Oh I do like to be beside the sea…(part two)

After the journey from Hell, and travelling for almost fourteen hours, the only thing we really wanted to do when we finally got to the hotel was climb into bed and sleep. So it should have come as no surprise that the children were in no way whatsoever ready to sleep. Made worse by the fact that there simply wasn’t enough beds for the six of us, that, due to stretching the truth with the booking somewhat,  Eva, Megan and Lewis had two tiny camp beds to share and Harry was wedged in between Gaz and I. Something told me that the Premier Inns “Good nights sleep promise” didn’t quite stretch to being kicked in the head by a two year old.

As we all got into bed and the lights went out, I told myself that after a good nights sleep, tomorrow would be a better day. And then it started….

“I’m going to poo on your head!” ~ Eva
“Mummmmmmy! Eva said she’s going to poo on my head!!” ~ Megan
“Eva stop saying you’re going to poo on Megans head!” ~ Me
“My names not Eva!” ~ Eva
“Mummmmmy! Eva says her name’s not Eva!” ~ Megan
“Eva, stop being so annoying!” ~ Lewis
“My names not Eva!”~ Eva

That. On repeat, for two whole hours. Two torturous hours that resulted in all three of the children crying, Lewis moaning that he was tired and the girls were ‘doing his head in’, me screeching that the people next door would be complaining about us any second and Gaz bellowing that the next person who spoke would have to go and sleep in the car, a threat which I think we all knew held no follow up…although by 1am, I was sorely tempted!

“Mummmmmy! Megan is touching my pillow!” ~ Eva
“Megan, give Eva some of the pillow!” ~ Me
“My name’s not Megan!” ~ Megan

Oh dear God. Kill me now…

By morning we were exhausted after just a few hours sleep, apart from Harry who had sprawled out side ways across our bed while Gaz and I cowered on both edges, too afraid to wake him. But as we opened the curtains we discovered that the sun was shining and, after an all you can eat buffet style breakfast down the road, we were on the final leg down to Exmouth.

As we pulled into Devon Cliff  I finally  felt my body relax, breathed in the fresh sea air, welcomed the sight of the beach in the distance and as we bounded into reception to collect our caravan keys, looking at those four angelic faces, I truly believed that this year, we would have the perfect holiday.

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And yet as we stood in the queue, alongside families whose children sat patiently, stood holding their Mums hand or quietly playing a game on their Ipads, something happened to Eva, Megan and Harry, literally before our very eyes. It’s almost as though they had spent the last few weeks plotting their master plan, lain awake at night masterminding this whole venture – as soon as we get on holiday, let’s forget every single thing our parents have ever taught us, every ounce of common sense, every drop of good behaviour, and let’s become absolute, raging psychopaths!!

And so they did.

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By the time we got to our caravan I was embarrassed, irritated, and sweating profusely and yet the excitement of the caravan merely added to their hysteria. As they jumped from one couch to the next, swung themselves from the kitchen units, hid inside wardrobes and clambered on the veranda, I realised that something terrible had happened, that somehow, perhaps fuelled by the over-inhalation of petrol fumes on the hard shoulder or intoxication from the sea air, we had lost control of our children.

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And there is so much that I could tell you about our holiday, how unbelievably stressful it was, how every single day was a rigmarole just to leave the caravan, how the children cried and tantrummed and showed us up in every restaurant, at every meal, in every way possible. How there wasn’t a day, hell, even an hour, when somebody didn’t look at us, at the massacre of our dinner table or the children walloping each other round the head, and say, “Blimey! You’ve got your hands full!”.

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I could tell you about the dramas of swimming, how every day would involve the military like operation of facing the changing rooms, five of us crammed into one tiny cubicle while Lewis lived it large next door. How the children repeatedly threw their dry clothes onto the wet floor and then had a full on melt down that their clothes were wet. How we spent the entire time screeching, “Stop running! You’re going to crack your head open!”, “Touch that door again and there’s big trouble!”, and dragging Harry out from other peoples cubicles by his feet. How we forgot to take the pound for the locker, every single time, and Lewis would have to trail back out to reception, sheepishly asking for a pound, standing there trying to make himself look invisible incase, god forbid, somebody saw him with this T shirt off. I could tell you how the pool was sub zero, how Harrys lips went blue and at one point I truly believed that I was having a fit I was shaking so much. How there was so much chlorine in the pool that it actually stripped off my nail varnish (which is some mean feat given it has been on there since September 2015), and I broke out in an itchy, red rash which then bled, scabbed over, making me look, and feel, like a leper.

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I could tell you how the children out-right refused to sleep each night, how every evening became a game of bed hopping musical chairs, how Harry woke up screaming wild, frantic cries from constant night terrors, and the girls burst to life as soon as the sun came up. I could tell you about the morning when Lewis sat staring at me over breakfast, studying my face from different angles before declaring, “You look different!”. “Good different, or bad different?” I had asked, the tone of my voice clearly indicating what the correct answer should be. “I dunno,” he shrugged, before his face lit up, “I’ve got it!” he exclaimed, “It’s your eyes! You’ve got really big eye bags!!”.

Lovely. Absolutely, bloody lovely.

