And just like that Polly’s first year of school is over. She did so well starting Reception during a pandemic and we even manged to get through 8 weeks of home schooling. We had a blast on the last half term at the end of May and did so much together because now she is at school, I really treasure our time together when she is off. Obviously we can’t do something every single day of this 6 week holiday but I thought I’d jot down some of the fun things we do over this summer, as a diary kind of thing to look back on. First up, here is Polly on her first day of school last September 2020 and last Wednesday 21st July 2021.
Polly has grown a whole brick in height since her first day, Lola was only 10 weeks old and still in her baby car seat so I needed to do a comparison picture of the two of them. As we have been blessed with nice weather lately I thought I’d pack up the car and head to our favourite beach Southwold in Suffolk on Polly’s first day off, as it was a Thursday (22nd July) and some schools still hadn’t broken up yet I hoped it would be fairly quiet and I was right.
We found a perfect spot on the beach and spent most the morning there before heading off into town for some lunch. We absolutely love it there! It holds so many childhood memories for me as it’s where my parents took me as a child and now I take my children and it just feels so special. Unfortunately Lola was not a happy bear. She had only had her one year jabs two days before hand and wouldn’t sleep on the way which she normally would have but didn’t so was tired by the time we got there and absolutely hated the beach. I think it was all abit overwhelming for her bless her. Polly had a blast though and loves the waves and building sandcastles. I managed to capture a few happy moments of Lola but I’m not going to lie it was a blessing when she finally gave in and fell asleep in the pram.
The first weekend of the holidays and as it was set to be raining and wet so we only planned a little trip with our friends to our local forest incase we got soaked but luckily it stayed dry and the little ones had fun biking and scooting around and we had some coffee and cake there too.
Then just like that we’re into the first full week of our holidays. It’s hard to try and tell Polly we can’t go out and do something every day as the housework and washing won’t sort itself. We have still been going to the girl’s swimming lessons on a Tuesday as that’s already paid for and gives us something to do each week etc.
Then the rest of the week I caught up with a few jobs in the garden, did lots of housework but we did manage to fit in lunch at pizza hut and a visit to a very well known toy shop. Polly loves it there and we normally only go around birthday’s and Christmas time so I can take pictures of things she likes and get idea’s etc.
As we hadn’t done too much on our first full week off we booked The Sealife Centre in Great Yarmouth with Nanny for a day out on our second week. Polly loves a Barney Bear and there was a buy one get one free voucher on it so Mum came for free. I would always recommend to keep your eyes peeled for things like this and save them for holidays as it can be so expensive for days out these days and I swear since Covid alot of places have put their prices up as they just simply didn’t earn anything during lockdown’s etc.
I remember taking Polly to a Sealife Centre with a relation, when she was about Lola’s age and she didn’t go in the pram she just wanted to walk so I thought nooooo, we don’t need the pram and she will love it. I was wrong! Firstly it was a good 10min walk from where I parked, secondly she hated it! I mean hated it, wouldn’t let me put her down just wanted to be carried. Again I’m putting it down to jabs as she hasn’t been herself since but man was that abit stressful. I went back to the car and got the pram and she fell asleep in it straight away and we then took Polly round Joyland. You can’t come to Great Yarmouth and not go there. She loved it and a few rides she even went on all by herself which made me realise how fast she is growing up!
Norfolk Lavender was also a slightly tricky day out. My first day infact that I’ve ever thought having two children was hard. It had never hit me until now. I’m not going to keep moaning but more a fact of keeping it real. Polly wanted to go in completely the opposite direction of us and Lola and didn’t like the animals only the turkey! Yep that’s right the turkey and when it gobbled she giggled at it. I guess because it’s all new to her and I’m suddenly taking her to all these new places etc it just gets abit overwhelming for her.
That weekend we went to visit our lovely friends and have a catch up with them. They have the most beautiful of horses and Polly sat on one and she felt so high up said she loved it. I would like to get her into something like horse riding when she is older as she really loves all animals.
Sunday 1st August already and we were up bright and early to head to Trinity Park in Ipswich with friends because Hubby’s Jet Mini was on display. By him not actually doing a show meant he could enjoy all the things that had been put on like motorbike shows, car shows a circus etc such a fab day out and Polly certainly enjoyed herself. She even got to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen so she was super happy.
