unconditionally. A love that overwhelms me and that I never knew was possible. Even when you’re saying “I not say love you” to me.

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I’m tagging these great mums and lovely bloggers to have a go at the #RockingMotherhood tag:

  1. Stacie from Parker and Me
  2. Gemma from Colleys Wobbles
  3. Stacey from Teaching Mum
Rules
  1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
  2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10).
  3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
  4. Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.

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