There’s always one! (But why is it always mine?!) πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ

There’s always one. But why is it always mine?! πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ)

As parents, we’ve all had that thought, haven’t we?!!

Picture the scene… beautiful weather, calm waves lapping at your tanned toes.. Pilot Bay is a gorgeous family sandy beach: shallow blue water, kids playing happily with spades and sandcastles, tinkling children’s laughter in the air while the adults relax in the summer sun…

Then your second child thinks it’s funny to yell, “SHARKKKKKK” πŸ˜†πŸ™ˆπŸ¦ˆ as he splash-runs his way out of the water.


I can look back and laugh now, but FFS in that moment, your stomach still drops and the Jaws music still plays in your head πŸ™ˆ πŸ˜‚ and a split second later you need to track down your joker of a son to give him a slap for being embarrassing πŸ˜†

So this week, we’ve explored a bit more, in our efforts to find a place to live. We’ve been up to Katikati and Waihi Beach, and driven through many suburbs of Tauranga, it’s all beautiful and we’re still kinda homeless. The good news is that we have got the beachfront property to rent for 3 weeks, so Santa has somewhere to visit. The bad news is that we still need to find somewhere from mid January. Other good news is that our surfboards arrived! Other bad news is that the courier dropped them in transit and they’re broken 😭 Even more good news is that I’ve ordered some beds to sleep on when we move into the new place next week. And the bad news is that as they are oversized items, they may not arrive until after christmas πŸ™ˆ

As you can tell, this has been a week of ups and downs. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve seen photos of the UK snow and we’ve felt a bit homesick. It feels a very long way away right now and I’m so thankful for the awesomeness of FaceTime to keep us in touch.

On Friday, the older boys all had a family surf lesson with Marc the Spanish Surf Instructor.


One by one, they all caught some waves, and Joe and Tom are getting pretty good at standing up, the jammy natural dudes.


I kind of loitered around at the side of them with my board during the lesson, in case Fred needed any help, catching a few waves and feeling pretty smug as I surfed my way in. Marc waved me over at one point, and I thought maybe he was going to compliment me on my immense technique.

Nah. But I’ll take his constructive comments ‘on board’ (get it? πŸ˜‚) as he told me that I need to bend my legs more and lift my arms, because I look a bit like a surfing gorilla. Thanks dude, thanks. I guess I’ll try to take my knuckles out the water and shift my bum closer to the board.


Well hello Dubai πŸ˜


Its ridiculously early (I’m still working on UK time here) but in the words of Anna, “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake” and while the kids sleep, I’m on the apartment balcony looking at this gorgeous view. I’m in pyjamas with birds nest hair, and I don’t care, and its 29 degrees 🌞

We made it to Dubai. 7 hours on a plane with the 4 boys was……. surprisingly pleasant! I won’t lie, I had a wine at one point.. but I also cat napped andΒ  drooled on Sid for an hour while watching Wonder Woman, and felt much better after some sleep.

I also discovered a bonus to having 4 kids (hear that? There are perks! πŸ˜‚) – on checking in and checking out and going through passport controls and stuff, the airport staff would look at us in amusement with our mountain of baggage (that’s luggage, not kids πŸ˜‰) and would usher us to an empty check in desk or manager, and get us through quicker than the average queuer. Bonus! πŸ˜€ and trust me, with an awesome aspergers child, anything that can help avoid a queue is a plus 😊

So, the plane. No-one was travel sick 🀘 and no one had a melt down πŸ€™ and no one punched anyone else’s lights out πŸ’ͺ – it’s a win.

We did struggle to get a 7 seater taxi when we left the airport and I thought that the 31 degree heat was going to cause 4 child-shaped melted puddles on the pavement, but the airport attendants are so super organised here! They radioed us one that came within 20 minutes. (I’ll know to book one in advance next time!)

The hotel is amazing, the people are amazing, and although the kids drove me slightly nuts last night arguing about beds, they were all finally asleep by 10.30, and I can happily forgive the fact that a 375ml bottle of wine costs Β£15. I don’t care. I still drank that sucker at 11pm before bed 😎

There were a few night time shenanigans, the 2 bed apartment only has a huge double bed in one bedroom, and 2 single beds in the other, so we had another single bed wheeled in by a porter, and I foolishly though we’d be fine with just the 5 bed spaces. But apparently 3 in a king-size bed doesn’t cut the mustard and this morning I am most definitely ringing down for another bed to be made up for tonight πŸ˜‚

So hello Dubai! You’re looking gorgeous this morning at 7am (that’s 4am I think in UK time) and I cant wait for my immense Hilton Breakfast. Get In My Belly.

Holiday, day 2!






Goat parties and The Fear

This weekend, my youngest was invited to a 5year old’s party, and on the morning of it, he was so excited about being invited to this ‘Goat party’ that it didn’t occur to me that he may actually think there would be goats. The reason for this being that it was, in reality, a Go-cart party, and I thought he was just kidding me with his Goat Talk πŸ˜‚

So we got there, and my little cling-on was either confused because of the lack of goats, or he had been struck down by the Party Fear. You know the one? It lasts about 10-20 minutes in general, and all of my boys have suffered from it at some point.

When we arrive at a party, they refuse to leave my side, preferring to hold my leg or my clothes so tightly with their sticky little fingers, that I often think that we’re moulded together for life.

I’ve tried all tactics to get them to join in quickly. Bribery, encouragement, even the “well-if-you’re-not-going-to-join-in, we-may-as-well-go-home”-tactic. 😏 And I’ve come to the conclusion that just sitting and having a cuddle until they’re ready is the best. Just the best. Because I love their cuddles and all too soon they’ll be claiming they’re too big for them.

My eldest has Autism. From very early on, he had intense fear of new things, like parties, clothes, food, movies, outings, actually, you name it and he pretty much feared it. He would cling, and cry, and sometimes completely ball- up and shut down, with his thumb in his mouth. I would help him as much as I could, but his fear could last up to 2 hours, by which time, most children’s parties are just finishing.

By the time he was 3, Fred had 2 younger brothers, and just after he turned 6, he had 3 small siblings, and all these little people learned lots of things from Fred… including, I suspect, The Party Fear. They also learned The School Fear, and The Activity Fear.. and many other fears, but one-by-one they have all battled their monsters and come out the other side.

Fred can have reactions and emotions that may seem odd, different, maybe out of place or age-inapropriate. All my other children have learned or copied these at some point. It’s only as they grow, that they also learn how society expects us to control our emotions and react in an appropriate manner (I don’t really like the word ‘normal’ at this point). Fred is still learning, but his uniqueness will always shine and I won’t teach him to hide that.

His brothers have also learned so much more from Fred. They’ve learned compassion, immense patience Β (we’re still working on that one!), forgiveness, bravery, loyalty and immense love. Not to mention all the names of the planets and every single Pokemon Go character. These incredible little beings are growing up to accept and understand human differences. They make me so proud. And cross sometimes. But mostly proud.

And look! After battling The Party (or the lack of goat) Fear, my smallest got in his go cart and drove like A Beast 😊


And with all 4 kids finally ensconced in school.. I have time to pack and sell! 😁

45 days to go……