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I could tell you about the saga, every single day, of going to the beach. How we had to round up all four children, carry six armbands, three lifejackets, the football, the soft ball, the Velcro bat and ball game, the kite, the bucket and spades, the picnic blanket, the towels for drying ourselves, the separate towels for wiping sand off ourselves, the sun cream, the sun hats, the windbreakers, the sandwiches, crisps, biscuits, the token banana that nobody would eat, the litres of water and a huge inflatable rubber dinghy, and navigate the path down the cliffs to the beach while Megan screamed every minute without fail, “Pick me up! I’m tired!”. I could tell you how as soon as we sat down, literally seconds later, Harry and Megan would have a face full of sand, in their mouths, up their nose, in their eyes, and Eva would be whinging that she was hungry, that she needed whatever it was that we hadn’t brought to eat, right that very moment. How, despite the many, many beach games we had, and all of the fun activities we suggested, the childrens favourite game was to spray each other with sun cream, and how when they got bored of that, they squirted me with factor fifty, in random splodgy patterns so that to top off my leper like chlorine rash, I looked as though I’d had a spray tan….in the dark!

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I could share with you my own personal highlight of the holiday, how, one day at the beach, Harry discovered a collection of sticks and declared them “Dicks” and Lewis and I laughed ourselves stupid, fuelling my belief that I have the mentality of a twelve year old. And the more we laughed the more he said it, as though it was the funniest thing that a child has ever said. As he grabbed a handful of sticks and dropped one onto Lewis’s head, he suddenly announced, “Lewis! Dick head!!” and I swear to God, the three of us nearly died laughing, so much so that our sides ached and I slapped at the floor clutching for breath, a hysteria that didn’t go un-noticed by Megan who, wanting to get in on the action suddenly shouted, “Dick head!” as loudly as she possibly could. And through our laughter we begged her to stop, only fuelling her amusement at shouting it even louder, directing it at strangers as we passed them on the beach, causing stares of disbelief, embarrassment and outright shock! “Stick head!” I told her, “You mean stick head!” which in itself made no sense whatsoever and did nothing to correct the opinion of others that not only were our children feral, but they were foul mouthed too!!

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I could tell you how, just a few days in, on a walk with Lewis to the shops, whilst wearing my new ‘Primarni’ gladiator sandals, the lack of grip (well what can you expect for £2.99?) sent me flying, dragging the top of my foot behind me and ending up, not for the first time this holiday, face down on the concrete. “Keep going, don’t make a fuss!” I hissed to Lewis as I jumped up, ignoring the snorts of laughter from the people behind us and the jeering faces from the car infront who had brazenly slowed down to see what was going on, and I half walked, half hobbled to the shop, hugely aware that my foot was pouring with blood. “It could have been worse,” Lewis had said as we purchased plasters and Savlon, “It could have been one of the kids!”…and boy did those words came back to haunt us!

I wish I didn’t have to tell you that on our last day in Devon, having silently congratulated ourselves that we had survived a week without a trip to A&E, Harry fell over in the caravan and split his head open on the coffee table, a huge big gash that I immediately knew couldn’t be fixed with a Mum rub and a plaster. Our holiday ended with a panicked dash to the hospital to have it stitched back together and the reality that, so soon after damaging his teeth, he would now have a scar on his forehead to deal with.

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I could tell you how, on the way home we called at Alton Towers, and while Gaz took Lewis on the rollercoasters I was left with the three youngest who were just a little bit excited at the prospect of Cbeebies land!!

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And despite the rain, we queued for the first ride, for the longest thirty minutes of my life, before finally getting to the front. Just as we were about to climb into the car, the jobsworth ride operator grabbed me back and smugly informed me that it was one adult to two children on each ride and we wouldn’t be allowed on afterall, to which Eva and Megan threw back their heads and screamed blue murder while I fought back the urge to throttle her and call her a Stick Head! And the only ride that I could take them on, before Lewis and Gaz came and rescued me later on, was the cable cars, which meant facing my fear of heights or, in my case, sitting there crying as the kids rocked the car with such force that I was permanently sat in “brace position”.

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After bribing them with hot dogs, cake and  ice cream, I was relieved to discover the Sea Life centre at Pirate Bay, a nice quiet attraction to keep them entertained. And yet I soon realised that nothing was straightforward with the three of them, more so when it was a busy attraction, pitch black inside and all three scarpered in three different directions as soon as we stepped foot inside. When I finally managed to round them up, feeling as though I should have a collar round my neck, I ushered them over to the open topped “touch and feel” pool, where Megan froze in horror at anything that moved. And I was so intent on taking a photo of Eva stroking one of the star fish that I didn’t notice Harry sneaking away, creeping up at the opposite end of the pool,  plunging in his hand, and lifting the other star fish right out of the water and waving it about in front of his face singing, “Twinkle twinkle little star!”. After a huge panic when the “Superviser” snatched it from him as though he was a cold blooded killer, I quickly bundled them out of there wondering what kind of fools have an open topped pool for kids to poke around in anyway? Fools who haven’t met my children, that’s for sure!!

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And as much as I could tell you about how hard work it was, how there were times when I felt like crying or despaired of the childrens behaviour, how I lay in bed at night wondering what tomorrow would bring, whether we could make it through a day without tears and tantrums, mine and theirs, I could also tell you so much more.

