Baby One vs Baby Five

​ I’ve been thinking about how much I have changed from the first time mum of twins I was ten years ago to the mum of nearly six now. 

This list worried me a bit,  and before you contemplate calling social services after reading this, George is the happiest baby I have ever known! 

You tend to do so much different the second, third, fourth,  fifth and sixth time round 😱
Baby One :
I started looking at buggies and cots when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. 

Baby five: 
I dragged the dusty cot out of the loft on my due date. 
Buggy? I don’t have time for a buggy, I just strap baby to me and go! 

Baby One:
Book pregnancy massage at 30 weeks to relax.

Baby Five :
Radox relaxing bubble bath while one child is talking to me whilst taking a dump on the loo and another throwing toys at my head. 
Baby one :
‘oh wow, congratulations,  that is such wonderful news ‘
Baby Five:
‘ANOTHER ONE!?  you need to stop now!  Send him for the snip!
Baby One :
Panic and Google everything about childbirth, gather as many stories as possible and hope your hospital stay is minimal. 
Baby Five :
Not to worried about the pain,  more concerned how I will muster the energy to actually push the baby out. 
After two homebirths,  considering a hospital birth to blag a couple of peaceful days with my feet up being waited on. 

Baby One:
Sterilise the sh*t out of everything, dummies,  bottles,  hubby’s hands….  
Baby Five :
Put the dummy in my mouth to clean it!  (come on,  I just watched the dog lick the babies hands and my five year old put her fingers in his mouth!)

Baby One :
Keep everyone away for a couple of days after the birth to recover,  when they do come,  hostess and act like the perfect, coping mum  
Baby Five :
Invite as many people as possible over as soon as baby is born and go straight to bed to ensure you can buy enough ‘visitor baby hugs’ time to get a good couple of hours sleep.
Baby One :
Boil wash every item of clothing prior to baby wearing it and clean bedclothes daily.

Baby Five :
Wash at 30 degrees with the other kids clothes and only wash bed clothes when baby has been sick!  
Otherwise it falls in the general house rules of one wash a week! 
Baby One :
Buy every lotion, potion and gimic you can afford. 
Baby Five :
Olive oil for cradle cap, lavender oil in the bath rather than the Β£10 bottle of lavender scented baby bath cream.   
Oh, and FYI, Calpol is exactly the same as the own brand baby paracetamol but triple the price. 
Baby One :
Two weeks post birth spent in hibernation.
Baby Five :
School run six hours later.

Baby One:
Panic over the ‘ right ‘ time to start your baby on solids. 
Baby Five:
Disregard the professionals and as soon as baby isn’t getting satisfied by milk the porridge comes out.

Baby One :
Toddler groups three mornings a week. 
Baby Five:
Organising coffee mornings around what coffee shop has  the best ‘kids area ‘ 

Baby One :
Never take the babies to McDonald’s! They will only eat healthy, organic food including their 5-a-day until they are 9!
Baby Five :
Tried McDonald’s by nine months and even substituted the fruit for an apple strudel.
Baby One :
6.30pm bedtime,  no excuses. Boom!

Baby Five :
It’s 8pm and the baby is watching Fresh Prince with the older kids. 
If the house is quiet why rock the boat? 

Baby One :
Plan toilet training like it is a military operation.
Baby Five :
Forget to put a nappy on the baby and realise after two days he has been using the potty in the corner. 
Baby One :
At one month old, researching primary schools, high schools and universities so that my angels can become the next prime minister, doctor or lawyer.

Baby Five :
Now looking at high schools for real for the older kids.
Primary school is already planned under the sibling rule and ive actually realised,  as long as they are happy and have good support, who cares what they are when they are older. 

Baby One :
Baby gates everywhere! Can’t possibly risk baby falling down the stairs. 
Baby Five :
Teach baby how to climb down stairs safely before he can even walk. 
Baby One :
Worry at 2pm that baby hasn’t had lunch and stop everything to make sure they have a suitable meal. 
Baby Five :
At 2pm wonder if the two ginger biscuits and a mouthful of mud he had at the park is ok to pass for lunch.

