We just got back from our first family snowboard holiday as a family of 4:) I wrote a blog about how I feel about snowboarding now I’m a mum for the Ticketoridegroup website. Please click on the link under the photo……..
We just got back from our first family snowboard holiday as a family of 4:) I wrote a blog about how I feel about snowboarding now I’m a mum for the Ticketoridegroup website. Please click on the link under the photo……..
Its taken me a while to write this as I’ve still been recovering from the trauma…ok thats a bit dramatic as I know there are waaaaay worse things in life. However, a solo flight with my toddler and baby was not up there with my most pleasurable experiences. Nothing went crazily wrong, but it was certainly a “challenge” (I’m well aware that people do it all the time and with more children so really I shouldn’t dwell on it)
I had conjured up a few scenarios in my head pre flight about things that could go wrong:
1) Both children would get the chickenpox the day before the flight
2) I would get ill the day before the flight
3) One or both children would puke and we would have to stay in crusty stinky puke clothes until our destination and no one would want to be fiends with us
4) Arlo would run off and get onto a random flight and be sold for a camel
5) Various poo scenarios
6) Flight would be cancelled/ delayed and we would have to spend 17.5 hours in airport or worse, sitting on aeroplane whilst they fixed the engine
7) Would sit next to someone who didn’t like children
8) Would loose passports, possibly thrown in bin along with shit nappy and puke clothes
9) I would forget a child at some point a long the way
10) My husband would forget to collect us
Now what silly parent of a toddler/ baby books a flight in “the witching hour”?? Ok, that was us because it was cheaper. I think this was the mistake
Here’s how it went……
COMMUTE TO AIRPORT
I used Chloes Taxi Service (actually just my mate Chloe in her Mums car) to take us to the airport. This was the best part of the journey and I would highly recommend her services. Toddler and baby slept in the car to Bristol, and I steamed up the windows with my nervous sweating, true story. We unloaded and the lovely Chloe sent us on our merry way (just wanted to grab onto Chloes legs and cry “please don’t leave us”).
Baby in pushchair, toddler on buggy board, backpack on, Arlos backpack on (so he felt important) and suitcase in hand. Assumed people were looking at us and thinking “wow, she’s got her sh*t together”…..when it was probably because I had left the silver shampoo on too long and gone grey.
Found our flight on the big screen and went to check-in desk with super organised tickets printed out. The lovely (pretty gay) man asked if I was flying on my own. I nearly broke down and started crying “yes, yes I am, please help me, don’t leave me, don’t make me do it”…….
Went to security thing where you have to get EVERYTHING out of bags, liquids into other bags, shoes off, babies out, push chairs collapsed etc. Quite a palaver at the best of times, different ball game with a toddler and baby….with only 2 (clammy) hands. Random security guard had to hold the baby (he seemed nice?) and someone had to get Arlo off the security belt as he wanted to go through in the box with his important backpack.
We made it through, but disaster struck. The pushchair was now broken. This prompted a blunt text to my husband saying “the fu*king pushchair is broken FULL STOP NO KISSES (totally HIS fault as I said we needed a new one). It was so chaotic after securtiy with people and STUFF, after considering just ditching the pushchair all together, I decided I would just have to lug the 2 broken pieces, the baby, the toddler, the buggy board, discarded jackets, the 2x backpacks, pammy panda, dino dinosaur through the airport. I made it approx 52.7 meters and decided I couldn’t carry on. Thank you to the lovely security guard (number 2) who fixed the (shit) pushchair.
We got some dinner and hung out (mostly in the toilet as they seemed happiest in there??) and waited for the flight. Arlo had a melt down as couldn’t see planes out of the window as promised, prompted many laps around the airport to find planes with upset plane deprived toddler (where were they????)
Witching hour was now upon us. Arlo turned into crazed-demented-toddler. Kitt turned into screetchy-teething-baby.
Boarded flight. Arlo was pretty excited (uncontrollable) by the enormous plane we could finally see. I had bought him a book about flying and how he could sit next to the window. I had booked a seat specifically. Weirdly the seat WAS next to a window, but alas, there was no actual window. Hysteria (god I felt bad)…..”mummy fix it please” (I couldn’t, it was a wall), “where’s my window mummy?”….” I want my window” Oh my
So Arlo next to “window”, me and Kitt in the middle, and then a middle-aged man next to us. I totally pre judged him and my heart sank as he sat down. I was wanting another mum-type-figure….she would understand. I turned to him and said ” I’m so sorry, this isn’t going to be a relaxing flight for you”. Hurrah!!!! He said not to worry, he had 2 boys too, grown up now but he understands. He was my saving grace. We shall call him Dave.
