Monday, 29 August 2011

Haven = Happiness!

On Wednesday evening Mark spotted on Travel Zoo that Haven were doing some special promotions for Bank Holiday weekend. Karin and Maddie (our sister in law and niece,20) were visiting at the time and we asked them if they'd like to come with us, so that was it, we booked! Talk about spur of the moment, LOL! Dan (our nephew,19) was coming with us too but decided at the last moment that he would like a weekend at home with a bit of peace! We decided on the Cala Gran site in Fleetwood as it wasn't too far away and had great facilities for Charlie and Courtney.
We arrived at the park around tea time on Friday, checked in and made ourselves comfortable before making our way to the 'Mash and Barrel' diner for dinner. The food was lovely and really quick, efficient service. We headed back to the caravan (or camper van as Charlie called it, LOL) to settle in for the evening and put Charlie and Courtney to bed. We had breakfast in the caravan Saturday morning, it was a pleasant morning so we decided to go for a swim. The pool isn't massive but adequate, we didn't know when we arrived that they have 50 minute time slot sessions, we were lucky and turned up just at the right time, we didn't even have to wait 5 minutes! We got changed and before we knew it Charlie was half way up the steps to the slide! Mark joined him and I watched. Courtney was already in the pool with Karin and Maddie. Charlie took us all for a turn on the slide, it was great fun! There was also a spa bath which we went in. I'd say the 50 minutes were perfect timing really we spent all the 50 minutes in there but were ready to come out when our time was up. Charlie was keen to go in the splash park so we decided as we were already wet now would be a good time. Mark and I quickly got dressed and wrapped Charlie and Courtney in their towels until we got outside. Maddie and Karin went off to the Spar shop and Maddie took some photos for us when they got back.

Mark and Charlie set off to the football after lunch and us girls went shopping to Freeport! We picked up some nice bits and bobs. We decided to have dinner at the caravan that evening as we were heading to the children's entertainment for 6:15. There was a nice build up to the show and they had a really good boogie!

We then watched the Zoo Troop show!

and afterwards Charlie and Courtney got to meet 'Polly!'

We then retired back to the caravan with 2 very tired children! Sunday morning we went to the character breakfast. Karin and Maddie decided they were going to have a chill out morning in the caravan. We sat at a table just by the entrance to the restaurant, it wasn't intentional, it just looked a good table but it turned out great because the characters came to us first! We met Polly again first, it seemed Courtney's confidence from last night dwindled as we had to really encourage her to go and see her! but in the end she did. Next around was 'Greedy' the gorilla!

There was a 'messy play' session at 11:00 that we were going to go to but we were a little early. To fill in some time we had a little play on the machines, we spent £1! there were a selection of 2p machines! Charlie and Courtney were mesmerised by the flashing lights and sounds. They really enjoyed putting the coins into the slots. It's not something we would normally do (heck, we live very close to Morecambe where slot machine places are rife!!!) but as a treat it was fun.

The messy session was organised chaos but fabulous fun! Both children were able to join in with the 'Little cubs' 0-4 age group. We were given paper, glue and lots of things to stick on! There was more room on a table than on the dance floor where everyone else was, we weren't the only ones to think it neither! Both children enjoy crafty things (they think it's great when they get to play in my craft room!) so we all really enjoyed the session.

Perhaps Mark and I enjoyed it a bit too much, LOL!! (Mark started it I hasten to add)

After the activity we made our way back to the caravan for a little rest. We then thought it would be nice to go out for a drive. Just before we set off we parked up at the main building to check out the swings as we'd just seen them on a leaflet we were given at check-in. They were a bit basic (4 pieces of equipment) if I'm honest for a park of this size but Charlie and Courtney didn't seem to mind!

We then set off on a drive into Fleetwood but everything was closed! So we decided on a drive to Cleveleys as there is a baby shop there I wanted to have a look at for Courtney some Christening shoes, tights and a hairband, lo and behold it has closed down! (It is a couple of years since I last went!) The shop was next door to a carvery pub though so really it worked out well and we ate there. Karin and Maddie went back to the caravan but we had promised Charlie a go on the trampolines. We arrived at the area and realised this was also where you can hire the bikes we'd seen around the park! We asked if Charlie would like to go on one first. We rode around to our caravan and knocked for Karin and Maddie. We hired it for half an hour, thank goodness, both Mark and I were shattered after 10 minutes, LOL!
Charlie and Courtney had a go on the trampolines before we went back to the caravan for a light tea, shower and then bedtime.
This morning all of us went to the character breakfast! This time it was the turn of 'Rory' the tiger and 'Bradley' bear. Courtney had totally lost her confidence and really didn't want to say hello! She was however happy to approach them in Daddy's arms so we had family photos.

We called in to see Nanna and Grandad on the way home. Charlie told them all about his adventure! We are now home and the first load of washing is in! It certainly was a fun way to spend the Bank Holiday weekend though.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Just me and my boy!

