Timmy Time

Now my son is getting a bit older, I am really enjoying playing all sorts of games with him. He actually surprises me with how quickly he learns and what he does know how to do! His memory is insane.

One card game I love to play is UNO. I have loved this game since I was a kid. I found a pack of cards I had forgotten all about and Timmy showed an interest in wanting to play. I thought, oh, this will be fun we will end up just playing snap or memory or something. I was surprised to see when I explained the rules, he got it right away and could play. He is only 3 1/2. Now Daddy, Timmy & me all play together and it is truly a lot of fun.

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Playing UNO with my big man x

I find I constantly underestimate what my son can do. I say “He is only 3, he wont know how to do that!” or ” he is too young, or too little for that”. I am constantly surprised by how fast he learns and when I tell him he is too little or wont know how to play, he tells me “yes I will!” Most of the time, he is right! Is it just me that underestimated my 3 year old? Tell me other mums out there do the same? So this is now a current favorite game we like to play!

Baking is another favorite. Timmy loves making all sorts of things. Cupcakes, cookies, jelly. Mind you, he does not eat much of what he makes, he just enjoys making them. If cupcakes have Icing on them, he wont eat them. In the picture below, he took one bite then said, “mummy you have the rest” He does love to make and eat jelly though, that’s his favorite thing to do. That boy loves his jelly!!

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We love going to cafe’s together. Before I had Elijah we used to go to cafe’s at least once a week. It was one of our favorite past times. Now I mostly grab a coffee on the run or when the rare opportunity presents itself it is good to take Timmy out for a treat just me and him, like old times.

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This may sound odd to some mums, but I LOVE taking my son to soft plays!! He is not a child which run’s off and causes terror among the other children, he is quite happy doing his own thing, playing on his own and letting mum sit with a coffee in peace. Now Elijah is a little older, I am excited to take him to soft play soon also. There is nothing better then going there on a rainy day and letting the kiddies burn some energy while mummy just chills for a bit. It is a great place to meet up with other mummy friends, we catch up, chat, drink coffee, and the kids all play. It’s a win win really!!

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My son also loves playing twister, but I must admit, this is a game I am not totally fond of playing. He is not really good at this game yet, he knows his right and left and his colors but he is a little bit small to play properly just yet. will not be long though and he will be able to play a bit better.

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If Timmy could, he would spend every single day at parks. He loves them so much! He loves the swing best, he can never go high enough! Picnics in the park, now this he just loves! I take his ball and he rolls it down the hill and chases after it. I did take his scooter once, but I ended up with it when he decided he did not want to ride or push it. So I was left pushing the pram and carrying the scooter. We no longer take the scooter!

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Timmy loves to read. Every week we go to library time, they read, sing and do arts n crafts. Then after we go down stairs and pick out a few books to take home. He gets very excited at getting new books. Mind you, he has A LOT of books on his book shelve, but he still loves getting new ones. He will want to read the same one over and over again. He is now at the stage he asks what words mean, or he points to words and asks what it says. But he surprises me, because next time we read that book, he will point to the word he tell me what it says! Nothing wrong with his memory then!

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Reading “The Gruffalo” one of his favorites.

Timmy loves Trains. He got this Thomas Mini’s track for his 3rd birthday and some mini trains to go with it, he has used it so much, i’m surprised it is still standing!! If i ever need to keep him occupied, I pull this out he loves it! Trains are his favorite toys.

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Timmy is currently growing tomato plants, Grass heads and a sun flower!! He loves to doing gardening and watering the plants.

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Visiting family. Every time i pick Timmy up he wants to go to granddad’s house, Granted he only wants to go because he gets an ice lolly and a apple juice. But he does love to spend time around Granddads house.

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A growing bond with his little brother. When Timmy says he wants to give cuddles and kisses to his brother, or help put him to bed or wants a bath with him, it melts my heart. Whenever Timmy walks into the room Elijah’s face literally lights up with the biggest smile on is face. Watching these two together is such a sweet thing to witness, and I love the way they show affection towards each other. I hope they grow to be great friends and have a special bond. Nothing makes me happier then seeing these two monkeys together.

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So these are a few things that Timmy enjoys doing. He enjoys doing a lot, but I would be here all day with things Timmy enjoys. So I will leave it here for now.