Dave helped so much, he held Kitt, he played with Arlo, he retrieved various items off floor (yeh fun game) he wet wiped, he pulled faces, made animal noises, mended broken snacks so they could be eaten, he even helped do up my baby carrier. Thanks Dave. The world needs more Daves. But alas, Dave definitely saw my boobs.
The following events continued for 1.5 hours…..the longest 1.5 hours of my life (the 16 hour drive home was mellow in comparrison). I don’t think Dave will ever be the same.
So take off: I had got Arlo a lolly to help with his ears, lolly would not come off stick, he wanted it to come off stick. Got emergency lolly, that would also not come off stick. Kitts ears popping, boobs out trying to feed Kitt to stop ears hurting, trying to simultaneously to wrench lolly off stick for Arlo. Got Calpol out of bag with foot. Calpol exploded due to air pressure, cleaning Calpol/ sticky lolly residue off baby/toddler/Dave. Calpol in Kitts eye rather than mouth. Snacks offered to Arlo to recover from lolly ordeal. Wong snacks (they were new and exciting?). Snacks on floor. Correct snacks given. One snack broken. Cant eat a broken snack? Inconsolable toddler. Sticker book out to distract toddler. Didn’t realise that toddler would need assistance pealing stickers off. Screaming baby in one arm, trying to retrieve George Pig sticker off floor and Grandpa Pig sticker off “window”. Teething gel for baby. Made him sick (just a little). Try to entice baby with teething necklace (worn round neck as god intended). Toddler wants teething necklace. Pulls very hard at teething necklace. Made Mummys voice very squeaky and strained as crushed wind pipe. Ipad (new spanking never-seen-before-blue-case-to-buy-me-5-mins) whipped out. Peppa pig. But wrong Peppa Pig. He wanted Postman Pat (wtf its ALWAYS Peppa Pig). New sparkling headphones (never-seen-before-to-buy-me-5-mins) put onto toddler. He didn’t want to wear them. He wanted ME to wear them. “but mummy doesn’t want to wear them”…..”MUMMY WEAR THEM”…..ok ok ok Mummy wear them. Random headphones on head, lead getting tangled in various items including baby seat belt that made baby angry, boobs still out, Kitt grabbing lady in fronts hair, Arlo kicking chair, frantically jabbing at Ipad for Pat (wheres Pat, PAT, HELP?????), snacks flying, toddler screaming as high pitched frequency of baby screams hurting his ears now…..and so on……..
Time for my “piece-de-resistance”……..the presents!!!!!!!
A friend had advised me to wrap up little presents for the flight so they take a while to unwrap and then they have stuff to play with.
I’d wrapped them up too tight. Shit. Trying to unwrap bastard presents with one hand, un stick breast pad from Kitts head with other hand….red car unwrapped, red car landed in aisle 31, stopping toddler from trying to get to aisle 31 underneath seats, baby still crying as now a worked up teething monster….leading to altitude poo explosion (worse than sea level ones). Simultaneously toddlers delayed morning poo arrived. Used Dave to relay poo rescue. What do people do without a Dave?
Finally air stewardess came over and said “do you need some help love?”. They gave me a bottle of water for the children (maybe heard Arlo screaming that his juice had run out?). Kitt doesn’t drink water, Arlo cant drink water like a normal human from the bottle, but REALLY wants to try. Water everywhere……including my crotch: pissypants
The rest of the passport control collecting luggage reuniting with husband actually went smoothly (bar some silly jokes with French passport control that one should not make at the airport, wheres their sense of humour??!). As soon as we were off the confines of the torture plane, things (children) seemed to calm down.
We had made it! We survived!!! And as soon as I saw the mountains again, memories of the flight faded. And you know what, I would totally do it all again if it meant going snowboarding.
I was so touched by everyone that helped me (I must have had fear written all over my face). And Dave, i’ll never forget Dave.
