We're half way through the school summer holidays.
Ours started off badly to say the least.
My husband has been heard to say that when it comes to having children, love is a multiplier. This statement and the spirit of openness towards going beyond the norm of just two children it embraces has generally impressed my female friends when he has uttered it in their hearing.
Well, if this is true (let's face it, there is no way of testing this claim), and the amount of joy you experience does multiply with each child, then the same mathematics applies when a sick bug strikes. Only swap the joy for misery.
Within a couple of hours of getting the girls back from their final day of school, I started to feel a bit queasy. And it was not long before this materialised into a full on bug that everyone went through. Words cannot really express how grim a 48 hour bug is in a family of six. Dealing with your children's vomit (and diarrhoea if you're unlucky like us) when you are poorly too is definitely twice as bad when there are twice as many of you. We ran out of sick bowls for starters. And, for the record, midnight with a pool of vomit on the carpet is never a good time to discover you are out of Vanish.
As a result, I didn't finish my pre holiday sewing list. But I did make the rompers before we all got ill. Charlotte has already had lots of wear out of them - they were ideal for the beaches whilst we were in Devon.
The fabric for both of these is from KitschyCoo. I go weak at the knees for the prints that Amanda stocks.
As well as being super comfy and practical for a baby to crawl about getting dirty (exploring) in, the patterns are so busy and bold, they do a good job of hiding a reasonable amount of grubbiness, and so I have managed to leave each one on for an entire day. I will admit I have soaked up the compliments I've received about these little rompers - it is nice to have something a bit different, and show me a mother who doesn't enjoy being told how cute her baby looks.
11 trips to the beach and a lot of ice creams.
10 orange granny squares.
9 early morning runs before the rest of the gang were up.
8 swims in the sea in my £5 bikini (because the strap was broken).
7 jars of blackberry jam made (mock if you like).
6 packets of crisps in every picnic.
5 cream teas (with the clotted cream on first then jam).
4 new spades (including a Dad Spade).
3 loads of washing to keep us in clean pants.
2 lots of fish and chips on sea front.
1 wobbly tooth that fell out and made someone's holiday.
The absolute best thing about our time in Devon for me was swimming in the sea. I loved it!
Lots has been written by others on the subject of women (especially mothers) and their bodies and wearing bikinis - here and here for starters - and I echo a lot of the sentiments. But, for me, the biggest reason to get a grip, keep any insecure thoughts about appearance in their place, and put on something to swim in, is the brilliant effect of sea water on my own sense of happiness. If I could bottle the feeling I got when I swam out into the sea, looking at the view ahead of me and feeling free, I would. And then I would take big swigs of it during dull days in January. And, when I am an old lady, I shall (hopefully still be able to) remember the fun of holding my daughters' hands as we ran alongside the shoreline splashing the water as the waves lapped over over feet, and how much it made us smile.
Now we are back in Bedford for the rest of the holidays. Plenty of parks to visit, and friends to invite round for ice creams.
How is everyone else's summer going?