Top Travel Tips with kids – Guest Post by Andy

So here’s something a bit different to my usual ranting. A cheeky little guest post written by my brother. Introducing to you the one, the only…..Andy Simpson ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป He’s been through hell and highwater with his kids and is now even more amazing as a single dad of 2. Have a read he’s actually quite funny ๐Ÿคฃ

My holiday experiences and top tips as a single dad with two kids.

I am too old for Magaluf, I donโ€™t feel it but now Iโ€™m pretty sure I look it. Well my kids are much closer to being 18 than I am.

Having everything pre-booked and a plan is awesome until it needs to be changed.

Do not bother telling the kids what you are doing tomorrow (or your hotel room number), they will always need reminding 27 times but itโ€™s nice that they still get excited each time they are told.

To keep the peace between siblings, keep a strict rota on whose turn it is to open the hotel room door and who gets to press the lift buttons.

Kids hate sleep but are always tired.

Suns out, guns out in Spain translates to – there is no minimum clothing requirement and the kids need to know a name for everything hanging out there.

I used to love my kids until I asked them to walk anywhere in a hot country.

Do not offer the kids what they would like to buy from a shop which also sells bouncing booby balls and phallic shaped bottle openers. They will want them!

Spanish passport control has never seen a single dad with two kids on holiday before; my first Spanish lesson was Donde estรก mami? (where is mum?). Translating and signing that one has passed away and the other one fucked off was a bit of a challenge.

Do not tell your kids you think a woman is attractive; they have no problem blurting it out or actually going over to tell them whether their massive boyfriend is there or not.

Little girls need the toilet urgently a lot. In the pool, in the sea and on me (pointing them in the general direction of a urinal is not a good idea and since when do girls pee forwards?).

Applying sun cream to two kids five times a day is a full time job and they are like ultra rare Pokรฉmon – youโ€™ve gotta catch the little buggers first.

Give them some water to play in and they will give you a million memories… and leave you alone for a while.

Whoever said drinking while with kids is wrong? My kids encourage me to drink; apparently drinking (responsibly) makes me Yay! Fun Daddy! And a hangover means Yay! Daddyโ€™s still asleep, more game time!

Reading a bedtime story from memory rather than using a book has led to a very confusing yet highly amusing mash up of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf didnโ€™t eat Granny as she was too hot, the chairs were all far too small so and they all ended up in a very hard bed together surrounded by cold porridge until Little Red was eaten by Goldilocks. Later on I discovered my 12 year old boy decided to google โ€˜what is a gangbang?โ€™

As a dad, singing and dancing in public is no longer fun; since it now embarrasses me more than it does the kids.

Give your kids some independence and they will disappear like magic.

Kids need to know where their games are more than I need to know where the kids are.

After tons of swimming lessons and still showing no improvement, I taught my daughter to swim by putting her in the deep end and told her I will only save her if she shouts very loudly Daddy is the king! 15 minutes later she was an Olympic freestyle champion.

Teaching the kids basic Spanish seemed like a great idea until my boy answered a Scottish family by saying โ€˜no entiendoโ€™ (โ€˜I donโ€™t understandโ€™) โ€˜Je suis Anglaisโ€™ (โ€˜I am Englishโ€™ but in FRENCH!!!).

Answering the question of โ€œwhat is a strip club and why do they offer fully naked stage showsโ€ was easy. Finding some where to leave them while I pop in for a drink was the hard part.

So for any single parents planning on taking their kids on an abroad holiday alone, be prepared and expect the unexpected but I guarantee holidaying with kids alone is a thoroughly entertaining and rewarding experience. Hope you enjoyed!

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Life ……oh My life!

Oh hello! ๐Ÿค— Remember me? The little bit insane mother with lots of kids! Lol ๐Ÿคฃ

Long time no rant! So here goes……

Today has been very trying! It’s only 12pm lunchtime and I’ve done 9 nappy changes (including 4 poonamis), 4 outfit changes. 1 pukey throwing up incident.

Annie has been chasing me round crawling at the speed of light โšก๏ธShe’s trying to eat out of the dustpan as quick as I can sweep up! Albert has delved into the sudocreme no less than 6 times today whilst I’m changing the others and has eaten a good handful of it too! He bites the lid off and tucks in like its some kind of yummy treat! ๐Ÿคข

Those of you that follow my social media pages will know this has become quite the obsession with Master Albert! Little git๐Ÿ˜œ.