Candice x

I am nominated for The Liebster Award!

The very lovely Michelle over at mum from the heart has nominated me for the Liebster Award for new bloggers and I must say a very big sorry for taking so long to get around to posting this! But here it is, I am very grateful to have been nominated and to also get the chance to nominate up to 5 other fabulous bloggers!

This is a great way to get to know other bloggers and to put your own blog out there. I have been blogging for just over a year now, and am still learning a whole lot! I am really enjoying blogging, and have really loved getting to meet new bloggers along the way. Blogging has opened up a whole new world, and as mum has been invaluable for me!

So lets get started! The rules are as follows;

Once nominated you need to answer the questions of the blogger who nominated you and then pass the nomination onto 5 other bloggers with less then 200 followers! Pretty easy and simple really and alot of fun!

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So a big thankyou for my nomination Mish, here are my answers to your questions!

1. What is your dream holiday destination?

I have always wanted to go to greece. Visit the Greek Islands. They just look so beautiful! I have been to alot of places on my travels. Two of my favourite places I have visited are Ireland and Barcelona. I love different cultures and I have met some really lovely greek people and visiting there is on my to do list one day, but may have to wait untill my two boys are a bit older.

2. What is your go to song to lift your spirits when you are feeling low?

Ah, this is tricky. It really depends on why I am feeling low! I don’t really have a go to song, more of bands or artists i like! But i do love a bit of old school cold chisel, Jimmy Barnes…blame my dad for those influences!! I do love Delta Goodrem,

3. What is your favourite board game?

Oh do I just have to choose one? oh I am a sucker for board games…. I love The Game of Life, Monopoly, guess who. I am super excited my son is reaching the age where he can start playing them with me! I brought him Snakes and ladders, that’s also another good one.

4. What is your inspirational motto?

Once again, it depends on the inspiration I need at the time. But mainly I use simple ones like “you got this!” “you can do this” ” every moment is a fresh beginning”

5. How do you keep a work/blog/life balance

I don’t! haha, its true. As you can see it has taken me months to get around to doing this Liebster Awards post and while i’m typing my 8 month old is in the background crying because I have put him down so i can type it up! Unfortunately since my youngest one has come along, my blog has suffered a lot. I am a stay at home mum, I am studying a diploma in Childcare online and look after 2 little boys! Trying to keep a balance is impossible, it has taken me a while to figure that out. I just take each day as it comes. I’ve put a lot of time into my study’s lately, so today its all about my blog and getting my washing done as Timmy is in preschool and its just me and my youngest today! That’s my balance, not having any balance!

So now it is my turn to nominate some great bloggers and ask some questions. Unfortunately I was not sure who to nominate and requested for people to let me know if they want to take part as I did not want to nominate people and their blogs if they did not want to take part. I only received one Response, so i’m just nominating the one. Thank you for taking part, hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Here goes!

My nominations are;

Real Crazy Mom

My Questions are;

  1. What advice would you give to fellow bloggers who are just starting out?
  2. What is your all time favorite food?
  3. If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?
  4. If you were given one super power what would it be?
  5. What is a skill you wish you had, but do not have?

I look forward to reading all your answers! I had a lot of fun typing this post, thanks again to Mish for the nomination.

xx Candice xx

 

 

Deciding to stop breastfeeding

I am extremely lucky with my second son, I was able to breast feed. He was exactly what I had hoped for when it came to breast feeding. He was easy! Unlike my first time with Timmy, which you can ready about  Here I was not so lucky! Elijah I could feed straight away. Although those first few days are really really hard. It hurts so bad like someone is slicing your nipples with glass. I was not confident in my ability and kept thinking I was not doing it right. But It turns out I need not have worried because I was doing fine. Once I knew I was doing it right, things went very very smooth and I was very happy breast feeding. I did not like the Let-downs, Especially in the early days, they hurt! The engorged hard boobs you wake up to in the morning, milk everywhere and baby not being able to attached because there so hard and full! But yet, I loved it, because I knew my baby was growing, was happy and healthy all because of me and my boobies.