The amazing Tara Statton (https://www.tarastattonphotography.com/) has taken some more beautiful photos for us. Thank you SOOOOO much (sorry we had to bribe Arlo with chocolate buttons!). Here are some of my favourite:
So this was how definite I was NEVER going to have another baby….. I threw out ALL my maternity clothes, most the baby clothes (well, kept the special ones….which worked out to be quite a few), told my husband we might as well throw out the baby car seat/ swinging chair/ mosses basket/ steriliser/ baby gym and definitely Euan the Dream Sheep as we were 100% never going to go through all that again.
We were to get a dog instead
Well that all changed didn’t it??!!
It all started when I began to have these weird feelings. I wanted to look at babies in pushchairs, sometimes make faces at them. If I couldn’t catch a glimpse of the baby in the pushchair, I would feel devastated, like I had really missed out. I spoke to a few people and discovered that this ailment was called “broodiness”!!! Who knew! I had literally never experienced this before, not even before having Arlo.
Still, I didn’t want another baby…….
But then I started getting these feelings like it would be nice for Arlo to have a playmate (for his sake obviously, not me because I was MORE than happy with “just one”). Then a dog would actually suffice for this and I DEFINITELY didn’t want another baby.
Then people started to ask when I was going to give Arlo a brother or sister. I’d always been definite in my answer (eg. pet dog). But then I started to waver. Should I do it out of duty to Arlo?? Am I a bad mum for not creating another one for him to play with. No no no don’t be silly, Arlo LOVES dogs.
A couple of weeks later I was pregnant.
It was like my womb had sensed these wobbles and BOOM, had put a bun in the oven before I had the chance to say officially “hey, let’s try for another baby”
Snowboarding dreams out the window, gymnastics down the pan for a few months (years) and back to being fat and owning a milk farm. An AMAZING surprise of course, especially after how hard it had been to get Arlo:) We are so lucky!
Over the last 16 weeks I have been thinking more and more just how different a second pregnancy feels, and here’s what I’ve come up with:
People keep asking me if I’m excited to be having another baby. Errrrr Yeah?! To be quite honest with you, I’m really freaking out. The first pregnancy, you ARE excited as you are so naive as to what is about to happen. Yes you have heard stories about the sleepless nights, the feeding, the crying, THE BIRTH (uh oh), but you really have no idea how hard it all is until you have done it. After Arlo, I would actually look at expectant first time mums in a different way…almost feel bad for them as they are all glowy and expectant, excited for their new journey. I would just think “you have no idea about whats about to hit you”. So now, second time round, I can honestly say the feelings of excitement are totally out weighed by the apprehension of the hurricane that is going to arrive with us in July. PLUS this time round it will be waaaaaaaay way harder as not only will I have a new born to look after, but a toddler too, yikes. So many people do it all over the world, so it must be possible:). Lets just pray for one a lot more mellow than Arlo was.
Someone posted a comment on one of my blogs once that kind of upset me at the time. It said something along the lines of “you only have one, you don’t know you are born until you have 2!” It did get me thinking, this guy was totally right. I’m sure I will look back on my “one child” days and realise how easy it was in comparison, and probably what an idiot I was to moan about how hard things were. I hope I didn’t upset too many people before. One thing for sure, I’m going to experience what he meant soon……….
NB. Same can be applied to mothers of 3/4/5 kids (brave) looking back on their “2 children” days. So I apologies in advance for saying 2 is hard.
On the flip side of this, I’m almost more excited, because you KNOW what’s to come. Like you know how it feels now to see the first smile, first giggle, first “Mumma”. So I’m looking forward to that:) Actually really looking forward to that.