I could tell you how Lewis had the time of his life, how he went on the Segways, did target shooting, kayaking in the sea, aqua jets in the pool, played football every day and the aerial adventure assault course. How the girls stood, thirty feet below him chanting, “Lewis, Lewis!” as he manoeuvred his way across each obstacle, and how Megan shouted, “Lewis! You’re so brave! You look so cool!” which made us all laugh, including everyone around us, and my heart burst with pride at how adorable she can be.

I could tell you how we played on the beach, dug holes as deep as you could get, built sandcastles, buried each other in the sand right up to our necks, made mermaid tails, collected shells and ate gritty sandwiches with the sun on our faces. How Eva declared that this was the “best day ever!” and Harry told us he was having “Much fun!” as we pulled them along in the sea on the rubber dinghy, the sound of their laughter on the wind as they huddled together, best friends forever.

I could tell you how the children splashed and swam in the pool like little mermaids, how they threw themselves head first down the slides and squealed with delight under the water fountains. How Megan danced with her Daddy at the tots disco, spinning around the dance floor with such uncharacteristic confidence. How they sat, all four of them, mesmerised by the shows each night, watching, open mouthed, at the magicians, the dancers, the circus show, and afterwards telling us, “That was my favourite day!”, and even though we had wanted to gouge our own eyes out at the most of them, it didn’t matter one bit.

 

I could tell you about the look on Megan’s face on the Tree Tops ride at Cbeebies land, the flush of Lewis’s cheeks as he rushed towards me off the rollercoasters, his eyes shining, his hair swept back and how Harry craned his neck to look out of the cable cars shouting, “Me up high!”.

How Lewis held my hand when nobody was looking, cuddled up beside me during our round of the musical chairs bed hop and told me how much fun he was having, how much he loved us, how glad he was that we had gone on holiday.

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How the children ate ice creams and cookie shakes and bags of chips until they came out of their ears, savouring every single drop, every single bite. How Harry was never happier than with a spade in his hand, Lewis with his football and the girls with their bean bag teddies, something which they had stood and deliberated over for forty long minutes in Claire’s Accessories when Eva had begged to buy “Something beautiful”. And the smiles on their faces were worth it, every penny, every moment of stress and frustration, those smiles were absolutely priceless.

I could tell you how at night we pulled on our hoodies and trailed down to the beach, armed with our fishing nets and plastic buckets, and hunted for crabs and tiny fish. How we laughed with amusement as Meggy had a meltdown every time the seaweed touched her feet or how Eva slipped over and got soaked from the head down. How Lewis looked over at me, his face flushed with the sea breeze, and announced that he had caught a fish, and the girls flocked to him in complete admiration. How we flew a kite, watching it soar up into the sky, beaming with delight as the children ran up and down the beach making it flip and turn, and crowded together as the sun set, making our way back home to bed, tired, exhausted but happy. Truly happy.

And in all honesty, both accounts would be true. The good, the bad and the outright disastrous. Because holidays are hard work, and I think that anyone who says otherwise has children far better behaved than mine. We have laughed, cried, screamed and shouted and yet what a time we have had, making memories that will absolutely last forever.

Will we be going away again next  year? Absolutely, because although it was far from relaxing for us grown ups, if you ask my children if they enjoyed their holiday they will tell you they had the best time ever. And that, for the next ten years at least, is what it’s all about.

Well that, and copious amounts of alcohol….

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

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The Diary of an 'Ordinary' Mum
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136 Comments

  1. August 9, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    Oh bless I can definitely remember lots of these moments, three young boys all close in age led to many a scary moment. Glad you had a good holiday really x

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:55 pm

      Yes, it’s the closeness in age that makes it difficult. They just egg eachother on and not one of them is old enough to say hang on a minute, we shouldn’t be doing this! I’m hoping by next year things will be that little bit easier! xx

  2. August 9, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    And I thought going to Butlins was tiring lol. Loved reading this

  3. August 9, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    I love your posts, that is exactly what family holidays are like! Such hard work and at times it seems as though there really is not such thing as a holiday with kids as there is no rest and for the small amount of fun involved, there is three times as much effort. The photos are beautiful though and it sounds as though there were lots of positives. Next year they will all be a year older, so that will make all the difference.. won’t it?

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:54 pm

      Thank you! That is exactly what we kept telling ourselves, next year at 3, 4, 5 and 13 things will be very different. Although actually, I’m really not sure it will! If the little ones aren’t playing up then my eldest is sure to have reverted to Kevin the Teenager and our holiday will take on a whole new level of stressful! Fingers crossed!! xx

  4. August 9, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    Hun, I am totally exhorted for you. Glad the children had fun and some family memories have been created. I think I would have needed the whole bar to manage.

  5. August 10, 2016 / 6:52 am

    Yep, this sounds like a typical family holiday to me. Glad you had fun despite the kids running riot!

