Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Going to the store, Toddler edition

Do you remember those times when going to the store meant that you were going to be leaving the store WITH items?! Depending on the store you might've left with way more than what you anticipated you would, but you were able to have a successful shop as long as the store had the items you needed. Yeah, the good ole days...then enter kids... Now it's a total crapshoot as to the outcome of your shopping "adventures/expeditions/torture sessions". Like you think "Oh! I'll just run to the store and grab such and such." But it's never that easy! You can't just "run" to the store. It's a super planned out "adventure" - even if it's last minute - make sure you have nappies, change of clothes, snacks, drinks, shoes, coats, etc...

When you get to the store - and it BETTER be one the small tyrant (toddler) wants to go to that gives free fruit out, otherwise you're in for A REAL torture sessions, along with everyone else in the store! You see, small tyrant wants her yummy Tesco banana, unfortunately Aldi ONLY has the sauces she desires daily
Big bag of 48 sauces, should last us a few days
which are great except when she's wanting her free yummy Tesco banana, in which case the sauces are like rubbish! Don't get me wrong, she'll eat them, but she still dreams of her free yummy Tesco banana.

Then if you're really daring and you think "Maybe we can go to another store", because let's face it Aldi doesn't have everything you need - so you tempt fate. You go to another store! The tyrant SEEMS ok at first, she's kinda excited to be getting more snacks and something special for her big brother... We then see Paw Patrol jammies and she loses it! So as a good mom I said "Oooh, let's get those!" because, let's face it, you can NEVER have to many jammies, especially with an occasionally potty training toddler... But then all hell breaks loose, because WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING ASDA?! WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU SELL JAMMIES IN SETS OF 2?!  Small tyrant ONLY wanted 1 set of jammies, NOT 2 sets! So the 32 min tantrum started. (You, without kids, just don't understand, heck I have 2 kids and I STILL don't understand.)

Small tyrant was NOT having it. She pulled the 2 sets apart - she almost pulled the plastic bands holding them apart as well, but thankfully those suckers are hard to pull apart! 5 min in and she was pulling and flinging jammies around. 7 min in and she was flinging herself around the trolley/cart as I was calmly picking out jeans and trousers for big brother (who has grown out of almost all of his trousers, or they have holes in them, or both... Not a big concern since he wears uniforms to school, but he's needing some to wear on the weekends and after school). 10 min in and I was returning ALL the items I picked out and taking small tyrant out of the store...
15 min in and she was finally buckled into her seat and we were heading home.
20 min in and I was STILL listening to a screaming child.
25 min in - still trapped in the car - I started screaming along with her, because if you can't fight them you might as well join in. 30 min in and we were home and this was her tantrum finally winding down.
32 min in and she finally calmed down and played with the laughing jack o'lanterns while I got her lunch ready...30 min later and she was down for a nap, because throwing tantrums can make a toddler VERY tired! That's the positive outlook at least.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Drive Home

