Our Summer 2016

I feel like this summer is in someways our last hurrah. I am returning to work after two years out, my eldest daughter is starting school and Harriet is starting nursery. Gulp. As always my main reason for updating this website regularly is, for the most part, to raise vital funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis. I do, however, like to show that despite having a child with CF, happy family life can still go on.

Travelling with someone who has chronic condition means you never pack lightly but who does with small children anyway?! Our first trip was to London which was just incredible, I want to sell everything and move down there! We did all the typical touristy things; red buses, Buckingham Palace, The Natural History Museum and Hamleys. The girls had such a great time and can’t wait to go back…Christmas maybe?!

We travelled to The Lake District to visit South Lakes Safari Zoo. We totally lucked out with the weather and spent a glorious afternoon out on a boat on Coniston before visiting the zoo the following day. I guess the clue is in the name but it really wasn’t what I had imagined at all! My nerves were fried walking amongst all kinds of creature big and small with two little children but they loved it!

My year just wouldn’t be complete without our trip to Flamingo Land either and we managed to squeeze that in at the end of the school holidays. The perfect way to end our Summer even if poor Harriet got stung on the nose by a wasp!

In terms of travelling with CF medication for more than just a day trip I do struggle with dealing with unfamiliar set ups. At home we have a cupboard full of neatly organised medicines, tablets, syringes, nebuliser etc. When we have been away there hasn’t always been access to a fridge to keep the refrigerator only things in but there’s always a solution. In London we just had a Tupperware box with our names on which was kept for us in the fridge. Yes, a pain when you schlep two small children all the way up to your room the realise you’ve forgotten to collect the medicine on route (!) but a small price to pay when everyone is having such a good time.

I also miss my steam steriliser so much! Boiling kettles to sterilise everything can become a bit of a pain but in the grand scheme of things worth it. We will continue not to let CF control our lives and keep fighting till a cure is found for our little girl.

If you would like to read more about cystic fibrosis and find out about ways in which you could help please click here.

A Week At Whinfell

When friends of ours asked us to join them on a trip to Center Parcs earlier this year I said yes almost immediately. After the year we have had following the birth of our second daughter I now view life a little differently and want to make the most of every single second. During one hospital stay I actually spent a lot of time making lists upon lists of all the places I wanted to go as a family. There’s nothing like a spell of incarceration to make you reflect.

So last week we went off on our first ever family holiday! Even though the journey was only a few hours I still felt a little anxious about remembering all of Harriet’s medication. The only thing for it was to take them all! I literally emptied the medicine cupboard into a bag, just in case. We have a sack full of syringes so naturally I took them all too. I’m sure in the future I will have it all sussed but for now this is how I roll!

With the car bursting at the seams we headed off with one very excited toddler and one happy baby as she got a firm hold of the iPad! Upon arrival I was really impressed with the way you check in. Very futuristic! It’s a drive through system, then you unpack your belongings, return to the car park and leave your car behind for the duration of your stay. Great in terms of safety for your children. The only things to watch out for are bikes!

We stayed in one of the woodland lodges which were more than sufficient for our needs as a family of four. We took our own travel cot (pointless as she never sleeps in it surprise, surprise!) but a cot and high chair were provided. Other personal highlights were the log burner in the living room and a dishwasher.

Most days were spent swimming in what we all agreed were the best facilities ever. The wristbands given on check in act as accommodation keys, locker keys and you can also use them to pay for things in the village. We lucked out with the weather so could also enjoy the outdoor pool as well as all the attractions indoors. The only negative that happened was when poor Harriet caught one of the waves right in the face! Twice! We soon learned to keep her out of the main pool when the waves were on, maybe a little too much for a baby.

We had stopped in Penrith on the way to pick up some shopping for our stay in a bid to save some money as we had heard things can get very expensive. I was quite surprised in that respect as we didn’t spend half as much as we had anticipated! However I do think that is down to the ages of our children, three and eleven months. Nancy is more than happy to go swimming and play in a park all day, every day!

Towards the end of the week we went bowling, again a reasonable price, which we all loved. My personal favourite though was the children’s disco; how times have changed! It was so lovely to see Nancy actually go off and  join in with the dancing; the competitive element and the lure of prizes for the best dancer certainly helped. In fact, on the last night she was extremely disgruntled to not win the first prize and marched herself to the front in hope of catching the DJ’s attention. Ha!

Towards the end of our stay the staff were busying themselves wrapping all the trees in fairy lights for the upcoming festive period. As a group we all said we would love to return at Christmas. I can only imagine how magical it would be for the little ones. Sadly, with Nancy starting school next year I don’t know if we will return when we are restricted to term time only dates so my advice would be to take your little ones now before they want to do all the mega expensive activities, and before they start school!

Have you been to Center Parcs? Please leave your thoughts below as I would love to hear from you.