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Proud Mummy Breast Feeding

My son has just turned 8 months, and I have decided to stop with the breast feeding and just continue with formula. I have a few reasons for this. Firstly I feel ready to stop. I am ready to stop wearing maternity bras and I am ready to get my boobs back to being my saggy, not filled with milk hard boobs with the let downs. I have had enough! the second is because Elijah now has started to get teeth. He has bitten me a couple of times, mostly he is good and manages to avoid this, but still when he does bite, it bloody hurts!! And the third, is because I feel elijah is very very attached to me. I have no idea if this is because of the breast feeding, I just feel that by others being able to feed him it lets him bond with his dad and gives me a little space as I do feel Elijah is constantly on me. In the night, when he wakes all he wants is boob, he is not even hungry, its a comfort thing. He falls straight asleep on them. As we speak, he just got put to bed, screamed until I went in their and gave him boob. He is fine now!  I have considered giving him a dummy instead, however he has not had one yet, and they are more trouble then there worth sometimes!

I am so proud I managed to breast feed him in the first place. I was so determined to breast feed elijah after my bad experience with Timmy, so being able to is a proud mummy moment! I was not even shy when it came to breast feeding him. If I was out I would find a quiet corner or somewhere not to open and sit there happily breast feeding my baby. It was great not to have to worry about bottles, sterilizing ect I did have a bad public breastfeeding experience with Timmy which you can read here and I was not sure how i would go this time around, but once I knew I was doing it right and I was comfortable, I had no problem feeding him in public. I was always discreet of course, but I was proud and did not care what anyone else thought.

But yes, I feel the time has come to stop breast feeding him. I have not 100% stopped yet, I only breast feed him when he wakes up at 5am and will not go back to sleep without a feed. I put him into bed with me, roll over flop out a boob and he falls asleep on there, as do I! We both get another hours sleep before Timmy comes in and wakes us all up! I feel I have done extremely well in the breast feeding department. I always said I would breast feed until 12 months, because that’s apparently when they recommend you do it until. but I guess when you feel its time to stop, its time!

Candice

xx Life In a Mum Shell xx

Baby food…DIY or buy?

With my first son I did make his baby food for a while, but it did not last. All that effort! boiling, blending, sterilising, freezing, heating back up ect. With my second son, I have made baby food once, that’s when I remembered how much effort it required. So I decided store brought was what was best for us. And you can get some great variety’s that have no added anything in them, they are just what they say they are!! We started weening our first son Timmy at 4 months, milk just would not do anymore. Back then pouches were the new thing, and they were just great! We would use what ever would be on special, or what was cheapest. It was the same this time around, with our second son Elijah we started with whatever was on special. Now I find we keep going back to the same brand,  Rafferty’s Garden They have great variety and are always reasonably priced! Elijah is a bit funny with other brand fruit pouches, I think they may be too sweet for him, however he gobbles up the Rafferty’s Garden brand. He is almost 8 months and now one pouch does not fill him up, I need to give him 2! I heat them up by standing them in hot water for a few minutes, give them a good shake then pour them into a sterilised container or bowl and he just loves it!! I love how convenient they are when we are out and about, if i can not heat them up, he loves them as is and sucks the contents straight from the pouch! So whenever we go out I put a couple in my bag and I know we are fine for food!

We went away for a week recently, and the breakfast pouches were perfect for the duration of our stay! I did not need to take his boxed dry cereal with us that I need to mix with milk, I could take this pouch and he eats it as is from the pouch, no mess and no fuss! For a little variety we will tend to buy the store brand, Coles or Woolies as they are also cheap and have a different range of flavors to choose from. But over the course of 3 1/2 years and 2 children later, Raffertys Garden is still our go to brand for baby food and breakfast cereal.

Do you have a favorite brand you always tend to go with or do you prefer to make your own?

xx Candice xx

*Please note this post has not been endorsed, paid or otherwise. This is my honest review of a product we use and love. 

Is November too soon to start Christmas?

So there has been a bit of a debate in our house of late. Our Son Timmy has been coming home with Christmas decorations, including reindeer food he made last week at school and it is only Mid November!