Albert is a climber…. he climbs the sofa, footstool and is eyeing up the window sill next. This is where big Bro The Tornado spends a lot of his time! Albert can walk with toys in front and swing between the furniture like a boss. He is practicing letting go and standing independently so I think we are gonna be mobile on 2 feet very, very soon ๐Ÿ˜ณ.

Miss Annie isn’t too far behind, she’s a little more wobbly but blimey the girl can get around fast. She can stand at the sofa and she’s not far off cruising. Annie likes to be upside down a lot and she watches tv like it, through her legs. She knows exactly what she wants and she will take it (milk, juice, biscuits, toys) she steels from her brothers and laughs when they cry…..little minx. She’s not daft! ๐Ÿ’–

Then there’s The Tornado ๐ŸŒช Well he’s still hectic as you like ๐Ÿคฃ and he is actually saying a few understandable words like ‘yeah’ , ‘ball’ and ‘up’ . It’s a little random at the moment but it’s progress none the less. He is nearly 3 and non verbal aside from these snippets. It’s gives us a glimmer of hope that his words will come eventually. It’s all very exciting stuff ๐ŸŽ‰chuffed Mumma right here ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š. I’m sure, He too will be backchatting us in around 10 years time. Lol.

Life with 3 under 3 is far from a boring life that’s for sure and add to that the 2 big boys and their teenage hormones, anxiety and obsessions. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ More fun than you can shake a stick at! ๐Ÿคฃ

I still love being Mum though, hard as it might be. I’m older, wiser? ๐Ÿค” greyer and wrinklier ๐Ÿ‘ต๐Ÿป but can still get down with the kids when needed (much to the embarrassment of my eldest)……Yes, I can do The Floss ๐Ÿ˜Ž ha ha!

It’s Half term too so thankfully no bastard school run to do! However it’s not that easy for me to take them all out by my myself. Entertaining 5 kids of varying ages is a challenge but we muddle through as best we can.

The big boys are banned from the X-box right now for being lairy/cheeky so they are driving me up the bloody wall! With cries of “I’m bored” or in Kevin the Teenager style “It’s so unfair when can I go back online” “Never” I reply *stomps off in strop…….Kids ey….Gotta love em ๐Ÿ˜

Well that’s our update on life for now! Nothing too enthralling but there’ll be plenty more tales to tell. Watch this space. I’m Just Trying to find my writing mojo again. It has been pretty full on lately as you can imagine. I’ve had no time to scratch my ass let alone blog! Fingers crossed I’ll find a bit of time here and there to keep you all amused.

Ta-Ta for now

Love L ๐Ÿ˜˜ x

We survived the school holidays …. just!

Yes I know we’re already a week back to school but it’s been hectic!!! Phew! 2 weeks off school with 5 kids has brought me to the edge of insanity BUT we got through it! Lol We’ve had tears and meltdowns (me and them), squabbling, screaming, fisticuffs and to top it off a fractured toddler elbow!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Whilst other parents post pictures of their perfectly well behaved children doing something wholesome and outdoorsy every day, I’m a prisoner in my own home. Stuck in the house arguing with the big boys that it’s time to vacate their pit and switch the X Box off!!

The Little ones taking it in turns to cry, shit, sleep, repeat! ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Seriously I’m at the end of my tether….. I’m not gonna lie these past few weeks have been bloody hard work!!!

My eldest has become practically aggro-phobic and doesn’t want to leave his safe zone at home. His anxiety has reached new heightened levels so it takes hours of persuasion but we eventually try leaving the house for a walk. Nice bit of fresh air in our lungs ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿถ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ However as the end of the hols drew closer we did manage to get The big boys out swimming with dad, to a retro gaming cafe (more computers) lol. We hid a few decorated rocks on our walk to then post on Facebook and re-hid them for others to find …..apparently it’s a new craze. Who knew?! For more info See.Portsmouth Rocks UKFinally I braved it and took all 5 to the inflatables session….. which is basically loads of bouncy castles indoors and 30 odd kids running riot! Fun times ๐Ÿ‘

So they did get out and do and few activities eventually.

