Our half term routine (it really doesn’t feel like a half term) is dog walk, craft or sport activity and then garden fun.

The weather has been incredible over the past few days and it looks set to be the same for the weekend. Lots of paddling pool #games in the garden and adventure dog walks in our nearby parks.

How does everyone feel this evening with the new lockdown rules? I’m not sure how I feel. The kiddies grandparents can come and visit, but still can’t hug or be “normal”. I’m not sure the kiddies would be able to not do this, especially if they are sitting in the garden.

Maybe I’ll wait for the guidelines to be added to the gov.uk site before I try and decide what it will mean for us. Gather the facts... make a decision... get through it with a smile. Seems to be my lockdown mantra.

#mummyphotoaday

Our half term routine (it...

🐾 Happy 12th birthday to my beautiful furbaby; Rocky. Despite making the neighbours mad over the past few weeks with the bird capturing (all of which flew off in the end) he is the best.

Not many of you will know that Rocky was an engagement present to me from Hubby. He came home from work one day with Rocky meowing behind his back... he had the cutest squeak. He was a little ball of fluff.

Rambo (our Jack Russell) immediately took ownership and they’ve been best buds ever since.

He’s such a handsome cat, yes I’m biased, he gives me snuggles at night and entertains us with his chasing and playful moments.

I can’t believe he’s 12. He’s lived in 5 different houses and his dog cat qualities are incredible. He seems to understand commands like the dogs... he sits for food and is quite obedient for a cat.

I’ll be sharing some cute Rocky photos in my stories today... his kitty look is adorable.

Has anyone else enjoyed spending all of this time with their pets?

🐾 Happy 12th birthday to...

The best #view comes from the hardest climb!

Now I know this is not a mountain, it’s a collapsed tree trunk and it didn’t take hours to climb, it took 20 minutes.

The point is something can be a difficult journey mentally. This journey we are all on throughout lockdown is difficult. We are sailing along in our little boats, trying not to rock them too much.

We WILL get through it. We will see that better view. One where we can hug our family and see our friends again. Where we can go out to eat with our loved ones and splash about at a water park.

We just need to stay strong. Be patient. Be resilient.

What do you think life will look like the other side of lockdown?

#mummyphotoaday

The best #view comes from...

Oh #lastyear. What fun memories. What happy times. Our last holiday abroad was a year ago, Crete was beautiful. I’ve spent lots of hours during lockdown looking at our photos and remembering our family time together.

It feels like ages ago since we were there. But also it feels like last month! Does anyone else feel like this with things that happened before lockdown?

The past 8 weeks have gone so quickly, it’s quite unbelievable to think we are heading into Summer. The whole of Spring would have been spent in lockdown. But it doesn’t feel like we’ve been doing it for a season.

I can’t wait to go on holiday again. Once Crete opens its gates, I think we’ll head back. Family time with all inclusive. Just the ticket to focus on!

What are you focusing on to get you through this?

#mummyphotoaday

Oh #lastyear. What fun memories....

What a lovely chilled #bankholiday we’ve had today. It started with a dog walk, before it got too hot, I love this photo of my babies.

Then we had breakfast in the garden, it was 17 degrees by 9am I think this morning.

I mowed the lawn and cut the edges with my grass scissors 🤣 and set the paddling pool up.

We’ve all spent the afternoon dipping in the pool, playing on the trampoline and even a little bit of crafts.

This evening we carried on our Marvel fest, we’re doing the chronological story order (not the created order) and we’re up to Iron Man. It was brilliant. A great action movie.

I’ve never seen any of the marvels. Until now. I’m so grateful for @disneyplusuk keeping it all in one place!

Have you seen them?

#mummyphotoaday

What a lovely chilled #bankholiday...

This evening we had a little family scoot around our town, with a very special mission in mind.

My beautiful friend @gembro82 has started off a very long and colourful snake. The idea is you decorate a rock and add it to the snake. 🐍 Over the past 2 weeks its grown to over 400 rocks.

We loved it. It’s quite moving seeing all of these rocks, #rainbow themed or character themed. It shows just how many children are sitting at home missing their friends and that interaction.

It also demonstrates how we can support each other and work together through these daunting times.

Do you have a #SnakeRock near you? Or, do you have something similar?

#mummyphotoaday

This evening we had a...

Would you believe me when I tell you this was this morning? It was. It was directly in-between 2 rather scary looking rain clouds that unleashed their power!

The kiddies didn’t mind. They loved splashing around in the river, despite us warning them the weather would be changing very soon. Thankfully the blustery rain showers were short, albeit powerful.