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:52 pm

      We did, although I feel like I need a holiday right now to recover!! xx

  6. August 10, 2016 / 8:33 am

    This is so what holidays / days out with my own children are like. Stressful for me, full of cheeky children but also full of happy memories xx

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:52 pm

      Definitely, making memories is what it’s all about isn’t it? Good, bad and outright disastrous! xx

  7. August 10, 2016 / 8:35 am

    Awww this had me laughing and shouting oh no with every sentence! Sounds like you had quite the holiday! Those that say that they had a lovely, lovely holiday with well-behaved children, have packed them away to kids club! I especially love the ‘dick-head’ tale 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:51 pm

      Absolutely! And fair play to those that do but for us, a family holiday is about spending time with our kids. Even if that means being buried up to our necks in the sand and watching Rory the Tiger and the gang perform another choreographed dance routine, because one day we would give our right arm to go back in time and enjoy them being young, so for now, we are embracing the chaos!! Dickhead was the best moment ever though, you just cant make it up!! xx

  8. August 10, 2016 / 9:50 am

    Oh, I loved this post! Holidays with kids are so unlike holidays before (and I only have the one kid to worry about!) So many moments of sheer frustration, wondering why on earth you’re putting yourself through this, mixed in with amazing memories, sheer joy, and feeling like this is the best holiday ever. ‘Dick head’ had me in stitches! #bloggerclubuk

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:49 pm

      God yes! I lost count of how many times I asked myself why we put ourselves through this year after year! Dick head is hilarious, I keep laughing out loud every time I think about it! Kids hey?! xx

  9. August 10, 2016 / 2:37 pm

    Brilliant! Wow what a roller coaster of a holiday you had! The bad bits are oh so bad they’re hilarious. The good bits always make it oh so worth it. Sums up having kids really. Take away the tantrums and they’re all perfect little angels #fortheloveofBLOG

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      Yes! If they weren’t so naughty they would be angels, and yet what fun would that be? I’d have nothing at all to blog about, haha! Thanks for reading lovely. xx

  10. August 10, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    Whoops ignore my linky comment above wrong one, it should be for #BloggerClubUK and forgot to say your kids are gorgeous x

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      Aww thank you, I certainly think so! xx

  11. August 10, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    Wow I love this post. You described a typical holiday day in our lives. Full of drama. Lol.

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:47 pm

      Haha yes, drama seems to follow us around!! At least I can laugh about it now!! xx

  12. reimerandruby
    August 10, 2016 / 3:54 pm

    I was so looking forward to reading this post after being on cliffhanger on part 1. Enjoyed reading it and I can totally relate every time we go on holiday. But despite of all the chaos and mess our kids created, as long as they’re having the best times of their lives, then that’s the most important thing of all. Love all your pictures! #sharewithme

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:46 pm

      Ahh thank you. Yep that’s what it’s all about isn’t it. It’s funny that they don’t even realise how stressful and exhausting it is for us, it’s only in years to come when they have children that they will realise just how much we put into those holidays! xx

  13. August 10, 2016 / 4:36 pm

    Oh Laura! I LOVE this, although I am sorry you had more than your fair share of tricky moments. But your photos are beautiful and you’re totally right – your children will cherish those memories forever. I still look back on my childhood holidays with so much happiness. And there’s always wine for you guys 😂 #BloggerClubUK

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      Ahh thank you! That’s exactly it, I want my children to have the childhood that I had, doing the same simple things that needn’t cost the earth but mean the most. I always remember my favourite part of our summer holiday was going on the beach at night and flying our kite or collecting shells, I’m so glad that we can do that with our children. However stressful!!! xx

  14. August 10, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Brilliant post! Family holidays are at their best just when you think nothing worse can happen, and then it just topples over into farce! 😀

    • August 10, 2016 / 6:43 pm

      Haha yep, I’m sure that’s how the majority of family holidays go. It all adds to the fun of it doesn’t it? And if all else, there is wine! xx

  15. rightroyalmother
    August 10, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    This was so, so fun to read (although I can imagine some bits were not so fun to live through!) Vividly caught, brilliantly described. You are such a lovely family… it actually makes me smile and feel so lucky and hopeful about holidays to come with NG & NC. We just did camping for 2 nights (3yo and 11mo old). It was… well, we survived. But that’s what it’s about and memories were definitely made. Hurray!

    • August 10, 2016 / 8:45 pm

      Aww thank you for such a lovely comment! You’re right, there is lots to look forward to with your children. As the saying goes…nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. And it really, truly is!! Xx

  16. August 10, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    Oh god this had me giggling….so sorry about that! Fabulous post, isn’t holidaying with kids just so much fin, ha! Thanks for linking up lovely #bestandworst

    • August 11, 2016 / 10:54 am

      Thank you. It’s certainly never dull!! I could do with a holiday to recover from it! xx

  17. August 10, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    Oh lovely i giggled my way through this!! Holidays are so tough with kids – every year after returning home from our holidays me and hubbie say let’s not take a holiday next year! We are usually exhausted and skint!!! But every year we do it again – it’s all about memories isn’t it!! #bloggerclubuk

    • August 11, 2016 / 10:54 am

      Yes!! All of that money for a week of whinging!! But you’re right, it’s all about the memories and when I think about the looks on their faces I know that we will put ourselves through the same ordeal again next year!! xx

  18. August 11, 2016 / 8:28 am

    You made it look so bad the first half that I was thinking “oh, I’m never doing that”, but all is well when it ends well. xx

    • August 11, 2016 / 10:53 am

      If it wasn’t for those lovely moments I don’t think we would be holidaying until the kids left home!! xx

  19. August 11, 2016 / 10:57 am

    I wish there were a LOVE button instead of like, because this had me grinning from ear to ear with every word and beautiful picture. What a trip! Thanks for taking me along for the ride. It was beautiful, even during those hateful times, it was beautiful! M’wah! <3 <3 <3 #Stayclassymama

    • August 11, 2016 / 5:57 pm

      Aww thank you!! That’s such a lovely comment, and it was a pleasure to share it with you. Holidays are never easy but the lovely times soften the blow of those really tough times. And at least we have a whole year to recover before the next one, although we have been looking at half term breaks! We must be mad! xx

      • August 11, 2016 / 9:41 pm

        It is wonderful and your pictures of your family just beautiful. Making memories! Xx

  20. August 11, 2016 / 11:12 am

    Oh bless, despite everything at least you got away, had an interesting trip and have definitely got some amazing memories to share, some obviously better than others oops x

    • August 11, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      Haha yes, if nothing else it was a fun story to share! xx

  21. August 11, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Bless sounds like hard work we are going abroad in a few months time and am dreading how my son is going to be on a 6 hour flight and sleeping in a different cot.