Baby One :
Perfect changing bag packed and full of baby necessities at all times.  
Baby Five :
Two nappies in one pocket and baby wipes and a dummy in the other and off we go! 
Baby One :
If the baby starts creating in a restaurant,  stick by your guns,  ride the tantrum out and beam with pride when you win and other diners are patting you on the back. 

Baby Five :
Baby creates in a restaurant and you pass them the lemon from your g&t, a left over rib, order a chocole brownie or do just about anything they want just to shut them up…..then roll your eyes at the disapproving diners! πŸ˜‚


Happy New Years……Resolutions?Β 

​2016 has been an exciting year for me.   My new addition, George has given me his first giggles, crawled, taken his first steps and become a fully fledged toddler.

I watch my beautiful sister in law get married on one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.

I spent a fantastic weekend in Dublin with some of my favourite girls. 

I found out we are expecting baby number 6 and started my Modernmum blog.
I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me throughout my blogging experience.😘
I have met some wonderful new people through this journey and still feel it is only just beginning.   
Looking forward to seeing you on the other side…2017! πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰
I was chilling in the bath earlier,   thinking about what my new years resolutions will be for 2017.
I’ve never made NY resolutions before (mainly because I know I’ll never keep them,  why add pressure!?) 
But this year, I feel like I want to challange myself,  to see if I am capable.   
So here it goes….   
-Being pregnant I’m not about to put pressure on myself to lose weight,  however,  baby is due in April.  By next Xmas I would like to be pre pregnancy weight. #goals
-Stop convincing myself Libby’s messy bun is an acceptable school hairstyle.   Actually start brushing and tieing it up neatly every morning. 

-Take George to more toddler groups and less coffee shops. 
-Start working at a desk rather than on the laptop infront of the TV.
-Always make sure the kids have lots of paper/supplies for homework projects.  They get so embarrassed taking in a scrappy bit of A4 when little jonny looks like Monet has done his homework. 
-With the children,  sign up to at least three charity fundraisers.

-No more dogs! 
-Always answer my mobile phone, even if I know it is cold callers, politely tell them to fuck off.
-Go out for more family walks,  such a cheap fun way to spend time together.  If we end up at the local pub… Even better!

-Stick with this blogging lark, I am really enjoying it and maybe even double my followers (feel free to share away😘)
-Get my arse into gear and make sure we have turkeys here in the summer.  Next Xmas we will be supplying your Xmas dinner) 
-Laugh more,  love more and try harder. 
So what’s your news years resolutions?  Or like me in the past,  do you just not bother? 
Happy New Year, Lots of Love
Kate xxxx

Saint Nick popped in for a cuppa!

​Deck the halls!  
We have had a really special,  festive weekend full of friends,  wine,  mince pies, sausage rolls, tinsel, The Pogues and Santa Claus! 
Back in November I looked into which Santa to take the kids to visit.  
I looked into local garden centres, National trust venues and shopping centres.   
I know most of them are great experiences but when you have 5 children they are also really expensive. 
It got me thinking,  how much would it cost to bring the big guy to us!?

I hit Google and found a company called Hiresanta.  
They sent me a few videos of different Santa auditions and the relevant price for each Santa.

Obviously, the best,  most realistic was the most expensive….. And typically the one I set my heart on. 
The price tag for our Santa came at a wopping Β£300, but,  considering I was going to spend Β£100 for 2 minutes with a half decent Santa at the local garden centre, I thought I’d give it a go.

He didn’t disappoint!
The children were absolutely blown away (and so were the adults). 

Turns out our Santa was a professional actor with credits such as Eastenders, The Bill, Frost, Londons Burning and Casualty just to name a few.
He spent two hours talking to the children,  listening to each of their presie lists and told them a lovely Christmas story. 

