A night on a tiny island!

I’m not really a camper. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love being outdoors but I like to go home to my bed in the evening.

I have only been camping once as a girl guide. This experience ended with me waking up in the morning to find myself outside the tent in the middle of a very wet field. Unfortunately, I was sleeping by the tent door, there were six girls in the tent and when one rolled over we all rolled and I fell out! Quite funny when I look back now but at the time I told my Mum I would never ever go camping again! (dramatic, I know!)

And I haven’t been camping again..until this weekend. You can imagine my Mum’s amusement when my boys told her we were off camping on Brownsea Island!

Brownsea Island has been on my list of places to visit for quite a while now. The island is largely owned by the National Trust. As National Trust members, I’m often looking at their website to plan our next adventure. Brownsea Island promises beauty, peace and fun. The island is small, about two-thirds of a mile by 1 and half miles. There are no cars or shops on the island apart from the National Trust shop and cafe, which both close at 5pm.

With no plans for the Summer Bank Holiday, I thought I’d check out Brownsea Island. Whilst browsing the website I spotted an advert inviting families to camp on the island- tent and cooking facilities provided! So only sleeping bags, clothes and crockery needed! Sounds simple enough? Hmm, a night on an island…sounded like an opportunity not to be missed, so we signed up!

With everybody loaded up with a bag full of stuff, we headed off on our adventure! As soon as we set foot on the island I was immediately struck by its beauty.  As we walked from the ferry port to the campsite on the other side of the island (without the bags, the lovely National Trust staff transported them to the campsite for us!)  it became apparent that this was indeed a very special island. An island steeped in history, bursting with beauty and an amazing amount of different wildlife. We spotted the famous Brownsea red squirrels, deer and peacocks. There were lots of other birds too but my boys make far too much noise and move far too quickly for us to be in with a chance of spotting any!

We arrived at the campsite, erected our tent and got out the burgers!! There’s something magical about being on the island after it closes. Although I have to admit I was slightly nervous about being on an island with no way of being able to get off apart from a very chilly swim!

It was a lovely warm evening so we  took the boys to the beach while we sipped on a glass of wine and watched the sun go down and the stars begin to sparkle! A perfect,relaxing evening!

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Thank you, National Trust for giving us access to this beautiful island and for helping our family to have a truly memorable time!

Oh and the night in the tent, well it was ok – I don’t think I’ll become a seasoned camper but I would do the odd night here and there!

Super powers…

Last week I was fortunate enough to spend a week on holiday with my boys and enjoyed some proper family time. Away from the laptop, household chores and the general routine of life.

Whilst on holiday I was really struck by the boundless amount of energy Bam has. I know he has always had lots of energy but after spending a week with him it’s clear that boy is actually a Duracell bunny!

I watched him effortlessly climb large sand dunes in hot temperatures whilst the rest of us plod up the dunes, resting along the way!

I have watched him climb a small mountain in minutes. We’re still at the bottom while he’s nearing the top.

I have watched him run over and over into the waves, jumping each one enthusiastically.

And, whilst the rest of us have taken advantage of a lay in, he’s up pottering around eager to start his day.

I’m in awe of the energy that he has and I hope in the future he uses it wisely. It’s a super power that if used well could be a platform to a successful future.

Mind ‘crammed’ fulness

I’m dragging myself and my boys through the last few days of term. I think dragging is a good term because that’s what it feels like. I don’t want to get up to do another school run, they don’t want to get up either, everyone’s tired and everyone’s fed up!

Nobody prepares parents for the end of school mayhem, the pure exhaustion and the daily occurrence of tantrums and tears (mine and theirs) that can push even the most calm parent to their limits!

My mind is so crammed full I’ve found myself in some amusing situations this week. Yesterday I diligently made packed lunches for my children the night before they required them, only to find the next morning the lovingly made sandwiches were not in the fridge. No, they were in the pan drawer, all sweaty and horrible! Why on earth I put them in there I do not know! I have no recollection of doing it!

And then there was misplacing my car. So I drove to school, got side tracked and walked home. Only to arrive home to an empty driveway – ooops, I left the car at school! At least I didn’t leave the child at home!

It’s very clear that my mind is full of who needs to be where when, who has an end of year party, who is in a school play as well as making sure every teacher that has supported my boys over the past year is presented with a gorgeous thoughtful gift!

While my mind is full, Mops is an emotional wreck! His first year of school is over, he’s exhausted. In fact every time I speak to him he cries. At night he cries because he loves his teacher so much he doesn’t want to be taught by somebody else next year.

Bam on the other hand is bursting, literally bursting with energy. ADHD and end of the school year are not the best combination! He’s bouncing around thrilled that the school holidays will soon be here and he wants to share with the world how happy he is!!