We blinked and now have a 5 year old. I mean 5 whole years of Polly and being parent’s where did those years go? I wont go into too much detail as I’m sure I will do a separate post of her birthday but it fell on a Wednesday this year so Hubby booked the day off and we took the girl’s to Africa Alive. The weather was on our side and it was a glorious day. We got home and my Mum came over for a yummy Chinese as Polly’s request and she opened her present’s and then we went on a walk on her new bike that she got.
That following weekend we braved the rain and met some of her school friends at High Lodge for some fun, a picnic and cake. Despite the rain they all had a blast.
With the weather being so nice it was lovely to catch up with family and take the little ones out on their bikes and enjoy the sunshine.
As the weeks were flying by I knew I wanted to take the girls back to Southwold and now that Lola was finally back to her normal happy self after those pesky one year jabs, now was the time. It was another glorious warm day but alot busier! We couldn’t get our usual little spot on the beach and ended up being quite close to the pier and the pebbly end of the beach. It was still a hit with the girls though and Lola loved it this time. I took their swimsuits again so they could have a splash around and build sun castles and they loved it. We had yummy fish and chips in the town an of course Ice-cream’s all round.
Being Friday the 13th didn’t stop us having fun at Bewilderwood. We had never been but it was so much fun and I was actually surprised with Lola being so young still that there was lots of little swings, slides and play parks for her to go on or wander around. Polly however is like her Daddy. no fear and a dare devil so loved the thrill of all the high vertical drop slides, the climbing up the trees and walking across glass bridges. It also wasn’t that bad to get a pram around which being set in the woodland I thought it might be but it wasn’t. Polly got to make a crown to take home and explore everything she tried everything she could bless her especially zip wires. The only thing we didn’t do was the boat ride but having the pram we couldn’t have taken it on so hopefully next year when we go back Lola will be walking better and able to walk further and we won’t need it and can cope without.
That weekend was then little Rosie’s 1st birthday party (one of my best friends little girls) who actually shares Polly’s birthday. Little birthday twins. We headed over for her garden party and the weather was so nice and warm that day, we had to keep topping the little ones up with sun cream. There was soft play in the garden, yummy food and yummy cake. Rosie is Lola’s little bestie and I hope they grow up being as close as us Mum’s are!
Tuesday 17th August was a very wet day so we still went to Lola’s swimming lesson whilst Polly popped into town with Nanny. Lola really isn’t a fan of swimming bless her. I guess because she isn’t used to it, I didn’t start her very early whereas Polly was about 10 weeks old when she first went etc but I’m still persisting with her as I do think its a good life skill to have. I still took Polly that evening although it was her last one in that class as she can now move onto stage 2 so that makes me super happy and proud of her considering she didn’t start until about October (2020) then I pulled her out when we went into another lockdown and I didn’t start her up again until about April/May this year so she has done so well and is so confident in the water whereas I think Lola must take after me and sense my fear of it. We had a naughty McDonalds treat for dinner that night as we then headed to Yarmouth Stadium to watch the Hubby as he had a car event with his Jet powered Mini. Polly was super proud watching him start it up and drive around the track displaying the huge flame. She was also super happy I let her stay up so late but luckily both girls fell asleep on the route home.
Mid week already and it was off to our local soft play centre with our friends. We had originally planned a beach day but with the weather changing and autumn vibes creeping in we went for an indoor playdate instead. I even dressed the girls in autumnal outfits that they got for their birthday’s from my lovely friend Sarah.
We had a fab morning and again I didn’t take many picture’s just little snippets of videos and because I was too busy having fun myself on the soft play, give me a fast shiny slide any day. I love getting stuck in with the children as I’m a big kid at heart.
I had seen on social media a few people I knew of head to the most prettiest of Sunflower fields in Suffolk so of course I had to go have a visit there. It was really lovely and huggeeee. Basically a massive maze of sunflower fields where you could pick your own. (I did and turns out my arms reacted to them whilst I carried them around so not again) The girls loved wandering around an eating ice-creams there. Again we have been trying to stick to doing things outdoors as much as possible with the virus still around so this was perfect. I don’t even think you had to pay to enter only if you pick some sunflowers. Lola headbutted me whilst I go her in the car to leave so I did leave there with a fat lip and itchy arms BUT it made for some cute photos hehe.