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Magic Reindeer food

I love Christmas, I look forward to December every single year. Yes I look forward to DECEMBER! For me, Christmas starts December 1st. This is when it is acceptable to put up your tree, make your Christmas decorations, and basically get as christmassy as you like! I understand the children start learning their christmas carol songs as their christmas concert is early december, so this is forgiven. But Reindeer food a month and half early before christmas? bit too soon?! like I said, im all for christmas, its my all time favourite time of the year! But even I have to say november is a bit to early to be pulling out the reindeer food!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, do you work in child care or schools and when do you start your christmas theme? When do you put your tree up at home? Personally it all starts december 1st for me but I do know a lot of people who start decorating their houses very early, each too their own! Do you agree with November is too soon or are you all about Christmas as soon as possible?!

look forward to hearing all your comments!

xx Candice xx

Being a SAHM.

Since becoming a mum I seem to be in a ‘Stuck’ phase. I am not who I was before children, yet I am not completely not that person either. Confused? Good, so am I! I have always wanted to be a mum and am so grateful I have been blessed with 2 healthy lovely boys. Personally though since becoming a mum I have struggled to find ‘Me’. Before kids, I had dreams, goals, I was driven and would go for what I wanted. I only had me to think about. It’s a freedom I look back on and see I took for granted. I would be lying if sometimes I longed for those long gone never to be seen again days, of waking up when ever I wanted to, not needing to think of anyone else but me, being able to do as I wanted when I wanted, not a nappy bag or pram in sight. Go shopping for me for clothes that I like and not have to worry about boob access, or to cover my mum tum and not to have to worry about baby sick or food staining and ruining it! However, I wouldn’t change my current life for anything. I’m 3 1/2 years into this mum life, yet I am still adjusting! I wonder if I will ever figure it out, or if it will always be a constant adjustment? Ive wanted to be a mum ever since i could remember, I am living the life ive always wanted yet why do I struggle personally? shouldn’t I be able to handle this with ease, love every moment, not let stress bother me and get me down. nope, life just doesn’t work that way!

I seem to have lost that personal drive I once had. After Timmy was born I struggled for a good 2 1/2 years to figure out which career path I would take when I eventually went back to work. I have always worked since I was 15, I love working. Since becoming a mum, this is the first time I do not have a paid job and rely soley on my partners income, however I definitely work, being a mum is the hardest job ive ever had! There are no days off, no sick leave and it is a 24/7 job! So when I go back to paid work I could go the path I know and have years of experience in and can do with my eyes closed, Reception/Admin. Or I could go the avenue which I have thought about loads but just not done as it requires more studying, and I would be starting over right from the beginning -Childcare. After we moved to Oz, Carl couldn’t work for the first 3 months, I did some temping casual reception work and was bored and hated it. I enjoyed the adult conversation and the break it gave me from being a “mummy” for a few hours, but I hated the mind numbing role. Sometimes the phone did not ring for hours, I sat there bored out of my brains and knew this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I decided childcare it was! So after Elijah was born I enrolled in a Diploma in childcare. It has since sparked an excitement in me I had not experienced in a while for my personal goals and future. I enjoy studying and it feels good to be doing something for me. I have been struggling with the stay at home mum role, don’t get me wrong I love being apart of my children’s early years. I don’t miss out on anything, and im proud as punch watching my boys grow, learn and develop, but I do struggle as one day rolls into the next and into the next and weeks go by and I wonder where the days have gone? what did I achieve? Nothing gets done day-to-day and I have no idea what I’m doing every day! I wake up every morning with  “ill do this and this and sort this” attitude and by the end of the day I am lucky if any of my lists gets done. Staying at home each and every day gives me very little motivation and inspiration, by the end of each day I feel very disappointed in myself for not filling my days as how I intended at the beginning. Most days are filled with washing clothes, washing dishes, repeat about 6 or 7 times through the day, it’s never ending and drives me mad! Then there is the 3 year olds mess, he is a tornado! I seriously can not keep up with him.  From one room to the next, books off the shelf, play dough on the front step, and the back…how and when did that happen? Trains everywhere, Puzzle pieces in different boxes, Lego everywhere plus clothes he has mixed up…my fault…shouldn’t leave clean clothes lying on the floor with the dirty clothes for a toddler to get into and mix up! At any given time one or more….ok so all our rooms look like they have been burgled, it’s just so easy to shut the door and “deal with it later” yep…that door never opens! I want to be that mum that’s got all her shit together, that can cook and have a clean kitchen after, that does all the washing and puts it straight away instead of leaving it for days…ok sometimes weeks until we run out of clothes and search the basket! I wish I always had clean floors and that there wasn’t some sort of crunchy cereal I step on daily that my son dropped on the floor and that I step in daily…hmm, yep, probably should have cleaned that up by now. Every day I set myself up to fail in the house department, I just don’t have the motivation and get up and go to spend all day every day cleaning, sorting, repeat. Seriously, how on earth did mums manage 50 years ago with less appliances, more children, times were harder. Here I am struggling and compared ive got it a whole lot easier! I guess there are a lot more distractions these days, computers, social media, tv ect, more toys and stuff kids have to make more mess (my fault, i keep buying stuff!) I do hate that Carl comes home and is faced with the chaotic messy house and a girlfriend with messy hair, hairy legs and vomit and/ or baby food all over her clothes. It’s not fair on him, but to his credit he rarely complains, in fact he never complains, he only ever sometimes drops the slightest hint when he runs out of socks or underwear or when he feels its necessary I guess. Its sad, ive let my pride in my appearance go beyond acceptable. I desperately need waxing done, hair cut, new clothes and my weight has gone stupidly out of balance. I know im stuck in this rut, and need to get out of it. I have joined a gym, I love doing gym classes, there my time. Something I do just for me, its nice! I just need to get stricter with my eating. I eat mostly out of boredom, it’s a terrible habit!

