Where has the summer gone? For everyone on the summer holiday it must be frustrating looking out the window and see either dark clouds or rain. This morning it is no difference here. I wonder if this is the end of the summer.
My blog series continues with Emma from Wanderlust and Wet Wipes who is going to tell us what a day in her life is like.
First of all, tell me a bit about yourself.
I am Emma, closer-to-40-than-30, mum to 2 mostly adorable but mad and often also very irritating young kids (affectionately called The Things), married to a lucky travel mad husband. We’re currently expats on our second assignment out of the UK but my love of travelling was instilled at an early age – living in the UK, US and Australia by the time I was 10 and adding South America at 18. Since then I’ve lived back in South America, in the US twice and in the Middle East and that’s not to mention the backpacking holidays we have had! I’m not currently employed and I have been thinking for a while that I need something that I can do that will coordinate well with the kids’ evolving lives as well as our inevitable international moves. I started a family travel blog about 6 months ago to try and help others to find the balance between holidays that feel authentic to our passion for travel and yet that work for the kids too.
How many times were you woken last night?
Once. We are currently on holiday and our youngest Thing is in a big girl bed where she is normally in a cot at home and she keeps falling out. Once a night has been the norm now for almost 2 weeks.
Do you co-sleep?
No its not something that ever worked for us or the Things. If they need us in the night we might sleep in their rooms to help them settle but these days they are generally old enough to not need too much from us over night. Last night Thing 1 ended up in our bed and I think me being there and awake (impossible for me to go back to school) was a big distraction for him. I ended up pretending to go to the bathroom and staying there until he went to sleep.
What time do you normally wake up?
I’m a terrible sleeper and wake any time between 4.30 and 7 however, regardless of my body clock, my kids usually wake up at around 5.30.
How much average sleep do you get a night?
Probably around 7 hours but it varies a bit. 6-8 (broken) is a decent average.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Check my phone. I find I feel behind if I don’t know what is going on before launching into the day and realising I’ve missed something or forgotten an appointment. It’s a habit I should get out of but its hard to break.
Tell me about your typical morning routine.
In term time it is pretty full on as school starts at 7.30am here so we have to leave at 7. 2-3 times a week we work out before the kids wake (get) up so that’s a 4.45am start. Once the kids are awake we make breakfast together although the eating part is a but staggered as they usually wake up starving and need to eat immediately leaving us more time to get ours ready. We are trying to encourage them to take ownership of their own things so we run through what we have put out for them to take. School is quite strict with its requirements so some days that means a book bag, PE kit or swimming kit, lunchbox and water bottle! However prepared we are its still a mad rush to brush teeth and hair and get out of the door on time. I always feel so flustered and yet by 8am its all over. I feel like I’ve done a day’s work by then!
When and how often do you prepare the family dinners? Give us a few examples what you would cook.
I’m lucky that we have live-in help with us at the moment so if I am out with the kids doing activities then she might prepare their dinner. I try to have made it before so its just a case of her getting it ready for us. Favourites include spaghetti bolognese (no bits please mummy), chicken fried rice, baked chicken nuggets and sausages. I’ve got some great recipes from Happy Healthy Mama and Annabel Karmel which are pretty much guaranteed winners.
What’s on the menu for lunch?
Right now we are in Italy on holiday so it will probably be pizza. I have some Ella’s Kitchen pouches with us to try and keep the fruit and veggie intake up which I find can be difficult on holiday. Thankfully both kids still love them as I know lots of other children won’t touch them!
What activities have you got planned for the day for the kids?
Today we had breakfast right on the lake in a little café near our rented house. Then we are going to see a villa on Lake Como which was in both James Bond and Star Wars films and to play crazy golf by the lake. We will follow that up with a swim in a lido and maybe the lake too.
After we go back to Doha, we will have a less exotic existence and will be mainly restricted to indoor activities since it is so hot where we are (58C yesterday!). It will be quiet as lots of people leave for the summer but there are a surprising number of activities to do inside. The kids will go to summer camp 3 mornings a week, we will hit the pool at least twice a week and then I am planning on lots of play dates either at home or in places like a soft play or Kidzmondo which is this amazing kid city where they can do ‘grown up’ activities for ‘money’. Term time is a different kettle of fish but more predictable with school hours and after school activities.
Do you generally eat dinner together as a family or get the kids fed first?
My kids go to bed ridiculously early as regardless of bedtime they wake up around 5.30am so dinner tends to be a kid first thing . We do other meals together – breakfast during the week and breakfast and lunch at weekends.
What do you do after dinner?
If we have time the kids will play inside or go and ride their bikes but they procrastinate a lot so more often than not we end up going straight into a bedtime routine. Sometimes if they are starting to get crabby but it is still early, I’ll start bedtime and then take longer over story time.
What is your bedtime routine?
This has been the same since our eldest was 6 weeks old! Bath, milk and story, teeth and bed.
Most importantly, when and where do you normally blog in those 24 hours? Do you have a schedule?
I’m a new blogger and I am still trying to find a routine. I started going to a café to write as I used to find it difficult to concentrate at home but I found that I was drinking too much cafeine and ended up feeling quite skaky and ill! Then Ramadan hstarted and it wasn’t possible anyway (it is illegal to eat of drink in public in Ramadan so all the cafes and restaurants are closed).
The difficulty is that life doesn’t really follow a routine even when you have 2 kids in school and its even worse when you’re an expat. Until recently our youngest wasn’t in school full time so that disrupted things. We have had various trips and visitors that have changed the routine and I do other things like volunteering which can be a bit erratic. Add in illnesses, Ramadan, a new kid phase like potty training and you are guaranteed never to get in a rut! I’m lucky that my husband is happy to take the kids when he gets home so if I really need to get something done and haven’t managed it I can do it then.
Thank you Emma for giving us a day in your life. I am super jealous of you traveling the world living as an expat family. Something I would love to do myself but as life goes the other half doesn’t have the travel bug at all.
Blog URL: http://www.wanderlustandwetwipes.com
Everyone loves a follower more. What social media platforms can we find you on?
Facebook – Wanderlust and Wet Wipes
Instagram – Wanderlust and Wet Wipes
Twitter – @wanderwetwipes
If you are interesting in taking part in my blog series, why not send me a quick email.