So to all the other parents out there that are experiencing end of term ‘mind crammed fullness’, we’re nearly there! Just a couple more days to drag the family through then no more school runs, school uniform, homework and after school clubs for a whole 6 weeks! That’s got to be something to look forward to!

 

 

 

 

 

ADHD – the bright side

We often hear of the challenges of raising a child with ADHD but what are the positives? Here’s my top 5…

  1. Boundless amounts of energy. Energy for running, energy for exploring outdoors and energy for helping Mum (well, he may have the energy for helping Mum but it may not always materialise!) Bam does run with me. I love having him as my running buddy, we really enjoy our running chats – although he is able to chat a lot more than me! We also both share a love of the outdoors. Bam loves climbing trees, exploring and camping. Move over Bear Grylls.
  2. Lots of fun and humour! There are plenty of opportunities to let loose and just roll with the chaotic lifestyle that we lead.
  3. In-depth knowledge on a few topics of interest. Bam reads lots of fascinating fact books – from the Guinness book of records to books on planet earth. He’s an avid reader of books at night so much so that whilst changing his duvet the other day I managed to find 14 fact books buried in there -not sure how he finds the room to sleep. He’d make a great addition to a quiz team I’m sure.
  4. Creative. Bam has the most amazing adventures. He doesn’t just go for a walk in the woods – it’s a bear hunt, a Gruffalo hunt, a  pirate adventure. The list is endless.
  5. Last, but most certainly not least, one of the absolutely best things about my boy is he’s absolutely oozing with love. He has the most wonderful caring side that when revealed it totally and utterly melts your heart!

There are many more positives too…I’m proud of Bam and everything he achieves. I have high hopes for that boy. After all,  Albert Einstein is reported to have had ADHD!

 

Run free…

I run for the freedom, I run for the fresh air in my lungs, I run to think, I run to be on my own and I run to chat to other runners!

Being a parent certainly isn’t an easy task, there’s no rule book and you find yourself dealing with situations you never thought you would. Our two boys most certainly do a good job of keeping us on our toes. When you add ADHD into the mix too, we’re always digging deep into our energy reserves because we most certainly need it! Their energy and enthusiasm for life are something that I am proud of. I’m very proud but sometimes I need a break, sometimes I need to be on my own….to think, to be free, to just be me..

Running gives me that time, that freedom, that time to think – I have solved many a problem on a long Sunday run.

It sounds very dramatic but I can honestly say that running has changed me – not just physically but mentally as well. It helps me to be a better parent because I have that time away to clear my head.

I always return from a run feeling refreshed with renewed energy ready to return to the chaos of family life.

After a chaotic week, I definitely need my run today, so it’s time to get my butt off the sofa and get my running gear on! I’ll need to do a bit extra today as I intend to indulge in wine and cheesecake tonight – well, it’s Valentine’s day!

Braving the storm..

Tonight I stood in the rain and wind while Mops played football. Not just light rain and a breeze. Rain lashing down and big gusts of wind! So much so I ended up wrestling the brolly for most of the hour wondering if I should just give up and let the elements win!

A few times the brolly flew inside out narrowly missing the other lovely parents watching their respective offspring. I did wonder if at one point I may have a Mary Poppins moment and fly off!! Momentarily this captured my thoughts – it could be quite good fun to fly like Mary Poppins!

Sadly my feet stayed on the ground, no flying for me, although my brolly will be flying towards a bin as it fought one too many battle with the wind!

Mops on the other hand was having the best time, he barely noticed the weather, he just played, smiled and laughed! I love that Mops and Bam aren’t perturbed by the English elements..outdoor fun no matter what the weather throws at us!

Mops, one day, when you are a professional footballer (as I know you hope to be!) I’ll look back on these days and smile! My only request is to please make sure you buy your Mum seats in a nice dry viewing box or at the very least a new sturdy brolly!

Back 2 School!

Fun days out (even time at the beach) are now very much behind us and back to school preparation has descended upon our household! School shoes that have seen better days and PE kit t-shirts that were once white now a mud-stained mess will be replaced. School uniform that has been sitting waiting to be labelled since the start of the last term might finally get a label on it! Oh and not forgetting the end of the holidays hunt for the school reading and library books!

I know I have had two weeks to complete all of these tasks but somehow the time has just slipped away, leaving me rushing around at the last minute worrying about getting it all done! I’m sure I’m in good company though, right?!