Saturday 21st was the last birthday party of the summer for Polly to attend. We had her friend Elsie’s 5th birthday party at their house with yummy food, bouncy castle and fab face painting which is one of the school Mum’s business and she is fab at it so Polly was just as excited that she was there getting creative with all the little ones. No sibling’s were invited due to numbers which I totally get and it was actually nice to just go with Polly because it meant I could sit down and have a cuppa and chat to the other Mum’s as their all so nice. Here is Polly with her two little besties.
Monday 23rd August and into another week already! As my Mum and myself became zoo members a while back it was nice for us both to go and take the girls to our local Banham Zoo. Hubby would usually be at work and Mum is a lovely hands on Nanny to the girls so made sense her getting a pass. Lola is only £1 until about age 3 and Polly gets 10% off when I book her to come with us so she doesn’t have a pass as usually she would be at school but I definitely think their handy for adults to have an work out cheaper in the long run if your going to go quite regular. Anyway the girls loved it. Lola usually naps of a morning so finally crashed just before lunch as she didn’t want to miss out on all the animals and I treated Polly to the Sky Trek after she had seen her half cousins complete it over the summer holidays. Of course she smashed it as she has no fear and wanted to do the higher up course but has to be 6 years old so I said maybe next year as she is just 5 bless her. 5 but had no fear. I hardly took any pictures at the zoo just borrowed my Mum’s phone to film Polly doing the course as my phone’s memory is super full so another job is to print pictures, back them up and delete the.
On Wednesday 25th August we met some friends at a local country park. Our little ones had only seen each other once over the summer at Lola’s little birthday so it was nice that they got to catch up again, feed the ducks, play at the park, have a picnic and enjoy wandering all around.
How are we already at August bank holiday weekend? Honestly the summer has flown by! This weekend I randomly decided to decorate the girls playroom. It’s been on my list of jobs for the past year I’d say and I wanted to do it when Polly returned to school but actually so was rather good and helped me. I’m hoping that her getting stuck in will also help motivate her to keep it cleaner. So the weekend mainly consisted of getting that done and popping to get a few new accessories for the room. Then on the Monday we ventured to High Lodge which both the girls loved and the fresh air was so nice. We left the pram in the car and let Lola wander about as much as she wanted. Of course we did carry her but by her having a rain suit on it didn’t matter her sitting down or tripping over the odd tree root bless her, but she loved being wild and free. Polly is such an outdoors child anyway and loves climbing and sliding down things that she had a blast and it was nice to make the most of what felt like a Sunday, but Hubby’s extra day off ready for our last week of Polly being off before back to school on the 6th.
On Tuesday we had booked a special summer holiday treat for Polly. An Greatest Showman themed afternoon tea in our local city. She loves food and is now at the age she will sit well out an about and enjoys it like I do. We also tide it in with seeing “Dippy” the Diplodocus who was on tour at the Cathedral. All over the city were dinosaurs too that were painted all differently so Polly enjoyed spotted them on there way round. I think you can get a map for them and tick them all off etc, but I know their quite far spread out.
On Wednesday we ventured to Audley End miniature railway. I had never been before but my friend Lou had mentioned going and it was so much fun. Of course the main event was a mini train ride which takes you through the forest and you get to see all the wonderful teddy bears having picnics and what not, (don’t want to give too much away and spoil it) which is super cute! There are fairies everywhere telling you where to head next and the children got to go on a fairy hunt, again the sweetest little thing. Lola I thought was too young to enjoy it and in hindsight I probably wouldn’t have taken her but she still enjoyed herself, just not how Polly did. I took her little pushchair as wasn’t sure how I would venture round with a pram but it wasn’t an issue. The kids had a blast, played on the park, had yummy lunch and enjoyed singing along time.
The last Friday of the summer hols and it was a dentist check up for my and Polly. She has alwasy come in with us since she was tiny but know gets seen juts after me so luckily doesn’t fear going and loves brushing her teeth at least. Last weekend before routine kicks in on Monday. We just chilled, did some scrapbooking and watched some movies.
And that’s a wrap a beautiful six week summer holiday all over and done for another year! We were super lucky to have been soooo busy and see all our friends. Polly’s class came down one by one with the dreaded Chicken Pox just before they finished last term and she was literally the only one not to get it so we were able to do so much!
I started this post with her last year school pictures so it seems only fitting to finish with her first day of going into Year One which seems so much more grown up than Reception class.
Anyway Much Love for now….