The neighborhood...
The sad part of going on holiday is that they always come to an end...and usually when they end you need another holiday to recover from the holiday you just returned from, especially if you're a parent and your holiday was with your kids. Don't get me wrong - we had a fabulous time! Sure we all became exhausted over the course of our holiday (waking up at 4/4:15 am and skipping naps will do that to anyone!) but we were able to work together as a team and see and experience so much - and today as we were driving home everyone talked about what we loved seeing/doing and how we all wanted to go back! (YAY!! Mommy succeeded!! See at first not everyone was as excited about going to Wales as I was - but by today they were all so happy I talked them into going!)
Today as we left we decided to drive to the beach that was just down from where we were staying, after all the sun was rising and it looked like it was going to be a glorious day!
The beach was called Black Rock (I believe) but unlike the other beach we visited a few days earlier (a post will come about that later) - there were no rocks on the beach, only sand!
See the castle down the beach on the cliff? Yeah, it was one we didn't get to...this time!
It was the perfect spot to see the last part of the sunrise...
But then it was off, past the golf course and up into town...look at those colors!
Pretty much the entire drive was filled with these colors - everywhere you looked! We did take "the scenic route" because we wanted to take advantage of seeing all of this...
It was hard to get all the pictures I wanted to, we did stop when the chance came, but when there weren't places to stop I still wanted to try to capture the beauty we were driving through.
The landscapes and then the towns, followed by more landscapes and more towns
We stopped here, because I mean look.at.that...
I'm sure it's beautiful no matter what time of year, but the fall colors really made it breathtaking!
I could take multiple pics of the same scene and I still wouldn't tire of it...
And then we came across some smart sheep - smart because they moved out of the road so we could continue on our journey...they were in the middle of the road when we first spotted them, but they ran pretty fast. Further ahead was a sheep that wasn't so smart - he had been hit and was dead on the side of the road...don't worry we didn't point him out to the kids.
Roads and more roads - because even looking ahead instead of to the side was beautiful!
Our 5 yr old did see the fog and suddenly said "OH NO! I see smoke!!" We had to assure him that it wasn't smoke and there was no danger at all.
We stopped the car again, because someone needed their nappy changed suddenly. We had a toddler who is extremely talented in going potty and leaking out of every nappy she goes in - when she's in a car! But thankfully she knows it and so will notify us immediately so that we can get the situation taken care of quickly.
So my phone doesn't actually take panoramic photos - but for some amazing reason it decided to piece together 3 of my photos and make a panoramic pic! I was pretty excited, because when we stopped to take this picture I was really wishing I could make it panoramic! (If you look closely you can see it's 3 pics, otherwise it would've been the perfect pic!)
It was a spot where I could've just sat and enjoyed the view all day, except for the fact that it was right off the road and there were cars zooming past...so not really as serene as it looks.
I really feel like someone should paint these pics
I mean if I could I totally would...hmm, maybe that should be my new hobby...
But maybe I should start with something more simple...like paint a pumpkin that looks like a pumpkin.
Of course if my parents had gotten me the "Bob Ross painting kit" when I was younger I might be able to just sit down and paint this right up!
But instead of getting me that they just let me finger paint or paint with those kid watercolor paints...neither one of which comes in handy when I want to paint something to resemble the photo above.
As our drive progressed we eventually arrived at this bridge, and when we pointed it out to our kids, our 5 yr old said "I don't need to see this bridge, I've already seen a lot of bridges." And really it wasn't all that interesting - except that right after this bridge we entered England and left Wales behind...but yeah, as far as bridges went - it wasn't really interesting.
We continued on the drive, and one little girl got extremely tired (surprise surprise) and she required just 1 thing from mommy...that 1 thing was to have her foot held and rubbed by mommy. This is not a rare occurrence - this is something that happens at least 1 time on every road trip we take.
And for everyone in the car, I put aside my comfort so that we don't hear the screaming and crying until she eventually passes out. Now you might say "Oh you don't have to hold/rub it the entire time!" To which I can say "Yes, I do!" You see I tested it today, because daddy didn't really believe me that she needed it, so I felt the need to prove to him that I know what I'm talking about. Calm child with my hand...remove my hand and within 5 seconds she would wake up and cry. I started rubbing/holding her foot and this is what happened.
Once she was good and asleep I was able to move my arm and get the blood flowing again, but yeah...every.road.trip this happens! Thankfully when we got home both kids went down for naps and took really good naps - the power of sleeping in ones own bed! But boy did we have a great trip, we're already talking about another trip - even if just a long weekend, after all Wales is only about 2 1/2 hrs away (we went all the way to the coast so it was about 3 1/2 hrs) - and we have so much more of Wales to explore!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

This place is great for kids! Like seriously, if you have a child you HAVE to go!
Train engine, duh

We chose the green car, it had tables=snacks!
There's a short train ride (on a narrow gauge train),
She woke up at 4am

Much happier on this train

Reading up on it
and the kids get to help switch the tracks so the engine can move from the front of the train to the back in order to pull the train back to the station. (Yep ours was the chosen child to get to help!! How cool is that?!)
He got the special key which opened the door

Inside the door were buttons

The buttons switched the tracks for the engine

Giving the key back
You stop at a museum where you can take a ride on a miniature train,
Miniature train ride

Nice and comfy, right?!

He's gonna love this pic when he's older


She really did like the little ride, she just wasn't crazy about going backwards when that happened!
Um I'm going backwards now?!

Yeah right this is fun...
go into the museum and climb, ride, read about, and explore trains and the engines...
Train whistles and other switches in this engine
Yep, I married a train


You can drive a train in a simulated game...
You can push/pull a little train, restore trains, play with trains.... Basically do whatever you want to/with trains!
He pushed her but then she wanted to push

Then he showed her how it's done

Exploring

Back to her favorite train
And for kids OBSESSED with trains it's amazing and tantrum inducing when the time comes to leave...
However, never fear, they must know this because your ticket works the entire day - which means as many times as you want!! They also have a little train ride on the way out (only 20p - it's A STEAL!) and a whole gift shop/toy store on the way out so your kids can guilt you into buying something! (We let them each ride the train ride once - 40p and a tantrum is a lot less than a toy from the store! Lol
We decided to go home and have lunch and a short nap (4am is TOO early to get up, I did get her to go back to sleep till around 5am, but still) before venturing back to the train and museum - because we're smart like that! Lol
Refreshed and ready to go!

Eating snacks, because that's what they do
After nap it was back to the train museum!
Having a "2yr old moment"
We had more fun! Riding the rails, helping to switch the tracks again, riding the miniature train again
Look! No kids!
And again
Looking at something interesting
Playing on the trains in the museum...
Driving a train
You know all the important things! The kids said they looked this train better than yesterdays train ride because yesterday's was a boring ride and today's was a lot of fun! Or at least the 5yr old said that and the toddler just agreed when he asked her!

Thankfully today went smoother than yesterday... And at lunch and dinner a little girl cuddled in my lap to eat her food and almost fell asleep both times! She's absolutely exhausted - which means tomorrow will probably be another early morning!
Another proud photo