As I’m running around getting the last minute tasks done I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Mops in the first couple of days of the holidays. We were in the car and he said ‘Mum, I’m not sure holidays from school is a good idea?!’ Hmmm, where is this going?! All children love school holidays, don’t they? So I replied ‘Why’s that then?! ‘ ‘Well I’m going to forget how to do my ‘j’s’ At the time I thought how cute is that!

Now, as I’m rushing around worrying about the return to school, work etc I’m wondering what the boys worries are?! Will Mops have remembered how to do his ‘j’s’? Is that going to bother him tomorrow or will he just stroll in to school not even giving it a second thought?

Who knows, we’ll see what tomorrow brings! Meanwhile, good luck to all those parents out there that are going to be battling the shops today for those last minute school necessities!  Have a good first day back! Oh and Mops I can’t wait to see all your ‘j’s’ xxx

Coffee anyone?

I’m sitting looking at a cup of coffee, a coffee that I have bought but didn’t want – I’m not a cappuccino lover. Somebody had other ideas, somebody decided to press the coffee dispensing buttons resulting in me doing some kind of ninja move to quickly grab a cup to catch the hot liquid that was about to come flooding out of the machine. Luckily my ninja moves are good otherwise an unfortunate incident could have occurred.

From that day forward I resigned myself to the fact that ADHD and cafes probably aren’t a good combination. When you struggle to focus mealtimes are tricky. I know this, so why did I think a cafe on my own with two kids was a good idea?

Why then did I make the decision a few weeks later to go back? It’s like giving birth, you forget most of it apart from the good bits. Everyone’s fed, no washing up – but at what price?

So I find myself sitting in the cafe again, this time avoiding any coffee machine dramas. Instead, this time I find myself wondering how mash potato has made it’s way across the cafe. Well, I know how it made it across the cafe – it was catapulted via a fork. Somebody decided it wasn’t the best tasting mash in the world so decided to get rid!

It’s something that will always be tricky, I’m not sure what the answer is – no going out for tea on my own with the kids? Finding an activity to do during dinner? Reins 🙂

May be he has a future career as a chef – at least he won’t get fed up waiting for his food and he can cook it exactly how he likes it?

Exciting times!

When you are eight years old…

Life is exciting….

Life is fun….

Life is full of boundless opportunities….

That’s the way it should be, that’s what childhood is all about. I remember coming to the realisation in my teens that the world may not be as kind as I had originally thought. As your general awareness grows your perception of the world and the people in it changes. That’s why we often long to relive our childhood. We all want to be free from worry, to be care free.

When you have ADHD the world is even more exciting than it may be for a child of a similar age – in his eyes he’s invincible, he lives in the moment.

So this weekend we have had lots of excitement in our house! It’s Halloween, a chance to dress up as something scary and fill up on sugar….and that’s just me 🙂 The thought of Halloween has Bam bouncing around the house and everywhere else, eyes filled with excitement, running everywhere with limitless amounts of energy.

Don’t get me wrong it’s exhausting for us but with the same token I love watching him, wishing I had some of his energy, wishing our life was filled with excitement from morning to night. What a way to live, maybe I should take a leaf out of his book and embrace all the good things in life with renewed energy.

So as the most exciting time of the year approaches – don’t worry I won’t mention the ‘C’ word yet, our house prepares for a few weeks of full on excitement. Over the years I’ve learnt that I most certainly can’t beat him (he has youth on his side when it comes to energy) so this year I will definitely be joining him! Let the preparations begin….jingle bells, jingle bells

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Letting go!

DSC00441So my big boy is getting older, he’s 8 and he’s rapidly becoming more and more independent. I know all parents grapple with making decisions about the right time to let their child walk out of school on their own or let them stay overnight with somebody other than family.

So this weekend is cub camp, he’s been before but only for one night and this time it’s two nights…! I’ll be honest, if was up to me I wouldn’t let him go, I want him at home with me where I know he is safe. Bam has epilepsy, it’s controlled with medication but it just makes me worry about him that bit more. Epilepsy is a serious condition and you never really know when the medication isn’t going to work any more therefore making him susceptible to seizures.

Of course I have told the cub leaders that he must be watched if he’s climbing up high or near water. They know he needs to take his medication twice a day but I know no one could love him as much as I do, will they look after him in the same way that I would?

I know this is just the start of Bam entering independence, I need to help him learn about epilepsy so he can take care of himself, so he can make other people aware of his condition and let them know when he’s not feeling too well. It’s tough, I don’t want him to be held back by his condition, I want him to be free to do everything that he wants to do but I also want him to be careful.

People say children get easier as they grow up, I really don’t think that’s the case, I think the challenges just change…..! Have fun this weekend Bam, stay safe, can’t wait for my cuddle with my muddy, smelly, happy boy on Sunday afternoon xxx