I can't tell you the last time it was just Charlie and me! Courtney goes to nursery on a Monday morning and as Charlie has now finished nursery I've planned that the 2 Monday mornings that we have together before he goes to school will be special ones! I was quite excited when I looked out this morning and saw we had a beautiful day as I really wanted the park to be one of our trips! We dropped Courtney off at 9:15 and were in Happy Mount Park at 9:25! The unfortunate thing was that I hadn't realised that nothing opens in the park until 10:30! Thankfully the park has 2 play areas that are free and it's a very pleasant walk around. So we started at the 'big boys' play area, this is where there is a huge climbing frame, a zip wire and biiiiiig swings! We have played in this area with friends and Charlie has never been overly confident but tries to join in. As we were the only ones there at that time this morning I spent some time properly showing him how to climb up the tyres etc without having to stop for another child to have a turn! Within about 3 times of helping him he'd mastered them and can now proudly do it himself, naturally after helping him climb up I had to get down somehow and the slide was far to tempting for this 37 year old!! It was fab!! LOL! Next was the zip wire, it is quite a big wire and he's still not so sure of it. He asked me to go on it with him and as I'm such a good mummy (and nobody else was there) how could I refuse, golly it went fast!! We then had a quick go on the swings before having a walk in the 'secret paths.' At that point we could hear the train, I looked at my watch and it was only 10:10, Charlie wanted to go and have a look but I said we wouldn't be able to go on yet as it was too early. He said he wanted to watch it until we could go on so we wandered off that way. The lady very kindly said that she would open early for him to ride and we had the train all to ourselves! He was delighted! We then headed over to the little play area, Charlie is much more comfortable here and went off independently to play and whilst I joined him for little plays the other time I just enjoyed the sunshine. I then noticed it had gone 10:30 so promised him an ice cream. The ice cream van arrived just as we got to the cafe so he decided he'd like one from there. I could see the lady was setting up so suggested we went to get Mummy a coffee first then get the ice cream. We sat at the nearest table to the ice cream van but the lady had disappeared! Charlie sat patiently waiting and my coffee was fast disappearing! It turned out she was at the other side of the van and it took her 20 minutes to finally open! Still Charlie was very good at waiting and I'm sure he didn't mind once he had his ice cream!
I wasn't sure how Charlie would be with the splash park, we've been a few times and had mixed reactions. This was our first visit this year, we walked into the area and he seemed keen, I put his cossie on and off he went! There was no stopping him! He ran through all the fountains laughing and giggling! I've promised him if we get another nice day before school we'll go back with Courtney. To finish off his special morning we went to Nanna and Grandad's. He stayed there whilst I went to collect Courtney from nursery. I now have a very tired, but happy, little boy.♥

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Charlie's last day!

So Friday saw the end of Charlie's time at nursery, he's now got 2 weeks off before he starts school. He was naturally totally underwhelmed by the whole occasion but did partake in cuddles from all the staff. Charlie and I went into the craft room on Thursday morning to make 2 thank you cards, 1 for everyone at nursery and the other for Julie, his key worker. (we also took them some gifts)

In his (almost) 2 years at nursery he has flourished into a beautiful confident little boy who we are very proud of. He is so excited about starting school, as are we for him. This morning we went to the shoe shop to buy his first of many I'm sure school shoes and pumps. So that's it now we've got everything he needs! The only thing I have left to do is iron in many many name labels, LOL!

Wildlife Oasis

I've been wanting to update my blog for a few days but it's been a very busy few days!
On Thursday (the 18th) Charlie, Courtney and myself joined Kathryn, Jessica and Daniel for a trip out to Wildlife Oasis near to Beetham. It's very good there and seems to cater really well for all age groups. As well as all the animals and creatures there are also a few interactive parts and a nice cafe! We took our time going round and happened to be at the reptile enclosure when the talk was about to start. Charlie and Courtney were very brave in stroking all the reptiles, Charlie even held a snake! Jessica and Daniel weren't too sure though, I don't blame them, LOL!
We then wandered around the outdoor enclosures, they have just adopted a snow leopard, he wasn't there the last time we went. He's a very proud looking leopard! He was just near to the meerkats! They're always cute! Also the outdoor play area was there so they all had a good play! After we'd finished at Wildlife Oasis we drove the short distance to Beetham nurseries where we ended our day with a drink and cake!

Saturday, 13 August 2011


After the court hearing we set took Sylvia, Hughie and my Mum to The Old Bell cafe, (it's our favourite cafe!) for a drink and celebratory cake! It was as lovely as ever and so nice to be together.
Once we'd finished at the cafe we left the grandparents in Lancaster and the 4 of us set off to spend the night away in Anglesey. We arrived at around 3pm, checked into the hotel, freshened up then had a run out to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch which is officially the longest place name in the United kingdom at 58 letters long! We had the obligatory photos taken at the train station and then had a look around the gift shop and tourist information centre where we stamped our passports!