I had totally forgot just how horrendous the first trimester is. In fact, If I EVER (I will never, husband is getting the snip) say that I want a 3rd baby, just remind me of how I have felt for the last few weeks. Thats a birth control right there. I felt awful in my fist pregnancy too but I could wallow in it. I got signed off work for 3 weeks and I just lay in bed and watched Greys Anatomy eating ice cubes. I could nap when I wanted, rest when I wanted, actually I could pretty much do whatever I pleased. This time round (sure I feel worse?) but I’ve had to pull myself together, you have a toddler to look after Katie! And its been a struggle. Even though all I’ve felt like doing is lying on the sofa and crying, I’ve not wanted Arlo to miss out on all of his things (and think I’m a boring mum). So I’ve just plodded along, throwing up out of the car, in bushes and in super market aisles (soz Sainsburys). Luckily Arlo LOVES it when I’m sick, he thinks its the funniest noise ever and best game ever! He’s invented his own “mimc mums sick” noise, way cuter than mine I might add. Pretty much seeing any food in the early days would trigger the sick. So trying to feed your toddler 3 meals a day that he mushes up in his little fat hands and then regurgitates has been hard. I think you have to have a strong stomach at the best of times to feed a toddler!!! And the tiredness zzzzzzz A couple of times I’ve actually nodded off sitting up in the living room, to be woken to Arlo scaling the book self or creating a master piece on the kitchen wall. Everyday I cling onto the fact that Arlo might nap so that I can have an afternoon siesta too. Days he doesn’t, are loooong old days. 5am starts seem to be A LOT more of a struggle these last few weeks too. Needless to say I’m tucked up in bed with a glass of milk and hot water bottle by 8pm. ROCK AND ROLL
Does this make you feel sick???
Saying all this though, I am starting to feel a bit better and get my motivation for life back. Spring is in the air. The days seem less depressing and I can eat more (like 10 billion bowels of cereal a day). I’m emerging out of my black hole.
First time round we were REALLY trying for a baby (even though it was still a surprise that it actually happened….long story), it was the thing we wanted the most in the whole wide world. So I was almost mentally prepared that I would have to give up snowboarding/ gymnastics/ my life/ my body for a bit. Granted, it took A LOT longer than expected to get back to these things. Second time round, I really felt like I had just about started to get my life back, I had plans, goals, aspirations and then all of a sudden in 2 mins flat, that all changed completely. I wasn’t prepared. And I’m under no illusions this time…..”I’ll pop the sprog out and be back to gymnastics within a couple months”. Yes, I said that. All these sacrifices are minimum though in the BIGGER picture. I need to remember that…..and stop crying over snowboard pictures on Instagram.
I actually started to get a bump about 8 weeks. Now, one could argue that this could well have been “Christmas”, but by 12 weeks I was pretty much the size I was last time at 20 weeks. Now at 16 weeks I look like I might actually give birth. You really do seem to get bigger quicker second time round. Apparently your stomach muscles don’t back from the first time, so all those sit ups in the gym were alas in vain:( The sickness was good I guess in that I lost a bit of weight at the start to set me in good stead for the fattening. But oh my, I am making up for lost time now. I can’t keep growing at this rate surely as by full term I will look like a fully obese hippo that’s eaten another hippo.
I’ve always been pretty soft and emotional. Since having a child you get even softer. Every bad thing that happens in the world now you just relate it back to your baby. All the charity adds on the TV, the stories of children/ mums in the newspapers, kids getting ill, mums getting ill, families being torn apart, kids loosing teddies, accidents……….everything just hits you more now as you can relate to it. Throw a second hormonal pregnancy into the mix, wow I’m a blubbering wreck. Who knew that the movie Shrek was such a tear jerker. Or crisp packet floating in the wind was so beautiful. And meeting Father Christmas, well that just finished me off. The stupid mechanical Reindeer even got me. Sure I wasn’t like this last time? Rich??
My first feelings after finding out I was pregnant this time (well after holy cr*p) was guilt towards Arlo. It was like I had cheated on him. HE was our baby, the most important thing, and now we have gone and created another one that was totally going to change his life…and the poor little thing doesn’t even know it yet (tried to show him the scan photo but he just screwed it up and ate it, then put it in his potty, hopefully this isn’t a taste of things to come). He’s been our world and now someone’s going to have to share that with him.
I feel guilty just thinking about things that are going to happen when the new baby arrives…….not as much attention for Arlo, he will miss his socialising, he will miss all his activities, crying baby all night, feeding ALL THE TIME, he’ll have to share his room, share his toys, share me!
I also feel guilty because I’ve become a rubbish mum since I’ve been preggers. Just lost my motivation for everything. The TV has pretty much been on constantly and I have been doing a lot of lying on the sofa whilst Arlo has been running riot around the living room. When times are particularly bad, out comes back to back episodes of Peppa Pig on Netflix, Arlo’s drug to make him sit still and cuddle me. I have turned my son into a couch potato:(
And I feel guilty because I just can’t imagine how I could possibly love another child as much as Arlo. Or that he will feel replaced.