    • August 11, 2016 / 5:55 pm

      Eeek hopefully he will be knocked out by the heat! We took my eldest daughter when she was ten weeks old and she just slept the entire week, it was amazing! Good luck! xx

  22. August 11, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    Awwww what a lovely post in the end!! Having little ones is a complete roller coaster of emotions isn’t it?! There are rarely average moments – it’s either awesome or disaster!! #BloggerClubUK

    • August 11, 2016 / 5:54 pm

      Absolutely! It’s all or nothing, in every aspect or parenting! But the awesome parts do outweight the disastrous parts….just!! xx

  23. August 11, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    I’m sorry I did laugh a little bit. Boy holidays are hard work, it’s the same as home but with less space and none of those things you usually have on tap like 30 kinds of snack and hours worth of Peppa Pig. But they always turn out good, you forget the bad, or down right terrible in your case, and just make amazing memories. Will you risk it again though?

    • August 12, 2016 / 4:49 pm

      You know what? I think we will!! We even said that next year we might venture abroad, can you imagine the chaos that would bring?!! xx

  24. August 11, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Sounds pretty perfect to me! And the pictures are lovely, your kids are so beautiful #fridayfrolics

  25. August 11, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Sooper dooper photography! And lots of pictures of glorious Devon! Exmouth is a great town and the beach is awesome. I think the warts and all tales are the best every time and make for the funniest, sincerest, bestest posts 🙂 #fridayfrolics

    • August 12, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      Thank you! Yes Exmouth is a beautiful town, we loved it there and will definitely return to Devon in the future. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. xx

  26. Alana - Burnished Chaos
    August 11, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    I feel like I was there with you after reading that. You certainly brought family holidays to life, the ups, the downs, the need for vast quantities of alcohol! So many great memories for you all and that’s what it’s all about. Fab photos by the way! #Momsterslink

    • August 12, 2016 / 4:48 pm

      Thank you. Haha yes, the need for alcohol is major isn’t it? Not that there was much opportunity as it was a constant toss up between drowning out the chaos or dealing with the chaos….with a hangover!!! xx

  27. August 12, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Just popping back again. I still love this post!! It’s brilliant and still making me chuckle very loudly 🙂 Thanks for linking up with us at #FridayFrolics. Hope you can join us next week 🙂 xx

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:49 pm

      Ahh thank you so much! xx

  28. Sarah (Mumx3x)
    August 12, 2016 / 11:10 am

    Absolutely stunning photos! I can imagine how stressful it was but despite that, it looks like you all had a wonderful time! How funny calling sticks ‘Dicks’, that made me laugh out loud. Reminds me of the time my little girl called Ducks… something else that sounds very similar! Haha #BinkyLinky.

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:49 pm

      Oh gosh!! I bet that led to a few embarrassing moments in the park!! Harry also struggles with fork….you can imagine! We did have a wonderful time though, amongst all of the madness, it was still worth it! xx

  29. August 12, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Laura, you do it to me every time. Make me laugh and cry in a single post. I love your writing. No one warns you about holidays with kids. They are hard work! Not to mention the mountain of laundry you return home to and the fallout of having the rules return now you are back home! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:47 pm

      Ahh thank you! We are absolutely dealing with that now we are home, the kids are completely out of their routine, expect ice cream on demand and are tearing around with so much pent up energy (we are still car-less so can’t even go anywhere!) leaving me no time to work through this mountain of laundry! And here I was thinking things would be easier when we got home!! Thanks for hosting! xx

  30. August 12, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Great photos and a wonderful holiday it seems to have been! I am glad I found your blog.
    #BinkyLInky

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you! And thanks for reading! xx

  31. August 12, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    Ha sounds just like our family holidays growing up – I particularly like the pile of “dicks” haha #picknmix

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      Hehe, me too, the things they come out with!! xx

  32. August 12, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    This had me laughing all the way through – not AT you but you have such a way of telling a story!! You’re so right – as stressful as they are, theres nothing like a family holiday. You got some BEAUTIFUL photos of your beautiful bunch too at least! #sharingthebloglove

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you!! Oh I can laugh now, which is surprising because at the time I really wasn’t laughing AT ALL!! I think all of these things make a family holiday, it wouldn’t be the same if everything went to plan! xx

  33. Mummydoyle2beventually
    August 12, 2016 / 2:10 pm

    Wowzers I can totally sympathise we are a blended family with 5 children between us and it’s bedlam when we r all together, people ask you all the time how do you do it??? The answer is you just do, I don’t know how 😭 You just do. I did a Similar post on Facebook couple of months back about our disaster day at the beach many people loved it because it was honest and real this totally is too xxx