After a good night's sleep we set off to go and see a lighthouse, this was the reason we'd headed to Anglesey because this wasn't any ordinary lighthouse, this lighthouse you could go inside and explore! There are only a handful of lighthouses now that you can go inside so this was a special opportunity. Ever since we saw the lighthouses on holiday in Ireland Charlie has had a real fascination of them, he talks about them constantly so this was definitely his treat! The rain had stopped for us and both children did really well walking the 410 steps to the lighthouse and back (never mind them, it nearly killed me 820 steps!! ) Plus there were 108 steps once were inside the lighthouse!!!!! Courtney wasn't allowed to go up the lighthouse as she's under 1m tall, we didn't know this before we went but they are well set up for littlies and there was a playroom. I went up the lighthouse first with Charlie then he conquered the 108 steps another time taking Daddy up! He loved it, as soon as we got out of the car he was dancing about with excitement, it was a joy for us to watch.

Whilst I was in the playroom with Courtney I looked through a few leaflets and found out there was a model village on Anglesey. I thought it might be fun for Charlie and Courtney so we drove to have a look. It was really good and we had a nice wander around the miniature buildings and at the end there was a playground so we had a little play on there before setting off home.

Have you seen Charlie and Courtney's 'smile' faces, they make me laugh!
We really enjoyed our time at Anglesey, it was the perfect way for us to celebrate being a family of 4 officially!

Her big day......and ours too!

Yesterday morning we went to court to 'rubber stamp' Courtney's adoption. We invited our parents along to join in the celebration hearing. It was a little different to Charlie's in that the Judge didn't speak as much to us and it seemed a little more formal but still it was nice and it's what it means to us more! Courtney Grace is now all ours!♥

It has taken us almost 7 years, going through the adoption process (twice!) is not easy but the rewards are magnificent! Out of our journey we have been blessed with 2 truly beautiful children. When I think back to the IVF and adoption journey we took (over 14 years in total!!), I learnt so many things about patience, about perseverance and about my lovely relationship with Mark, never once was our relationship tested as we were always on the same page. We wanted to be a family so much and now we couldn't be happier.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sheep in the meadow.......

It's been a little while since I shared some cross stitching, I have been beavering away and have another finish to show you! Do you remember the bunnies I stitched for Charlie earlier in the year......

....and I mentioned I was going to stitch the sheep for Courtney, well I've just finished it this evening.

I am so pleased with both of them, I hadn't stitched on linen before and at times it was a bit of a challenge but it was worth perservering! I am very proud to have stitched them for my children and can't wait to get them framed for them. I hope they will both treasure them for years to come.♥

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Maddie's make-up bag!

Courtney had such fun today! Her cousin Maddie came round for a visit and she got a free reign over her make-up bag, that's after she'd ransacked the entire contents of Maddie's bag which contains everything but the kitchen sink, LOL! Personally I think Maddie's crazy, my make up is VERY high up, way out of Courtney's reach!
It was nice that Maddie, Dan and Karin came to visit as Courtney and I were left home alone whilst Charlie went with Daddy to the first game of the football season! They lost!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Skipton Castle

Yesterday Charlie, Courtney and myself had a day trip out to Skipton. The weather didn't look so good as we set off (originally we were going to Blackpool!) It rained almost all of the way there. We stopped off for a mooch at Embsay first before making our way down to the castle just as the sun was starting to come out! It was really interesting there and the leaflet we were given for walking around the castle was brilliant! There were lots of doorways and each were drawn on the leaflet to follow! Charlie and Courtney enjoyed looking out of the windows and shouting in the echoey bits! There were a few tricky steps to maneuver around but both children did brilliantly with them. In the centre of the castle there is a Yew tree which was planted 329 years ago! Elizabeth and I were enthralled by it's twisting trunk! On the way home we called in at Country harvest and picked up Daddy a nice piece of lemon drizzle cake!

CBeebies comes to town!

A couple of months ago we found out that the new CBeebies summer song had been filmed in Morecambe! It has now been released on the channel and Charlie gets very excited every time it's on! Courtney gets excited because he does,LOL! and they both dance around. It's here if you'd like to see it. Look out for the scene with the clock tower (where the little girl is flying a kite - 19secs) Charlie calls it 'Little Big Ben' following our visit to London earlier in the year!
(The video was also filmed in Scarborough, any scenes that are just Alex and Sid are Morecambe, ones where there are 4 presenters are in Scarborough.)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

around 10 miles!

I must have been feeling keen this evening, LOL! I met Sarah at the gym and decided to cycle down! It's been a lovely evening and I thought I'd take advantage. We spent just over an hour doing solid exercise. I am amazing myself by starting to jog a little! I'm not a runner, never have been but I can happily manage a full minute jogging (please don't laugh, I did say I'm not a runner, LOL!) I set the treadmill going and walk a minute, run a minute etc and managed 3 minutes of jogging tonight, I then stayed on the treadmill until 10 minutes were up, I then went on the rowing machine for 10 minutes and did the repetition circuit, 20 repetitions per piece of equipment (5 pieces) We finished with a swim and rewarded ourselves with a sauna after! I then kinda realised I had to cycle home too, LOL!! What with doing an hours Zumba class and swim last night too there had better be a new leaner me soon!!!