Where as before you were happy to let your child develop at his own pace, no rush, when you are expecting another, you start thinking about all these things you need to get your first child to do BEFORE baby number 2 arrives. I need to get Arlo into a good place. He needs to not wake ready for the day at 4.30/5am, he needs to be potty trained (visions of me breast-feeding at the same time as rushing Arlo to toilet to do a sh*t), he needs to be sleeping in a toddler bed (we need your cot mate!), he needs to be able to walk where we want him too so I don’t have to retrieve him from bins and bushes. Would love to train him to make me a cup of tea, but will give that time.
As far as potty training has got
No fuss, no worries
The first time you’re pregnant you feel so special. Everyone’s fussing over you and it’s such a big thing. Second time round, it’s like you just have to get on with things. There has definitely been less bump touching, attention and pampering from my husband (where’s my foot massage??!), and to be honest, I forget most of the time as we are both so busy with a toddler and life we don’t get a chance to think about it. This makes me less worried this time round as it slips my mind that I’m “with child” until I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and remember “oh hey fatty”. It’s really nice at work though as it’s the FIRST time they have seen me pregnant (I changed jobs since last pregnancy). So it’s like having the fuss of my first pregnancy all over again. That gives me my fix twice a week.
Now you’ve done it before, so you know what you’re doing right??!! But I feel like I’ve forgotten everything already. The baby stage seems so long ago already. Hopefully it will all come back to me:) Also, I just can’t get my head round how logistically things are going to work with 2….I already need to take a small suitcase with me wherever I go, will I need a lorry? What happens if both are crying at the same time, or get up in the night at the same time, or poo explosions at the same time, food shopping WITH 2, swimming with both of them (maybe not)……I guess you just figure it out and DO IT. And you must remember to have a lot of admiration for people with 3 children. One thing is for sure, at the birth (oh dear lord I’ve got to do that again) I am going to take allllll the drugs they offer me this time. Don’t need to experience that again.
For now, I want to actually leave the house more and commence operation “be a better mum”
So the lovely guys over at The Board Basement in Exeter asked me to be involved in their new project #wearetakingoverthisshow
Basically they are getting people involved in the UK Snowboard Industry to write about interesting stuff! Of course my entry had to be about something to do with babies and snowboarding. So here is a link to the article up on The Board Basement Website. Hope you like it………..
Before we went to Tignes I had a “To-Do List” of activities I wanted to do whilst we were there. Im pleased to report we ticked off quite a few. This could hopefully help people visiting Tignes with a baby/ children. Obviously we will need to go back to do the other activities we didn’t manage;)
Build a snowman
Turns out building a snowman is harder than you think, although I’m sure kids manage it? So after some failed attempts with snowmen that looked like a saggy Mr Blobby, we just claimed someone else’s snowman. Way easier. Not sure why he had a tail, but Arlo seemed pretty taken with it, well eating it to be precise.
I thought Arlo would be WELL into this, adrenaline junky baby. We put SO much effort in, dragging him up the hills, and running down next to him. Then wondered why he wasn’t squealing with delight, and in fact, not even moving. I lifted his sunnies up and couldn’t believe it, he was having a sly 40 winks!! Caught red handed. Obviously sledging was waaaaay to lame for him. Next time bigger hills Mum!
The main reason to go to the mountains was for Arlos first training session. After all, if he’s going to make the Olympics we need to get him started!! Was difficult as he wasn’t actually walking, but we found some fun ways to include him in snowboarding (see my previous blog post). It was so lush to involve him in something that has been so special to us over the years.
The swimming pool in Tignes is pretty epic. Mainly because of the amazing view …..plus the water slide. On a Sunday and a Wednesday they heat the big pool and baby pool up so its like a hot bath. Then put lots of toys and fun things in the pool and have an hour of fun. We went twice that week, saying it was for Arlo…..but secretly I think it was a good excuse to go and soothe our aching bodies from snowboarding ( actually felt like I’d been run over by a bus).
When in Rome. Ended up being the main part of Arlo’s diet for the week. Why not, WE’RE ON HOLIDAY!!!
Chocolate was the obvious choice here. Safe to say Arlo was a huge fan. Pretty expensive in the mountains but well worth it for seeing the stoke levels from your baby. It gets messy.