We are definatly going to book again for next year. 
Some of the older kids were suspicious but he was pretty convincing and left even the most defiant believers wondering….. Could he be!? 
So I can confirm we are now officially in the Christmas spirit! 
If you can get a few friends together and split the cost it is a great experience and a chance to make special memories that last forever. 
It’s also a great excuse for the parents to get together with a few bottles of wine and let a jolly man in a suit entertain the children for a couple of hours. 
Only one problem, Santa left his belt on my bed!…. Try explaining that one too the kids πŸ˜†πŸ™ŠπŸŽ…

HO HO HO!!!! πŸŽ…

Recipe for perfect kids

​I totally won my kids over today!  
Today I have been honoured with 
‘ the best mum in the world ‘ and ‘absolutly amazing ‘
They have hung all their clean washing up and put it away for me,
Cleaned their rooms and fed George.
They had a shower without asking them,  and now as i type this we are cuddling on the sofa.
The secret?  Well it was so simple I can’t believe it is taken me so long…… 

2 x packs of oreos
Half a tub of vanilla ice cream 
Milk added depending on how thick you like it. 
(just half that If you don’t have a mini tribe like me!) 
All wacked in the blender  
(sorry I didn’t get a chance to take a photo before my angels inhaled two glasses each!) 
Anyway….. Viola! Happy kids!!!
(she takes a bow)

Family Movie Nights πŸŽ₯

​Who doesn’t love Disney movies!? I could watch them day after day…… 
Oh, hold on,  that’s exactly what i have been doing for the last nine years! 
Given my babies ages (11 months. 5, 7 and two 9 year olds) I have been on the ‘disney, cebebeies, baby TV and Mr bloody Tumble’ channel for nearly a decade. 
So,  people may judge me when they hear i have been embracing the twins impending teenage years by introducing them to some of MY favourite movies. 
Some have been a hit, some haven’t, some appropriate, some maybe not,  but I’ve had a blast sharing my old favs with them. 
Pauly Shore is a bit of an unknown name in the UK, but growing up,  his movies were amongst some of my favourites. 

California Man, Bio-dome, son in law and In the Army Now are great movies for my boys.  They think he is one of the funniest people alive (besides Mr Bean). 
Stand by Me was our Friday night movie recently.   

It was a really lovely evening as Mike and I were as excited to sit down and watch it as they were. 

They found it quite emotional (when Gordie’s brother dies and when they tell stories about their family lives) but the ‘leech scene’ and all the swearing made up for it! 
FYI,  a little trivia I found out while writing this blog, did you know,  Vern in Stand by Me has grown into Jerry O’connell, who has been in Scream 2, Mistresses, Billions and Jerry Maguire! Who’d have guessed that! 

I don’t worry about them watching movies that use profanity anymore.    They know what they are allowed to say and what they aren’t and I trust their manners….
Plus, they probably hear worse at home anyway! 
Beetlejuice is now on their favourite list aswell as mine, along with Goonies, National Lampoons Vacation, Big, The Great Outdoors,  Overboard, The Ernest Movies,  Gremlins, Jaws, Mannequin, Parenthood, Return to Oz…I could go on. 
One choice that was very controversial in our house, and, I won’t lie, was Mikes choice for a movie night.  
His all time favourite movie,  FOREST GUMP!!!!
Now,  this movie is PG rated which was his argument for letting Mikey and Harri watch it. 

However,  I don’t think he took into account the various scenarios this movie involves. 

I found it the most painful 6 hours of my life (that is how long the movie goes on for isn’t it?  No? It f#@king felt like it!) 
Cringing at every scene i knew would be followed by an awkward question 
‘ mum why is Forest making funny noises after his teacher visits his mum ‘
‘urgh why is jenny making him touch her boob!?’
‘ why is jenny running away from her dad?’
But, the boys absolutely loved it,  Harrison asks me daily to watch it again. 
The adult themes went over their head but the emotional rollercoaster really swept them away. 
They are memorised with the whole movie,  Forest, his relationships with family and friends,  his comic manner, his constant need to please,  protect and love. 
I feel,  in hindsight,  it was a great movie choice for them that taught them things I certainly couldnt.
And it opened the door for me to test some other movies such as Olympus has Fallen,  London has fallen,  San Andreas, Outbreak 😱, Salt, Planet of the Apes.
So in short, now. When we have ‘a family movie night ‘ I can be in the room with them mentally aswell as physically, watching with general interest rather than staring blankly at the TV because I’m watching Toy Story, Frozen or Horrid ba#@ard Henry for the 1000th time! 
Don’t worry George…… I’ll still sit through all the crap for you 😘

