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Travelling with a Toddler #6 – The Cornwall Hotel and Spa

This week we packed up the car, our new car with the amazingly big boot…oh goodness I’m such a Mum now! And off we headed to Cornwall.

We were attending a family wedding on Saturday but before that we had three days of relaxation with my parents, niece and Grandmother and were super excited about getting away.

We arrived in St Austell at lunchtime but the reception staff at The Cornwall Hotel and Spa were welcoming and happy to allow us to check in early. This was great and meant we could make the most of the facilities.

Our first stop after unpacking was the terrace for drinks in the sunshine whilst admiring the beautiful surroundings. There are a selection of games and activities kept out there for children (of all ages!) to enjoy too which we thought was a great touch.

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The swimming pool is lovely and children can use it until 7pm which I think is a really fair time, it allows you to head out for the day and still be able to fit in a swim before dinner and bed.

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There is a beautiful grassy area that the pool and ajoining terrace look out over that offer the perfect relaxation spot for tired parents (especially ones like us, lucky enough to have grandparents with them)

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But is also ideal for little people to explore too…

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Our room was spacious, bright and modern with all the amenities you would expect to find and a lovely balcony which was perfect for relaxing on in the evenings, appreciating the view…and taking the odd picture on!!

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Breakfast was great and included in the room price. There was a hot buffet but other items were available cooked to order too. We didn’t find it necessary to order though as they didn’t keep the buffet over flowing, just updated it little and often so things were really fresh and tasty. The staff in the mornings were brilliant, always on hand and really friendly – especially with the children.

We also highly recommend The Clearing Spa…taking a couple of hours to ourselves was amazing and we both felt very pampered after our treatments (A Real Nuturing Experience for me and a De-Stress Muscle Massage for Rich).

On site parking and WiFi are both included in the price of the room.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in this country with little people then look no further than The Cornwall…if you can talk some family members in to coming with you and babysitting a bit too then even better!

The Hotel is close to the Eden project and makes a great base for exploring the local area.

Rooms in late July/early August 2015 at The Cornwall Hotel and Spa started at £155 per night.

This is an unsponsored review based solely on my experiences.

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25 Week Update

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I had a mini ‘I’m soooo fat’ melt down this week and then had it very quickly counterbalanced when talking to a Mum I’d never met before in the swimming changing rooms today who while I stood in front of her in my bikini didn’t realise I was pregnant – what she must have thought I’d had for breakfast I have NO idea!!!

OK, so I accept my meltdown may have been a little over the top but I also think this belly is a little hard to miss now? Surely?

Generally I’m still doing really well – I’m taking Omprazole to try and reduce the indigestion and sickness which does seem to be helping and most of the time I’m pretty sane and reasonable although there was an incident where Rich cooked a curry badly that I sobbed for an hour over which was a low point!!

Sleep is pretty hit and miss still but I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I’m hoping are going to make that better…the first starts tomorrow and is an early evening relaxation class – it complements the hypnobirthing methods I used in my labour with Ted (and will again this time) and is a chance to take an hour to myself to completely zone out and relax complete with a pillow and blanket…ahh Bliss!

The second is a collaboration I’m looking forward to sharing with you all very soon and the third is a few days in Cornwall for my brother’s wedding complete with Spa Hotel and doting Grandparents to help with the little dude – I’m so excited for us all to go away together and to be able to spoil ourselves a little with relaxation and some quality family time, just what we need right now.

I will report back with local recommendations and hopefully stories of fun, love, laughter and plenty of peaceful sleeping!

Meanwhile, this week in Toddlerland Ted has turned 18 months and really mastered his scooter…

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Become very attached to his helmet, wearing it at any opportunity…

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And has realised that we all think it’s very cute when he folds his arms then sits ‘thinking’!!

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It’s all rock n roll around here!

 

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7

Traveling with a Toddler #5 – Coming Home and the dreaded Jet Lag!

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Oh hello Jet Lag you horrible, horrible beast!

Why fight it?
Get up…sort all the washing then start all over again!

In my midnight googling desperation I found very little information that helped with little people and jet lag so now we’re through the other side, I thought I’d write my top tips to hopefully help anyone else suffering.

I write in hindsight (what a wonderful thing that is!)…read how I struggled initially here.

*Be patient. Disruptions for the length you are away at a minimum are likely and the body clock generally takes a day to adjust to every hour of change e.g.) 8 hour time difference = approx 8 days to adjust.

* Lower your expectations and try not to get too stressed – your baby is just as tired and confused as you!

*Do not withhold naps, sleep breeds sleep – try to return to your pre holiday napping schedule as quickly as possible to help your baby to adjust.

*After the first day or so, try to get day to day life back to normal as much as possible, don’t lay in too late (no matter how tempting), get outside in the daylight plenty and go to groups and activities you would normally attend – this helps reset the body but also helps the day along when all you want to do is curl up in a ball on the sofa and sob in sleep deprived desperation!!