In other news the twins are teething big time and I am seriously sleep deprived. Getting roughly 3-4 hours sleep a night is not really sufficient to survive ๐Ÿ˜ด Tommy has literally been beating me up out of frustration daily and sometimes quite violently โ˜น๏ธ and in between cuddles But I grin and bear it, heartbreaking as it is. Poor me!

On Thursday the Tornado fell off the sofa (climbing again) so a 10pm little trip to the local treatment centre was in order. We thought he’d popped his elbow out if it’s joint again ….so they clicked it back into place. However this time something wasn’t right, he still couldn’t use it and was dragging his limp arm around like Woody from Toy Story! So next day he had to go to A&E. Finally the doctors find a hairline teeny tiny fracture in his elbow!! Poor little Tornado ๐ŸŒช

However today the sun is now shining ๐ŸŒžand I got 6 hours sleep last night! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Bonus. I feel normal Service has now been resumed at the Madhouse! …….Oooh and We won on Euromillions last night ๐ŸŽ‰ (a whole ยฃ6.80) but better than a poke in the eye. As the song says ‘Things Can Only Get Better’.

Life will improve soon Iโ€™m certain ๐Ÿ˜Š Gotta take the rough with the smooth and I’llย take whatever life throws at me!

Anyways I’m back in the game now! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜˜ I’ve missed my little ranting space. I’m So glad to be back to bend your ears! ๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿป

Also to make me feel better I am going ‘out out’ next month …… I’m gonna get shitfaced on jรคger bombs and dance on the tables!! Ha ha! ๐Ÿน๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜

Lynne X

2017 Highlights ๐Ÿ˜Š

2017 holds so many special memories.

……The moment I found out I was having twins last January ๐Ÿ˜ณ was brilliant!! As hubby couldnโ€™t make it to the appointment, I was literally saying to the sonographer that I was going to wind him up and tell him thereโ€™s 2 babies in there!! …… she replied very straight faced โ€œoh but there IS 2 babies in there, did you not know? Look twin 1 & twin 2โ€!!! ……well I donโ€™t think I closed my mouth for an hour after this news. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Crying and laughing at the same time, trying to process this information.

I had previously joked about the chances of twins with my midwife when booking and even with hubby in the morning. I thought heโ€™ll never actually believe me ha ha!! ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป.

…. and oh the emotion, when we were told we were going to have a pink one ๐Ÿ’– and a blue one ๐Ÿ’™Even Big Daddy had a happy tear in his eye ๐Ÿ˜˜

I have fond memories of Jumping around at a Robbie williams concert at 33 weeks pregnant……Wondering if it might send me into labour. I had visions Iโ€™d make the newspapers โ€œwoman gives birth live on big screen at Robbie gigโ€ lol ๐Ÿคฃ people did steer clear of me incase my waters went ๐Ÿ’ฆโ˜”๏ธLol Even up to 38 weeks I was still panicking , Thinking how will We will cope but we do. Weโ€™re still absolutely winging it everyday! ๐Ÿ‘

Giving birth to the twinnies was very surreal as Iโ€™ve never been induced before but it all happened so quickly. No dramas a bit of gas n air, few squeezes and out they popped! Easy as shelling peas! ๐Ÿคฃ Babies no 4 & 5. A healthy handsome boy and FINALLY a pretty little girlie! ๐ŸŽ€๐Ÿ˜

God knows what itโ€™ll be like for her, growing up with 4 brothers ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™ She will be well protected thatโ€™s for sure! Or she may be the one protecting them all?! ๐Ÿ˜†Somehow I donโ€™t think sheโ€™ll turn out to be a pretty pink princess but more of a roughty tufty tom boy ….. just like her mummy! Itโ€™s no secret Iโ€™m not such dab hand with the feather duster and Iโ€™m definitely not the next Nigella Lawson ๐Ÿคฃ me and my own Mum prefer a hammer and paintbrush to any rubber gloves or pots and pans.

Anyway……so we have two Pre-teens with hormones flying round the house like a bad smell and an almost threenager. Why do I get the feeling the terrible twos were nothing compared to the next year with a headstrong toddler?! ๐Ÿค”

Archie started secondary school this year and he absolutely is loving it so far! The way he looks at it is he can get loads more YouTube subscribers ๐Ÿคฃ Toby is growing into a strapping, caring young lad whoโ€™s bigger than me now๐Ÿ˜ณ….that is when we do actually see him. We have to surgically remove him from the x-box or iPhone and now and again he comes out of hiding in his pit (usually at feeding time).