Camp Bestival 2016

My friend has been to every Camp Bestival since it started and every year she has tries to convince me to come with her. 
Now, here is the problem,  i don’t camp! My experience of tents is that they are damp and freezing when the weather is cold and like a sweat box when it’s warm.  They smell and don’t even get me started on putting the bloody tent up and taking it down! 
I have nothing but respect for anyone who can embrace camping,  especially with children! But it’s not for me. 
When you have five children in tow the aim of the game is to always plan ahead. Avoid anything that could cause Unnecessary stress!
Over the last year the kids have really started getting into music and what’s hot in the charts. 
I looked into tickets to capitals jingle bell ball, party in the park,  Justin Bieber and more,  but tickets always seem to be a minimum of Β£100 each. 
When you want to take four kids it’s starts getting ridiculous!
So my thoughts turned to Camp bestival,  where the tickets for children are approx Β£150 but you have three days of various artists plus so much more.
Another friend had mentioned she was going but had hired a campervan….bingo!!!  

After the drama of trying to find a six berth campervan to rent for the first weekend of the summer holidays with two weeks notice we hit jackpot in Hayling Island.
At the cost of Β£650 for the weekend,  to take the kids away for four nights, we thought is was a bargain!
It is so much easier packing a campervan for a little holiday than a car.  Food i had brought went straight into the fridge,  I made the beds up and put the cases away in the wardrobe. 

The campsite opens on the Thursday,  there is not a huge amount happening that day but food stalls are open and the Slow Motion area (pampering section where you can have your hair done,  spa treatments,  yoga etc). 
We drove down Wednesday night and pulled up at a lay-by close to The festival ready to drive straight in on Thursday to get a prime spot and avoid heavy traffic.
Camp Bestival is set in the grounds of Lulworth Castle in Devon. It took about  two and a half hours from where we live in Warlingham.

It is an absolutely beautiful setting that’s adds to the magic of the festival. 
Knowing Thursday was more of an orienteering day to gauge where everything is, I decided it would be the perfect day to book a relaxing massage in the Slow Motion area.
Mike and I both had a shiatsu massage which really set us up for the weekend. 
I have never had a massage on the ground in a teepee before but don’t knock it till you try it,  it was fantastic!
The campervan was equipt with a toilet,  shower and a kitchen but unfortunately the field don’t provide electric so we couldn’t use our shower. 
However,  the ‘posh showers’ they provide are really nice and as long as you pick your time right (we showered late afternoon)  there were no ques.
I can’t go through everything that the festival has to offer,  mainly because I don’t feel like we did even half of it but I’m ready to go hardcore at this festival next year!! 
The main stage is where the big acts perform.  From about 3pm the music acts are continuous.  
Our favourites are Reggie and Bollie, Jamie Lawson, fat boy slim and Katy B.
Dick and Dom from Cbbc really for the crowd going and Mike and I were crying with laughter at some of their antics!
Unlike other festival,  the main stage area never felt rammed.

There was plenty of room to set up a picnic blanket, buggy and bags and have a dance without bumping into anyone. 
The Big Top tent is where we watched a beautiful West End Kids show featuring songs from all the Disney movies, We Will Rock You and to Mikeys delight, a bit of  Arianna Grande.
The children all took part in the Brit School Workshop where they learnt dance routines.
We spent a few hours in the art tent making all sorts of models with the outerspace theme that the festival was based on, Mikey, Charlie and Libby particularly enjoyed that. 
Harri spent his time outside the tent perfecting his spinning wheel tricks! 

The kids were mesmorized by the insect circus, loved the punch and judy puppet show and although we didn’t make it to the biggest bouncy castle,  we are saving that for next year. 
We all enjoyed watching the BMX and stunt shows but, again,  we missed a few opportunities that we are looking forward to catching next year such as the wall of death and the kids climbing wall/ gymnastics.
The atmosphere feels very relaxed and safe with regards to the kids. 
I lost a couple of the kids one evening (not on purpose i promise)  and kids welfare tent called me within 10 minutes to say they were safe and with them. 
All children are given wrist bands with parents numbers written on them.
One of the managers that I spoke to when I picked Mikey up proudly told me that in all the years Camp Bestival has been running they have never lost a child for more than 15 minutes!  That is quite an accomplishment given number of families that attend.