I’m sure there are many mums out there who can relate. I would love to hear any advice or feedback you have! I love being a mum, but I am struggling to find ‘me’ in my role. I thought I was finding my self after Timmy we had a great routine and I felt on top of it. but once I had Elijah, our routine completely disappeared, and Timmy entered the terrible threenanger stage which threw me a new curve ball I wasnt ready for and then I had a bad spell of postnatal depression which sometimes I still find creeps in. Im blessed to be a stay at home mum, yet I struggle to find the ‘me’ amongst the chaos of daily life. I feel im constantly letting everyone down every day, not enough attention to Timmy and even to carl. He mentioned the other night he misses cuddles -which is all my fault, Im always too tired and just fall into bed exhausted too tired to stay up, chat, cuddle. Ive dropped the ball everywhere. I would be a hopeless juggler as this balancing act is hard work! Through the postnatal depression I fought hard to dig myself out of that hole, but it’s not completely gone, some days are great, others not so much but I’m dealing with it by talking to people, seeking professional help and writing about it along with reading self-help books.

I just wish I could feel comfortable and confident in this role as stay at home mum. Most days I feel like a fraud, like I’m going through my days dazing through trying be something i’m not and failing at it. My mum guilt on a daily basis is ridiculous, I constantly feel guilty over everything. How much time Timmy spends infront of the TV or on my phone playing games, or when he gets himself into a tantrum how I could have handled it better, or I didnt feed him a proper dinner… spagetti tonight kiddo? The only thing I can be sure of is I love my little family so damn much, my boys are my life and my world! They bring me purpose and a love only I can get from them. Their stressful, tiring and exhausting but I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for anything. I guess the rest of the chaos and mess will just sort itself out. well I hope it does! I guess we can’t have it all. I want to be a great mum, I wont sacrifice that to be a great housewife also. I read somewhere once that when your kids are grown, they wont remember the messy house or dishes in the sink, but they will remember the memories and laughter you create together. lets hope that’s true!

lots of love to all you mummas who feel a little lost and overwhelmed, you’re not alone! XXX

Our Family Trip to Queensland

We were lucky enough to be able to go to QLD for a week for a family holiday! Carl got a week off work, and I desperately wanted to go visit my granny again, as she had not yet met Elijah. So we decided if we are going all the way to Grafton to visit granny, lets go the extra 3 hours and visit Surfers Paradise while we are there.