*Follow your instincts and your knowledge of your baby and offer them understanding and TLC.

*Rest when your little one does, keep topped up with coffee and remember, this too will pass!

*Look at your holiday photos and in those ‘never again’ moments remind yourself it was all worth it for the fun you had and the memories made.

Come on…you can do this, slowly, gently, lovingly with patience and understanding and hopefully, minimal tears from everyone!

Good luck, I’m sending sleepy thoughts.

x

P.S…if anybody else has any words of wisdom – I’d love to hear them.
My final ones are:
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Packing my Suitcase
4

Travelling with a Toddler #4 – Roadtripping

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Ah the beautiful Californian views…how is it even their roads seem better?

After a couple of weeks darting about California, these are our top tips for happy roadtripping…

1. Short bursts, we were lucky our route had so many things to do along the way so we factored in stops for beach playing, park visiting and general refreshment stops. We didn’t spend longer than an hour in the car at a time and made sure we had enough local knowledge to be able to locate a stop should we need one quickly.

2. Entertainment! We did lots of singing (wow, our boy loves wind the bobbin up and was not happy with only one of us singing!!) and pointing at cars however sometimes we weren’t needed and Ted managed to find his own fun, our only input was removing his shoes!!

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3. Our own car seat, it was much less hassle than I thought taking it would be, plus I had peace of mind which was priceless and Ted was happy and comfortable.

4. Where ever possible we found timing driving and Ted’s need for a nap to be a winning combo.

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Well timed naps gave us the chance to sneak some junk that we wouldn’t dream of feeding Ted too…err, sorry bump – the veg is back, full force this week – promise!!

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5. Blinds, we took our UV blinds with us and used them when it was really sunny (we didn’t want to block the world out for the little guy unnecessarily). I think this also helped to keep him cool and made it easier for him to nod off when tired.

6. Flexibility – probably the biggest key to success for us throughout the trip was everything being a loose plan, subject to change. Spontaneous stops gave us the chance to see places we otherwise wouldn’t have and meant the little dude stayed in good spirits.

7. And if all else fails…there’s always the trusty iPad to fall back on! Our cases both attach to the back of the headrest and as a last resort they were always a winning option for 20 minutes!

Do you have any other top tips for surviving car journeys with little people?

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Useless Mummy Alert!

I know every single one of us feels like this sometimes but the last week has been incredibly tough for me, mainly because my apparent area of expertise has been tested and by all accounts I’m a miserable failure!

Jet lag and toddlers – Wow!

Why was I naive enough to think that as Ted had never previously struggled with any sleep situation he would breeze through this too?

Why did I not realise that he has no idea why he’s wide awake at midnight and screaming through sheer frustration?

Why did I try to settle him back to sleep for hours on end when really, to his body it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon?

Why was I inconsistent and desperately trying anything for short periods of time when I know, better than anyone that consistency is the key?

Why did I expect instant results when we’ve been away, in a different time zone for 2 weeks?

Why was I completely void of perspective and unable to follow advice I would give out?

Because…this isn’t a job, this is me being Mummy and as I’ve told every single Mum I’ve ever worked for, “It’s different when they’re yours”.

As the saying goes; “Knowledge can be dangerous”  and that has certainly been my problem this week. So paranoid about loosing my amazing sleeper forever (and a few months before baby number two arrives) I have applied too much theory and not enough love and this hasn’t sat right with my instincts, leaving me feeling upset and guilty.

On Saturday I stopped, I followed my heart, I cuddled my boy, I let him get up (the biggest text book no-no ever) and then I took him back upstairs, gave him more milk and resettled him again.

He slept for 11 and a half hours.

They weren’t necessarily at the ideal time but I’m hoping that slowly we can edge back and get into sync again, it will take time but we’ll get there.

The number one piece of advice I always gave parents was never do anything that doesn’t feel right, if somebody suggests something and your instinct is that it isn’t for you and your little person, then don’t go there.

I couldn’t follow it myself though, if anybody had come to me within a week of returning from an eight hour time zone change fed up their baby was out of sync I would have;

*urged them to be patient and to expect disruptions for the length they were away at a minimum.

* told them to lower their expectations and to not get too stressed.

*told them not to withhold naps as sleep breeds sleep.

I failed to listen to or follow any of that advice out of fear of starting bad habits when all my baby needs at the moment is a bit of understanding and some TLC.

**Cue stern talking to self, a nap while Ted naps, a much needed coffee and a fresh outlook!**

Come on…we can do this, slowly, gently, lovingly with patience and understanding and hopefully, minimal tears from us all!

Wish me luck x

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Travelling with a Toddler #3 – Holiday Time! :)

We have just returned from the most amazing family holiday in California.

This was our second holiday with Ted but our first full length, long haul break and although slightly nervous before hand, especially about the flight and the time change I have only positive outcomes to report!

The flight was fine…more specific details available here.

The time difference was surprisingly hassle free – two 4am wake ups but we were already wide awake ourselves from 3am both days…

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…then straight into sleeping 10 hours + on a new US schedule – we couldn’t have asked for more than that!