The Tornado Tom-Tom ๐ŸŒชrunning me ragged each day but with his naughty character and cheekiness but one look and he melts my heart.

The long suffering husband Mr Maddog working his ass off all year and coming home to the usually chaotic place we call home! Luckily the man can give Gordon Ramsey a run for his money and he CAN cook without burning the meat to a crisp or serving cold shrivelled up potatoes and veg! (Unlike my cooking โ€˜skillsโ€™ ….but I do try at least!)๐Ÿ˜œ

Pickle the bi-polar dog is still very grumpy at the prospect of living alongside all these children however heโ€™s still a part of this mad family. Even though he dislikes me ๐Ÿถ

Canโ€™t wait for 2018 to unfold ….. just imagine the twins will be on the move very soon so walking in public with 3 under 2 will be rather challenging! The twins can roll and spin and wriggle across the room already! Trying to get bums in the air and up on their knees. Watch out world!

Happy new year to you all! I hope I can continue to entertain you with my craziness?

Next stop ….book, reality tv show?! Comedy sitcom? Who knows? ๐Ÿคฃ

Iโ€™m sure The Madden’s will have plenty more stories to tell! Bring it on I say……Come on 2018 I’m ready for ya ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰xxx

Chaos, panic and disorder

Schools out for Xmas ๐ŸŽ‰ Yippee! No traumatic , emotionally fraught school runs for 2 whole weeks!

The big boys are completely overwhelmed by the whole sensory overload thing at Christmas time. This plus the change in routine and pure over excitement… has made their behaviour off the scale. ๐Ÿ˜ฉThey can’t cope with it all, So have mostly been hibernating with x box and you tube to escape the reality.

So being the very organised mum that I am?! ๐Ÿค”I just started my Christmas shopping on Monday, a week before the big day!!! After many years of vowing to think ahead and be completely done Xmas shopping by 1st December next year!! Yep! Ain’t ever gonna happen in this lifetime! ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

God bless Amazon prime is all I say! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ“ฆAnd not forgetting good old Argos fast track delivery! For people like me who aren’t the most organised at this crazy time of year, it’s perfect. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐ŸปLess stress and delivered direct to your door….Yes granted not everything I wanted was in stock, but hey ho I’m sure the kids will LOVE what they have got ๐Ÿ˜Š .

Not only the mad rush to find last minute gifts we have 12 for Xmas dinner (well including the twins who are not eating yet) WTF was I thinking?!? ๐Ÿ˜œ (just kidding the more the merrier). We have too many kids to visit anyone’s house comfortably and without causing mass destruction or giving someone a nervous breakdown ๐Ÿ˜ณlol.

Oh crap….. I Just remembered about the bloody Christmas Eve boxes! ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŽ They will have to be scaled down a bit this year and do a ‘Family’ huge box with pjs and treats for everyone ๐Ÿ‘ I should seriously think about crowdfunding for next years festivities ๐Ÿคฃ

After a 24hour online shopping marathon, I am FINALLY done!!! Whatever doesn’t turn up on my doorstep tomorrow is tough titty . So now onto the dreaded wrapping, “my favourite part” ……said no Mum ever.

I’m staying home all of xmas to consume too many celebration choccys and get sozzled on bubbles & Baileys!๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ Hic

Also I’m off to plant a money tree in the garden now, in hope it will sprout many ยฃ50 notes by spring?! ๐Ÿ˜„ We are officially skint now but the kids will be happy …… and we’ll be drunk ๐Ÿ˜Š so everyone’s a winner!๐Ÿคฃ

๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป Ho HO Ho! Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. See u next year ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿพ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿ˜˜ xxx

Midnight Ramblings

Random thought of the day popped into my head. I have created 5 beautiful, loving children. So in all 50 tiny fingers and 50 tiny toes! Now that’s a lot of digits…… โœ‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿคš๐Ÿปโœ‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿคš๐Ÿปโœ‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿคš๐Ÿปโœ‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿคš๐Ÿปโœ‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿคš๐Ÿป