Now Grafton is north from where we live and its a good 10 hours drive. I know what you are thinking, 10 hours in a car with a 3 year old and a 4 month old are we mad?! Well, I can honestly say our kiddies were made to travel! They did amazing, although I was not worried about Timmy at all. He has done more travelling in his short 3 years life time then most have done and he has always done well, never complains and just takes it all in his stride! He has actually done this long Grafton journey 2x before. However I was not so sure how Elijah would cope as we have not yet traveled with him before and he does not like being kept in his car seat for long periods of time. He was amazing! He got a good 9 hours in before he decided enough was enough and had a good cry. Honestly, we got lucky with our boys and their ability to travel well.

We set out at 5am in the morning, so we could get through Sydney before peak hour traffic started. We got through, no worries at all we even had a couple of stops for breakfast and feeding baby. We even stopped at the Iconic Big Banana where Timmy had to eat a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and some much needed coffee for us Adults! We made it to Grafton at 4pm and checked into our accommodation. We normally stay in hotels, but this time around we thought we would give self serviced apartments a try. I can honestly say it was the best decision we made and in future when travelling with kids, I will always go this way. No more hotels for us! We had a bedroom for the kiddies, and a bedroom for us. Kitchen, bathrooms and our own space. Its nice to be able to relax after such a long journey in a separate room from the kids and with a nice glass of wine. If it wasn’t so cold, we would have made use of the balcony!

We cofvisited Granny, it was so lovely to see her with her great grand-kids. I love we were able to travel and take the kids to see her. She has met Timmy twice before, but this was her first time meeting Elijah.  So after a short but sweet visit with Granny, we went back to the apartment, bathed the kiddies put them to bed and we sat down with a takeaway Chinese and wine for dinner before crashing ourselves as we were up early again and heading further north to QLD! Once there, we checked into our apartment, this time with an Ocean view, a very large balcony and a spa bath! Talk about feeling spoiled! The Atrium apartments complex also had a roof top pool and a heated spa. Was such a beautiful place. Once we checked in we decided we wanted to extend our stay, we originally booked on for 2 nights, but we decided 3 nights would be better! we came all this way, lets make the most of it. It had been a while since we had a proper family holiday. So we unloaded the car, and headed straight out to Movie World.

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Timmy with daddy on his favorite ride the merry go round!

I was so excited to take Timmy and see all the characters and just watch his little brain take in everything he was seeing. I love watching him experience the rides and everything all for the first time. I remember going there for the first time when I was younger, it was such a magical place for me, so to see Timmy experience that was incredible. Timmy absolutely loved the Dodgem cars with Daddy, but his favorite was the merry go round! After a very busy day, we headed to Woolies and stocked up on groceries for the next few days and headed back to the apartment where we relaxed and fell asleep exhausted.
The following day we woke and headed for Sea world. This place was absolutely Timmy’s favorite place. Carl loved it too! We watched the Dolphin show, Seals, polar bears, stingrays and Timmy really enjoyed the under water world.

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There were sharks, fish…he found Nemo and Dory! Timmy loved all the rides, they were a lot more catered to his age. He loved the Flying Banana and the submarine. I even managed to get him on a small roller coaster, but there was no way he was going on that a second time! So that night back at the apartment, we all sat down and decided were should we go on our third day? We could go back to Movie World or Sea world or we could try some of the other parks. Timmy was sure he wanted to go back to Sea world. As we all loved it so much, a second day at sea world it was!! But as it was a Saturday, it was a lot busier then it had been the day before so we had to Que a lot for rides and wait a lot longer for everything. But even when it was time to leave Timmy did not want to go! He got to meet Dora and watch Dora’s show. He had such a great time!

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Then on our last day, we woke went for a walk along the beach and found a lovely place to have some breakfast. Then we headed into Surfers Paradise, sat on the beach and let Timmy have a little play, had some lunch before going back to our apartment. Timmy had a swim in the heated spa which I joined them with Elijah. Was lovely and exactly what we all needed!

Then we headed back to Grafton to visit granny for the day on the way home. We stayed in another serviced apartment, this time a little closer to where Granny lives. We went to dinner and then the following day up and on the road by 5am again. We made it back home by 4pm. I honestly did not want to come home and back to normal life. I could have happily stayed another week at least! This trip was exactly what we needed! I can’t wait to do another holiday.

IMG_20170812_170722.jpg CHEERS TO GREAT FAMILY HOLIDAYS!