Tomorrow our summer holidays officially start and whilst I have a sneaky feeling several days will be complete madness, I can not wait for some summer fun with the kids! As I look ahead over these next few weeks of hopefully long hot summer days and lots of adventures with them, I am reminded of a couple of summers ago, when whilst pregnant with Poppy, a spontaneous beach trip turned into a tyre blow out and being stranded with 2 kids, no food and a lot of heat, at the side of a country lane. The time it took to have my sister come save us, get the wheel fixed and be back on the road, we had to get home again and were all well and truly gutted to have missed out on a fun day with grandma at the seaside.

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For a few weeks now we have had on the fridge door a whole months worth of plans for the kids and I to enjoy and make the most of this years summer holidays. I know from looking which days we will need a picnic, which days we will stay home, approximate expenditure and the days we need to drop some texts in advance to hopefully have friends or cousins join us. I am a planner and I like to be in control and know whats happening. It makes life easier to organise the kids and be confident in what I am doing as mother, its even more important to me now that I have a new born baby to have some kind of plan so that I know what I am doing day to day to avoid stress. The mistake I made 2 summers ago was not that I decided to be spontaneous and go against the plan, it was that I hadn’t or rather we as a family hadn’t planned properly for summer generally. Its easy to plan picnics and day trips, throw in the sun hats and cream, plan to take extra clothing or wellies etc, but one thing many of us miss is making sure the car is ready for summer, after all it is that that is doing all the work in getting us safely to our adventures and home again. I learn’t just 2 years ago after driving for almost 10 years that there is something known as winter and summer tyres and that day when I took my wheel with its battered tyre on to the garage I not only had to pay a premium but was made aware that we in fact had a winter tyre on and this wasn’t suitable for the increase in heat for the summer, thus causing a blow out and potentially dangerous situation for us all, especially when just 20minutes previous we had been on the busy M62!!!

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I recently found a website called “Point-S” where they make it extremely straight forward to buy cheap tyres suitable for your car and the season we are in (take a look its pretty great). I cannot tell you enough how scary and generally inconvenient that day was, and each summer since I have thought about it and pondered on what might have happened. As a mother I think how we protect our kids from the sun, from the dangers of water, and strangers, when all along we could be driving in dangerous conditions because we have over looked the tyre situation on our car for summer.
So to avoid a summers day stranded with your kids or risking the safety of you all whilst out and about, check the car and check the tyres before you are planning budgets, outfits, picnics and outings and lets all have an amazing chilled, fun and safe summer !

*This is a collaborative post

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Do you ever have THOSE weeks?! you know the ones, where it feels like the world is against you and no matter how much effort you exert into stuff its like your constantly running into a brick wall!

As I previously mentioned in my last post, this week marked a year since finding out that our new baby girl actually wouldn’t be ours for very long and with that news we had a road of scans, specialists and tests ahead of us. Whilst remembering this isn’t as raw as when we 1st found last year (I guess imaging it and then having gone through it changes you) it has still being a bit of naff week emotionally and therefore physically. I have said it before, but it really is true, that when you are in a state of grief, be it early on and pure pain and rawness or months down the line and just feeling naff and deflated, the slightest thing can go wrong and all of your emotions will erupt! It only takes a burnt dinner, smashed glass, traffic, a lost item that in reality is tat but at the moment is treasure or something wrong with the car and you feel like the whole world is against you. I feel in these situations that no matter how hard I fight to survive my loss and life generally that I just keep hitting a wall (and that is VERY tiring and at times painful) I feel completely deflated and unable to function; much like our rear tire yesterday!

Last summer we had a blow out on the tire, we also spent a tonne having lots of work on it, welding, a new alternator and a whole load of other expensive jobs (the joys of a 2nd hand car) and just when we thought nothing else could go wrong we go and get a puncture. I know, I know its no big deal and in comparison to the other stuff or potential things that COULD go wrong this can easily be fixed but its just one of those things we could have done without, an inconvenience, annoyance and for me one of those triggers in a world of grief that makes you want to hide, its the cherry on top of the cake of an already rubbish week!  As we’ve also had a cut in the cash flow (hello icing on the cake) the only solution was to head to the ghetto to get it fixed – so me and the kids did that; after driving 20mph all the way there and having various people beep at me we made it in one piece. I did briefly wonder when I pulled up if we would be making it back in one piece but all of that left as I watched the kids teach me how to make the best of a bad situation, they just loved the adventure and the numberless stacks of tires made for great play. They smiled the whole time and it softened me and boosted me for the rest of the day to see how they turned a bad situation into an adventure.
A few moments and a bargain-ous £7 later we were back on the rd!
WP_20150430_12_43_28_Pro WP_20150430_12_42_39_ProLife really is sometimes like a flat tire – something sharp hits us deep inside and we go on for so long with it there before we deflate and can’t go any more. I honestly do feel some days I have a slow puncture and I can feel the energy seeping from me, but like all problems we experience, be them big, gigantic or small ones, it usually doesn’t take much to get us back on the road for a little longer; chats, some “me” time, cheery kids, a hug, a treat, flowers, a nap! I’m always being told to look after me and I know when life hits us hard we have to look after ourselves or we will become deflated and pretty useless!
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