As for the trip it self, for 2 weeks we all had a 2:1 ratio, visited lots of fun places and generally spoilt ourselves, what’s not to love?

Some of our highlights were;

Griffith Park and the train ride in LA.

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Visiting Beverly Hills.

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Biking around Balboa Park in San Diego.

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The beach…every one that we visited. Building sandcastles, paddling in the sea and for Ted, generally rolling about covering himself and injesting plenty of sand!

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Plenty of eating and drinking out.

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Splish splashing in the pools.

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Chocolate covered bananas on Balboa Island, OC.

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Even popping to the supermarket for some essentials was like a day out for Ted!
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Every single second was priceless and we are so pleased we were brave enough to ignore everybody who said we were crazy – we are already thinking about where to go next.

Of course it wasn’t the same as the holidays we would take before we were parents, it was very different but that suited us just fine as the things that make us happy now are very different.

Having the undivided attention of the two of us for two weeks has had a massive affect on Ted’s talking and one of the highlights for us both was the first morning he realized we were closer than normal, stood up in his cot and gave out a loud ‘Hiya’, this is a new morning tradition and so lovely.

We made sure the holiday was fun and relaxing for us all by spending more on accommodation, we ensured we had a living room or balcony in all the places we stayed and plenty of space for Ted to potter about, this meant he was always content in the rooms while we were getting ready and that in the evenings we were able to have some grown up time once he had gone to sleep. This was the best decision we made and for us, worth every penny.

If anybody is reading this and umming and aahhing about a trip you want to take with your little one but aren’t sure…please do, we have spent the last fortnight making the most wonderful memories and don’t have a single regret.

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Travelling with a toddler #1 – Preparation

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So, we’re doing this!

In 48 hours we’ll be loading up the car and heading for our first long haul holiday with our 15 month old son.

In the last few weeks when I’ve told people we’re taking a 1 year old on an 11 hour flight the reactions have included laughing, eye rolling and the standard “Good Luck!” but if we don’t try, we’ll never know how he’ll manage plus…even if it is 11 hours of pure hell surely that’s worth 2 weeks of sunny Californian fun? Surely?

Time will tell!

I’m told preparation is key so today I’m going to look at packing and the things that have made the suitcase and hand luggage cut to hopefully make our lives easier!

Suitcase
* Clothes – obviously and plenty of them. Mainly sunny weather clothes but every eventuality (OK, baring snow) is covered.

* Washing tablets – with previous skin flare ups from different brands we don’t want to risk that again.

* UV Car Blind – with lots of sunny car journeys ahead (albeit only short ones) we want to make sure Ted doesn’t get too hot or uncomfortable.

* Black out blind – with an 8 hour time difference I imagine sleep is going to be one of our biggest challenges so to help in any way we can this is coming with us in case of any cheap hotel curtains!

* Hats and Sunglasses – we have a selection so hopefully Ted will find favorites and be happy wearing them in the heat!

* Low tog sleeping bags – Ted always sleeps in a ‘bag’ at home so in an attempt to maintain as much normality as possible they made the cut…a couple, in case of nappy explosions!

* Our travel cot – he sleeps in it happily so as above, it’s coming!

* Medicine cabinet – Calpol, nurofen, piriton etc…just in case!

Hand Luggage
I’ve done quite a lot of research of my own about essentials to carry in hand luggage and then I’ve adapted what I’ve found for Ted’s age and character, leaving us with…

* Nappies – I read somewhere 1 for every hour of your flight, plus 5…it seems loads but ‘just in case’ seems like a good motto for this circumstance!

* Wipes – plenty. Faces, hands, bottoms these are going to be our only real cleaning option for 11 long hours!

* Bedtime essentials – here’s hoping PJ’s on followed by milk and cuddles will encourge him into the land of Zzzzz!

* A cosy blanket – in case the aeroplane cot isn’t very comfy…which in reality it’s probably unlikely to be.

* Snacks – healthy, time consuming snacks and lots of them in little pots and bags plus a cup, bowl and fork – the raisin/fork challenge keeps him occupied for hours!!

* Stickers – beware there will be sparkly stars everywhere!

* Books – old favorites and some new surprises.

* A couple of light up gimicky toys.

* A new wind up aeroplane.

* Color changing pens and a pad of paper.

* A pencil case – zips are always a Ted pleaser!

* A mini calculator – button pressing is always a hit!

* Dummies – plus spares, normally ‘doedee’ doesn’t leave his bed but this will be an exception if necessary.

* A loaded iPad! Iggle Piggle I will be eternally grateful if you rescue me in my hour(s) of need!

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Have I forgotton anything? Tell me quickly, there’s still time!

Wish us luck and we’ll see you on the other side!

P.S…these little reuseable bags are fab, I have snacks, mini activities and any little things that may leak in them plus, they have cute little characters on so we can even practice our animal signs with the aid of them too!

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