The kiddies love this spot. They’ve asked to go every single day since they discovered it. I see it being a popular choice over the Summer.

This was taken with my phone. I am completely in #love with the camera on this phone. I love the fact I can take clear, vibrant and detailed photos whenever I have my phone with me.

Have you got a favourite spot that you visit more frequently than before lockdown?

#mummyphotoaday

Would you believe me when...

A great way to spend some time whilst waiting for the best delivery of your life! It was fun watching the kiddies play this game; daddy had to find the kiddies on the trampoline. I love how vibrant the colours are in this photo. Especially the #orange opening.

It seems easy but it’s quite disorienting. The kids love it. I love the anticipation of when Daddy will get them!

Our big delivery was our garden furniture. I’ll post some photos when it’s not quite so windy. The wind blew the cushions all over the place this afternoon. Our rather large patio is looking like a cosy spot to spend the summer now!

I’m hoping we’ll get in some chill time this weekend, enjoy our garden and just be safe at home.

What are you up to this weekend?

#mummyphotoaday

A great way to spend...

Why you should talk to your kids about Vaping

Vaping, which is now the accepted term for using an electronic cigarette, is something that has now become quite trendy in certain circles. Where some people see it as a passing hipster fad, others believe it may replace smoking altogether in a matter of time, and it also has several well-known celebrity fans, like Johnny Depp and Katy Perry.

When it comes to the science behind ecigs, they work in a way that makes them far less antisocial than actually smoking – they release a fragranced water vapor rather than a smoke, so people don’t tend to mind being around vapers as much as smokers. They also don’t cause some of the beauty issues related to smoking, such as stained hands, teeth and hair, so it is easy to see why vaping might appeal to teens or even kids who want to look cool, emulate their favorite actors and musicians, and who also care about being popular and looking good.

However, e-cigs, e-liquids and their related products are sold as being for adults only, and this is something that is done for many good reasons. As a parent, you may see taking up vaping as a lesser evil than your child becoming a cigarette smoker, or may not even have really thought about it as it is a fairly new thing, but it is still a good idea to talk to kids and teens about vaping and why it isn’t appropriate for under 18’s.

Why Should Vaping Be For Adults Only?

Vaping is, in most countries, only allowed for people over the age of 18 – the same as cigarette smoking. This is enforced by the fact that stores and websites who sell vaping products and accessories will not sell them to people below that age. This is already a good reason for kids not to be doing it, as if they think it is OK to use some age restricted products like e-cigs then they are less likely to take age restrictions on other things like alcohol seriously. But why is there an age limit on e-cigs?

Nicotine is Addictive However it is Delivered

E-liquids used with e-cigs often (but not always) contain nicotine. This is because e-cigs are designed for people who already have an addiction to nicotine as an alternative to smoking tobacco. Even the nicotine free e-liquids are designed to be used by former smokers who have gotten over their addiction to the drug but miss the habit of holding and inhaling something. What this means is that if someone who has never been hooked on cigarettes, like a child or teen (even kids who have tried smoking cigarettes are unlikely to be addicted as it takes a period of smoking to develop a physical addiction), uses an e-cig with nicotine e-liquid, they will eventually become hooked on nicotine too. Nicotine itself is not thought to be harmful to adults, but for growing bodies, the jury is still out, and really, it is better if people who aren’t really old enough to make sensible life choices aren’t casually using addictive substances at all.

Peer Pressure

Just as you may need to talk to your kids about other adult things the other kids at school might be doing, like underage sex, alcohol or drug use, or smoking cigarettes, peer pressure may be a factor you need to overcome when you are talking to your child or teen about vaping. Because so many adults now use e-cigs, and because they can be used more publicly than cigarettes (both in terms of what is legal and what is socially acceptable), some teens may see it as a cool, fashionable practice that will make them look older. In reality, it is just an expensive thing to get pointlessly addicted to if you are a non-smoker, but since it looks hi-tech and there are celebrities doing it, there are sure to be a few kids in the average school who are keen for their friends to join them in vaping. Remind them that for every kid that thinks it is cool to vape, there are probably ten more who think it’s lame and annoying.

There are probably so many talks you feel like you need to have with your teen or child as they get closer to being an adult and are more tempted by things that should only be accessible to adults, that it can be easy to forget the less scary sounding ones like vaping. However, it is still good to raise the point with them that there is an age limit on it for a reason and not to do it until they’re old enough to make the choice.

Vaping image by Shutterstock

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