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:44 pm

      Ahh thank you. I think it’s important to share the bad along with the good. I see so many people sharing beautiful family holiday photos and I struggle to believe that it was THAT perfect!! But you’re right, you just deal with it because there’s no other choice and actually, this was the choice we made! xx

      • Mummydoyle2beventually
        August 12, 2016 / 4:13 pm

        Spot on, yes even with our beach photographs people said well it looked like u had a lovely Time haha little did they know until I decided to rant with it xx

        • August 12, 2016 / 4:50 pm

          Haha yep, I will have a nosy of your post later when the kids are in bed. I am sure I will relate to it! xx

          • Mummydoyle2beventually
            August 12, 2016 / 4:52 pm

            Aww it was a while back just on my personal fb, before blogging, but I’m sure there will be plenty of stuff to come that I can share in here 😆 X

          • August 13, 2016 / 10:26 am

            Ahh yes, I shall look forward to that!! xx

  34. August 12, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    Just stopping by again to say thanks so much for sharing this with us at #SharingtheBlogLove. And I realised I forgot to say how much I loved the starfish waving and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! Hilarious looking back – probably not so much at the time!

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:42 pm

      Haha I was mortified at that! It’s the looks from other parents that get you, as though I had no control over my children….which I clearly didn’t!!! Kids hey?! xx

  35. August 12, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    I loved reading this (and found the stick head/dick head bit hilarious!). I’m sure you’ll definitely look back on this holiday and laugh (eventually!). The children all look like they made amazing memories, which is the main thing! #thebabyformula

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:41 pm

      Ahh thank you. Stick head was the best!! I can laugh about it now but at the time, oh god I was stressed!! Holidays are such hard work aren’t they? But yes, the kids had the time of their lives! xx

  36. Petite Library
    August 12, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    What a truly delightful holiday snapshot, beautifully written with priceless pictures! Happy holidays (: #FabFridayPost

    • August 12, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you! Lots of lovely (and not so lovely!) memories to treasure! xx

  37. rightroyalmother
    August 13, 2016 / 10:21 am

    Popping back from #theloveofblog – thank YOU for your lovely reply! xx

  38. August 13, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    Your photos and little ones are beautiful. Looks like the kids had a wonderful time. I want to visit the beach over the summer 😉

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:43 pm

      Thank you. We love to visit the beach, despite all of the sand and the drama, it’s a great way to keep them entertained! xx

  39. August 13, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    It all sounds standard. My kids tend to go mental when we go anywhere, forget how to behave etc. You need a holiday to get over your holiday. Sarah #FabFridayPost

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:42 pm

      The issue we have now is that they haven’t remembered how to behave now we are home!! Agghh! I would so love a holiday, am making do with sitting in the back room eating an Aero….! xx

  40. Susie - This is me now
    August 13, 2016 / 5:28 pm

    Haha someone once told me there’s no such thing as a holiday once you have kids. Just same shit, different location. That said, awesome pics and sounds like you had a wonderful time. We went away in June with our then 18 month old and it was definitely more hard work than last year. I see it continuing to be hard work for several years!!! Ah well, suppose they are worth it!! And the sangria/gin/prosecco helps!
    Popped over from #fortheloveofBLOG and will be back!

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:42 pm

      That’s exactly what it is! I think it gets worse every year up to a point when suddenly it will get better! The problem with my youngest three is that they fuel eachothers silliness, it almost becomes a competition between them – who can be the most annoying! xx

  41. August 13, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    Per usual this post was brilliant. I feel like no truer words have ever been spoken. There are always two or more sides to a holiday with the kids. Sure it is hard work, but there is also fun and memories at the heart of it. Well done. Lewis is so handsome, as all of your children are positively gorgeous, that Lewis is going to be a lady killer! xo #Momsterslink

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:41 pm

      Ahh thank you. He is such a lovely boy, beautiful inside and out. He puts up with such a lot too, the kids torment him as much as they do us, but he’s so helpful, I would be lost without him! xx

  42. August 13, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    Ahh your photos are so so lovely! Holidays with kids are never easy though are they x #blinkylinky

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:40 pm

      They really aren’t!! I always think that anyone who claims they had a wonderfully relaxing holiday with kids must have put them in kids club for the week! Relaxing is far from the truth! xx

  43. August 13, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Oh god – these holidays – I’ve just had one. When you wonder why you are doing it and whether you should just give up and Go home . And then something tiny but beautiful happens and it’s all worth it #kcacols

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      Yes! It’s those lovely moments that remind you why you bother! Thank god for the good times or we’d be staying home each year! xx

  44. Angela Milnes
    August 13, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    What a fab sounding holiday. I love all those lovely photos too. Angela popping by from #KCACOLS

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you! We did have a lovely time, inbetween all of the drama! xx

  45. August 13, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Aw I was waiting for part two after such a disastrous start for you all in part one! Sounds like a lot of work but also amazing fun and great memories. Aren’t all family holidays hard work? You only ever remember the good bits further down the line though and the kids only remember the good bits after about a day. You have some great pictures too, such beautiful children. Loved reading this. #kcacols

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      You’re so right, I think our brains are programmed to forget the nightmare parts or we’d never go on holiday again!! I’ve just been looking at holidays abroad, such a glutton for punishment! xx