It dawned on my as my 41st birthday is rapidly approaching…how Scary ๐Ÿ˜ฑAm I really that old? Old enough to be married and have birthed 5 kids?!? Lol ๐Ÿคฃ One minute I’m throwing some serious shapes at the local discotheque, where I met Mr Maddog โค๏ธ! I was a spring chicken back then at 19 years of age, way back in the 1990’s…….the next minute, in the blink of an eye, I’m the wrong side of 40 and more like an old nesting hen! I’ve not slept more than 5 hours a night in 6 months, not washed my hair for 2 weeks (grim but true) and I’m looking like I got dragged through a hedge backwards (twice). I ache from my eyeballs To my little toes BUT being mum is so rewarding it’s worth all the pain, upset, tiredness and emotional turmoil. 

As what we get in return from our kids in love & laughter FAR outweighs all that other stuff. We created life (lots of it!) and what a whole range of personalities they all are!! 

My kids amaze me everyday (even though the big ones can be little shits sometimes ) They test our patience to the max till you think your gonna explode but they also melt my heart with their clever, funny antics ๐Ÿ˜I find myself often singing strange random songs out of nowhere? Dancing round the living room like I’m having some kind of convulsion ๐Ÿคฃbut hey who cares we do have a laugh! Chuckling away at someone trumping rather loudly (yes I still find that funny!) Living with 4 boys and the hubby, unfortunately it’s a house full of flatulence! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ˜ท I admit I’m quite immature at times but hey who wants to be a boring grown up anyway?! 

Now I have my little lady in my life too in amongst all this testosterone. I love all my boys dearly but a pink one at last!๐Ÿ’• …..   somehow I think she will be the boss of them all and have them all wrapped around her little finger (probably the middle one) ๐Ÿคฃ She will be a tomboy just like her mumma. 

So on reflection of my random thoughts tonight …….. cherish every waking moment with your babies they don’t stay little for long. Enjoy them, play games with them, act silly with them and make memories. 

Enough of my rambling on, its 2am and I’m trying to get Little Miss Annie to settle as she’s not well. I desperately need my beauty sleep ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปso until next time it’s goodnight from her and good night from me.๐Ÿ˜˜ xxx

Sunday Funday

It’s a usual Sunday in The Madhouse! Like most ‘normal’ people (we are however far from normal). We lounge around in our pjs, having a rather lazy Sunday, breakfast is bacon sarnies and potter about the house till at least 12pm. The big kids are glued to Xbox and you tube,  the TV commandeered by the Toddler so we are watching Trolls for the millionth time. 

Let’s go on a nice family dog walk daddy suggests……Ok good idea! So then we commence attempting to find clean clothes, matching shoes etc. A few hours later we are all dressed and dragged our backsides off the sofa. We’re just about to leave the house but the twins need feeding again and bums need changing. Meanwhile Tommy is running around throwing squashed banana at the walls and squirting juice everywhere! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

We eventually attempt to pile in the magic disco bus -the 8 seater minibus I recently purchased to accommodate my brood! I should give it a name it really. ๐ŸšŒ

Strapping a toddler and two babies in takes another 20 minutes. After a lot of swearing and getting in a hot sweaty mess manoeuvring and fitting 3 car seats, getting tangled with seat belts etc the little ones are safely locked in. The big boys are now squabbling and having proper fisticuffs in the back of the bus! Then they make up and are playing some kind of weird game that involves shrieking in each others faces and finding it highly amusing. FML 

We go fetch the grumpy dog ๐Ÿถ and he pulls a refusal to enter the new bus! Mr ‘Maddog’ (aka Daddy) picks up the miserable, overweight Jack Russell and finally climbs aboard! By this point it’s nearly sunset, it’s starting to bloody rain I’m seriously losing the will to live now! ……3 hours later than planned But HOORAY ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป we have eventually, actually left the house all 7 of us and the dog! 

What is normal to most families, (popping out for a family afternoon stroll) is like a major traumatic experience to us! Still we’ve gotta make light of our manic life or else I’d be crying uncontrollably and quietly rocking in a corner somewhere.

This is just a small insight to a day in the life of The Madden’s ….. by our standards a GOOD day!! Lol It’s all fun and games here ๐Ÿ˜œ xxx