Now let’s talk about my favourite subject…!
The food choices are out off this world!  
With a family of seven it can work out expensive to feed them all day at the festival. 
I would suggest packing lots of food so that you can cook breakie and take snacks etc. 
But with all the best intentions to save money, when your faced with the choices there,  it’s hard to resist! 
Chicken katsu curries, fish and chips, Dj Bbq, French crepes, Indian, Burgers (not just any burgers,  those posh burgers made from any meat you want!) 
Lobsters and shellfish,  pasta, pizza, milkshaka made with any chocolate you want, I’ve cream,  Vietnamese, Jerk, Cakes, Mike had a Ox Cheek wrap that was out of this world. 
The list goes on,  honestly,  anything you could possible want,  they catered for. 
Mike was particularly enjoyed when he saw a few of the foodies he follows on Instagram there. 
On the recommendation of our veteran camp bestival guru Katie, we made a point of going into the kids field and getting them some corn…… That went down a treat with them all and is now going to be a regular snack in our house! 
As you can probably tell, we really had the time of our lives!  

Now I’m going to dissapoint you by telling you we left early. 
We packed up on Sunday afternoon,  missing a few acts, losing out on seeing some of the other treats the festival had to offer and most importantly, the complete highlight (so I have been told)
Mikey had already missed a couple of rehearsals for the production be was in due to our weekend away and missing any more could have meant losing a place in the show. 
This is just another thing I will look forward to next year. 
We spent such a magical weekend together.   The children loved it and Mike and I both agreed it was better than taking them to Disney world! 
Needless to say we have already booked for next year and can’t wait! 
FYI,  Camp Bestival provide a payment plan for tickets so that you can spread the cost a bit. 
For us to go (2 adults, for children and a baby) for four nights,  including pitch and tickets was approx Β£750.

If you decided to give this a go next year here are a few tips:
-The campsites are up and down some pretty beastly hills.
We must about managed with the buggy but watching some of the campers drag trollies of tenting equipment back and forth from the car park (up another hill) made me want to pour them a vodka. 
If you can afford it, look into the glamping, backstage and boutique camping.  If you have young children it would be well worth it. 
-Take plenty of supplies (milk,  bread,  crisps,  baby wipes) 
I ran out of a few bits and popped to the very limited camping shop. 
I paid Β£2 for a tiny pack of baby wipes (the pack I usually get free in my baby show goody bag) 
You get my point! 
-Don’t rush to the front of the main arena, it’s calmer and easier for the kids to dance about towards the back and you still have great views of the stage.
-Don’t pre judge the acts!  we were so excited about Fat Boy Slim and Jess Glynne that We were not fussed on Mr Tumble,  Dick and Dom or Reggie and Bollie yet they were our highlight!
Hopefully I’ll see you there next year….


​So this weekend something happened that will change my sex life for the next 20 years. 

After telling the kids to ‘shhhhhhh’ for the 58th time in the six berth camper we had hired for the weekend, finally silence fell.
…..until Harrison asked loudly, in a disgusted tone:
‘urgh, are you two having  S….E……X!? Because of you are having  S…..E……X. You need to stop.  It’s just gross, with your kids here,  close those curtains,  this is grossing me out!’
What the fu#k!? Firstly we actually were not having sex, any grunting noises had come as a result of me clambering up the shit#ing ladder to get into the coffin style bed above the drivers seats.
Secondly, the space from our bed to the ceiling was about half a foot, i could barely turn over let alone anything else!! 
Thirdly…..I was too tired 😜  
So the next morning I questioned harri on what is S….E…..X? 
His answer….
‘its when a man and lady are naked in bed, kissing and making noises’

Day three he wake up and he asks:
‘ who was rocking the caravan last night?’
I had to think on my feet.
‘oh,  i thought you were asleep (true!)  there were some naughty boys outside pushing our caravan.  Did you hear dad go out and shout at them?’
‘no, but thank God for that,  I thought it was you two having S….E….X.  i hope those boys don’t come back tonight! ‘
No fear of that son…they have well and truley got the messageπŸ˜’

So we are now looking for locks to put on our bedroom door and I’m trying to work out how to approach the proper birds and bee’s talk with them …..wish me luck!