  46. fairyqueen
    August 13, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    Oh wow, I’ve just gone through so many emotions with you on the journey through your post. Beautifully written and something I could read again and again! I loved it! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.
    Mainy – myrealfairy

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:38 pm

      Thank you so much! It was lovely to share it with you all and I’m sure in years to come we will look back and laugh! xx

  47. mummyfever
    August 14, 2016 / 7:48 am

    Oh Laura – we so HAVE to meet up! We have all of this too…I could have written something so similar it makes me smile, and nod, and cry with you. The hotel description, well everything ha! Thanks for linking to #sharewithme

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:38 pm

      Ahh yes we must!! I’m sure between our lot it would be eventful! It’s so reassuring to know it’s not just us dealing with this every year, I sometimes wonder why we bother! xx

  48. Hannah (tuesdayschildblog)
    August 14, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this! You’ve captured some lovely moments and your children are just ridiculously gorgeous in every picture! #KCACOLS

    • August 14, 2016 / 12:37 pm

      Ahh thank you! They do have lots of redeeming qualities, haha! xx

  49. August 14, 2016 / 5:23 pm

    That was so fun to read. Your children are beyond adorable, bless them x

    • August 14, 2016 / 7:24 pm

      Ahh thank you so much! They are adorable, when they’re not screaming! xx

  50. August 14, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    Sounds just like our holidays to Eurocamp in France and Salou.

    You couls write two entirely different posts and no one would even think they are about the same holidays.

    The good thing is that after a few days all you remember is the good times and that’s why we go and book another holiday the next year.

    Looking forward to reading about your next holiday and looking at some more fab pictures.

    #KCACOLS

    • August 15, 2016 / 7:32 pm

      Yes! I think there is definitely two sides to every holiday but you’re right, the good bits outweigh the bad and so we put ourselves through it year after year! We are thinking of doing Eurocamp next year actually, what can possibly go wrong?!! xx

      • August 15, 2016 / 7:35 pm

        Eurocamp is great. We got lost on the way there, a 6 hour journey took 13 hours. We missed the ferry on the way home. I slipped and tore ligaments in my knee.
        But we had a fab time. The kids loved it and asked to go back to same campsite following year 😀

  51. August 14, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    I have just read this with tears streaming down my face, sorry! Hilarious because of how well you have written it rather than me enjoying your mishaps type of way 😉 Absolutely brilliant, I am glad you got to enjoy a lot of it though really and what stunning photos! Thanks for linking up to #Picknmix lovely

    Stevie x

    • August 15, 2016 / 7:31 pm

      Ahh thank you. I can laugh about it now we are home safe and sound, although I am still car-less (that bit really isn’t funny for me!) and it hasn’t put us off trying again next year! I think I’ve just come to expect that there will be drama, it most definitely follows us around! Thanks for hosting! xx

  52. August 15, 2016 / 1:13 pm

    Oh bless you! Hilarious! I am now living in fear of when it occurs to my kids to deny that they are who they are in order to avoid telling off – it is surely only a matter of time. I’ve had experiences like this though – where from a parental point of view it was actually quite the nightmare, but the kids were actually having fun so it was totally worth it.

    Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics! Hope to see you next time.

    • August 15, 2016 / 7:30 pm

      Haha yes, mine do it all the time, it’s so frustrating, especially as I really want to laugh but have to keep a straight face! See you next Friday! xx

  53. Nige
    August 15, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    Wonderful post as usual and so funny happy you got to enjoy amongst the mishaps fab photos Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky please come back next week

  54. August 15, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    I couldn’t wait to read the second part of your holiday and I really don’t know where to start! You write it so brilliantly and capture a family holiday so well. It really is a rollercoaster ride and one that I know we will take every single year. Because like you say the kids love it and that is all that matters. Memories are made. Gorgeous photos. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

  55. August 15, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    Oh my! Where to start, so much in one post. But absolutely a compelling read. Hope the head bashing and your rash heal quickly, hope normal service has been resumed and what a love your Lewis is, and the little ones too, mostly 🙂 Glad you’re not giving up on holidays because they’re more than that they’re how you all make memories that glue you all together. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

  56. August 16, 2016 / 5:36 am

    Haha! Holidays aren’t what they used to be are they? Great post! #kcacols

  57. August 16, 2016 / 10:46 am

    It is always fun driving anywhere long distance with kids and the arguments, sigh! But glad you got time to relax and hope your rash and the bumps heal soon. Gorgeous photos X #bigpinklink

  58. August 16, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    Aww… such a great post. I am so glad things has worked out at the end. I know the exact feeling that holidays are hard work and it just feels exhausted all the time. I wish I can underline the “all the time”, but I can’t. Gosh, I think the bed time are the worse. Some days we had such a great day and then come bed time – and it is such a shame ending the day with me having a meltdown. But hopefully, the next day will make it up nonetheless. You have written this so well and I admire your stamina for coping 4 kids at a time! I think I will have a double meltdown! Haha I love all the photos that to you have posted. Lewis is getting so big – such a young and handsome lad. He is so very graceful you must be so proud of him.