First Tignes Cusine
The best noodles in Town. A must! Sit out on the terrace and enjoy:) Arlo was intrigued by the worm like creatures we were eating.
Walk along lake
The lake in Tignes is beautiful. In the winter you can walk straight across the middle of it. Unless you are partial to a bit of ice diving, this is not recommended in the spring. But a walk a round the edge of the lake on the sturdy paths is just as nice.
Visit a Snow Park (for a baby!)
We were no longer looking for rails and kickers…..now we wanted to find slides and swings. Most of the winter the childrens park is covered by snow. We hit it just the right time of year when everything was beginning to melt off. We could call this “Dry Land Baby Olympic Training”
Apres (avec Baby)
Waaaaay too drunk to get any photos of this…….JOKING!!! We managed to visit our friends bar (La Queue de Cochon and TCs) one afternoon. Arlo found some little mates and had fun trying his hardest to become part of their gang. Sure they had accepted the little ginger one by the end. Not sure he even realised we were doing Apres but it was nice to be in a bar again. Very very different Apres than “back in the day”.
We got 3 days on the hill, more than what we were expecting to be honest. And what a wonderful 3 days it was. You almost appreciate it a lot more when you have a baby (and have to pay for a lift pass!!!). You know your time is limited so you make the most of every second. No time for coffee breaks AND we got a powder day!!!
Falling flat on your face, getting snow wedged in your sunglasses and crying counts yeah? Not sure Arlo enjoyed ticking this one off the To-Do List.
Snow ball fight
Again no photos of this as Mum got battered. Thanks Arlo (Dad)
Show Arlo the ACTUAL spot where we first met…..
Quite cheesy and I wouldn’t expect other people visiting Tignes to go to this spot and share a moment. But for us it was nice to reminisce where we had first laid eyes on each other 11 years ago ( well I cant remember seeing Rich but he spotted me because of my baby blue hairy boots with pink trimming……HOT). Formally known as “The Red Lion’ pub, it’s now a Spar…..yes, as in The Shop. Very romantic. Arlo just wanted another Croissant.
A massive shout out to Tignes Spririt for helping us sort everything out. See you next year:)
The countdown to your snowboard holiday is on. You’ve seen the videos on social media of the “youngest snowboarder EVER” and you have dreams of your baby being the next biggest viral sensation. But your dreams are slipping away as your baby is yet to take his/ her first steps, despite your hours of “training”.
So here are 3 tried and tested ways to have fun with your baby snowboarding before they can actually do it themselves.
Mini Snowboard + Baby
The obvious first choice. Borrow/ rent mini snowboard equipment (mega cute, take lots of photos). Cling on to the hope that when your baby is all strapped in that they will magically be able to do it (could be easier, more exciting than walking anyway?). When you realise that actually this is never going to happen, just place the babies feet in the bindings (we actually sacked off the baby snowboard boots…..wriggly baby syndrome) and drag snowboard/ baby- attached along the snow whilst supporting them. The baby’s feet WILL pop out of the bindings without the boots, so make sure you get a photo/ evidence really quickly. If you’re feeling confident, then go- for- gold and try to stand the baby up on their own. Then, with the speed of light, run out of the shot so you can get the “Baby Snowboarding All-By-Himself” photo ( we didn’t manage this).
Baby Backpack + Baby
Choose one confident snowboarder (adult) with exceptionally good balance. Strap baby into baby backpack and onto back. Snowboard (slowly, no tricks, no backflips and certainly no big jumps) along past the camera and wave. Hey presto!! Baby LOVES it, and lets face it, you look pretty cool!!!
Snowboarding Holding The Baby
I have done some pretty scary snowboarding in my time, but this was different. I actually felt responsible for another human life, MY little humans life!! So pick somewhere relatively flat to start, and empty of other snowboarders that could crash into you. Get a steady base and get someone to hand you the baby once you’re ready. Place baby in between legs, holding under the armpits, and off you go. DONT CATCH AN EDGE!! Also goes without saying, don’t accidentally drop the baby. More importantly, don’t get distracted if they pick that particular moment to do a massive sh*t. Concentration is key.
Next holiday your baby will basically be doing Triple Corks, and it’s all down to you for starting them early. Good parents.