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost xx

  59. thimumslife
    August 17, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    Oh… My … Goodness!!!!! Just reading the first part, I was totally stressed out for you!! Because our holidays are exactly like how you were describing yours, and that is only with 2 children-I cannot imagine how it must’ve been to do that with double that amount!! I was crying with laughter at the ‘dick head,’ that’s absolutely brilliant!! And I totally felt for you that you waited in what must’ve been a torturous queue for the Alton Towers ride, only to be told you couldn’t take them on… I also would’ve hated to be in a cable car with 3 children rocking it-I went on a school trip to Alton Towers once, and on the way out, my friend announced ‘the scariest ride was the cable cars, don’t you reckon?’!!!! But, when you got on to the things that had gone well, and the children enjoyed, it really was heart warming!! And our last couple of breaks this summer, has been more fun memories than tantrums and awful stuff! And your photos are just beautiful-your little girls really look like butter wouldn’t melt…!!!!!! Fabulous post, you’ve captured a family holiday brilliantly!
    #bigpinklink

    • August 18, 2016 / 7:41 pm

      Yes!! I feel stressed out reading it back but then I laugh because really, you just couldn’t make it up!! Dick head still has me in stitches, I’ve had to keep a straight face though, imagine if they went back to nursery shouting it? The cable cars really were terrifying, I was convinced we were going to plummet to our death, just to top off the holiday from hell! Seriously though, it was lovely, even the awful bits, but believe me….the kids are nowhere near as angelic as they look! xx

  60. Rachel (Lifeofmyfamilyandme)
    August 17, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    Oh wow what a holiday! Love the way you wrote it though! You’ve got lots of wonderful memories from your holiday. We were at Devon Cliffs a few weeks back and saw the aerial adventure assault course when we were in the park – it looks quite scary! So glad you all had a wonderful time in the end 🙂 #EatSleepBlogRt

    • August 18, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you. Devon Cliffs is perfect isn’t it? The aerial adventure course looked scary to me, Lewis has no fear though! Hope you enjoyed it there, despite everything I would love to go back! xx

  61. August 17, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Reading your post I question whether I will have similar experiences in years to come. Lovely photos and wonderful memories to look back over. #mg

    • August 18, 2016 / 7:37 pm

      I expect, if you have several children, you absolutely will!! All worth it though…kind of! xx

  62. August 18, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    This is what a real holiday is all about! The best holidays that I remember were the caravan ones, full of disasters and squabbling with my siblings! 😀 I bet you needed another holiday to recuperate from this one!? 😉 #sharingthebloglove

    • August 18, 2016 / 7:36 pm

      Haha oh yes I do! Sadly we don’t have one planned but we do have a wedding this weekend – child free!!! Woohoo!!! xx

  63. Pingback: Friday Frolics
  64. August 18, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Wow what a week! I totally get it though, it’s stressful and beautiful at the same time. It sounds exactly like our week in Devon! Hope little mans head is ok! Thanks for linking to #picknmix

    • August 18, 2016 / 7:34 pm

      Thank you! His head is healing nicely, the last of the bruising is fading and although he will be left with a scar, I’m hoping it fades with time. Kids hey? xx

  65. August 18, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    This is so true. Holidays are such hard work for parents. I only have 1 child, but I’m usually away with him on my own, and it’s the permanency of being with them and you full time that drives both of you a little mad I think. #sharingthebloglove

  66. August 19, 2016 / 8:18 am

    I feel just the same about holidays. It’s bloody hard work and the children can be crazy, but there is also so much rewarding about it. Great post and lovely photos. #KCACOLS

  67. August 19, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Why is it that kids are always talking about poo?! Mine are always doing it, poo this, poo that! x #sharingthebloglove

  68. The Pramshed
    August 20, 2016 / 7:22 am

    Ah I started reading this and the horror slowly crept in, it sounds like you had a pretty traumatic week away with teh family. But then as I was looking through, the photos (beautiful photos) told a different story. You all look like you had a brilliant holiday, and I read further and further down the post, you did. Those are the moments that you will treasure, you’ll remember the embarrasing times but you’ll love at those in years to come. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  69. August 20, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Hilarious and beautiful – the first part captures family holidays to a tee but the second part reminds me of why I do it to myself! Thanks for sharing this and I look forward to hearing about next year! #EatSleepBlogRT

  70. mackenzieglanville
    August 21, 2016 / 10:39 am

    haha brilliant, you have captured this in such a wonderful way and it will be great to read back to the kids in a few years! After reading part 1 I couldn’t wait to read this one!!! You family are so beautiful though, gorgeous pics as aways xx #mg

  71. September 4, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    What a brilliant post Laura! It captures a holiday with little ones so well and though it was stressful you can tell from the photos that you had a wonderful time. I hope your little man’s head is okay now – I remember when BP took a fall in Orlando and cut his chin open. A hospital trip, a t-shirt covered in blood, and an ice-cream later and he was happy. But he does have a scar. Now he thinks it’s funny, and every time he mentions his scar he also mentions Orlando. While the scar may seem bad it will inspire memories of a holiday, and that can’t be a bad thing!
    Thanks so much for linking to #pocolo – so sorry for the late comment, these holidays are a killer for time aren’t they?!
    PS: Loving the new blog look!

    • Laura Dove
      September 4, 2016 / 6:12 pm

      Thank you! His head has healed really well although he will be left with a scar there is no doubt. It feels like a very long time ago already! A hospital trip in Orlando sounds horrific, it’s awful when you’re away from home and accidents happen. Thanks for commenting on the new blog too, finally gone self hosted, has taken me a while to get it sorted! xx

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