I am Some FriYay Reminders Mum

Rejoice! Rejoice!

It is Friyay…the FIRST Friyay after a FULL week of school and work and routine. And we have all survived. (albeit just about, but survive we have.)

We may be frazzled and fooked Mammies, but still we must find the energy to REJOICE in the Fact that we have made it to the most wonderful evening of the week.

This week, after a long and sunniful summer,I am back to being a Full-time Mammy with a Full-time Job-job. What have I learned? Nothing. But I have remembered many things; Things that I had suffocated and locked in a tattered old box at the back of the memory part of my subconscious, but which now bounce back to the forefront of my ridiculously tired little mind.

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Tired Children:

  1. Tired children are cranky.  
  2. Tired children like to find a reason, ANY reason, to cry.
  3. Tired children do not KNOW that they are tired.  
  4. Tired children refuse to admit that they are tired.
  5. Tired children will bite one another.
  6. Tired children do not like to go to their beds, regardless of how tired they are.
  7. Tired children like to wake up at 2am and play with their toys, with the light on, noisily enough to waken everyone so that they have someone to tell that they are NOT tired.
  8. Tired children do NOT like to get dressed in the morning.
  9. Tired children do NOT like it when you bounce into their bedrooms at 7am singing “Good Morning, Good Moooooooorning!,  opening curtains and declaring that it is time for school. (Especially the not tired children who have been up half the night playing with their fecking toys.)
  10. Tired children like to say “No” and “No” and sometimes, “Noooooo!” to absolutely EVERYTHING that Tired Mammy asks or suggests.

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And along with tired children, comes the Tired Mammy.  But as well as being a tired Mammy, Mammy ALSO has to be SUPER-ORGANISED Mammy.

  1.  Mammy needs to keep on top of the fridge situation.  
  2. Mammy needs to pack lunchboxes and school bags and afterschool bags.
  3. Mammy needs to remember the fecking HORROR that is HOMEWORK.  
  4. Mammy needs to think about dinners sooner than when she opens the fridge at 6pm.  
  5. Mammy needs to set her alarm to make sure she gets out of bed 30 minutes before everyone else if Mammy wants to pee, shower and have a coffee all by herself.
  6.  Mammy needs to be an intelligent and functioning adult.  
  7. Mammy needs to rid her brain of references to Peppa Pig and Andy and Bing because they are not relevant to Macbeth and teenagers do NOT respond well to them.
  8. Mammy needs to try to keep the washing basket from puking and Mammy needs to arrange everyone’s clothes before bedtime.
  9. Mammy needs to remain relatively Wifely and interesting enough to hold a brief conversation with Tired Daddy when he comes home from Jim.
  10. And Mammy needs to get used to wearing stupid heels and muckup every single day.  (I’ll last until the end of September…)
  11. Mammy needs to cram all of the Mammying and playing and cuddling and scolding and fun into 3 hours in the evening, while being JUST as tired as her beloved Tired Children who are determined to PUNISH her tired ass for abandoning them in school and creche. (Even though they both LOVE where they go and actually CRY when they are collected.)
  12. Mammy struggles with balancing the Mammy guilt when she’s away from them, and the urge to sell them on ETSY when she’s spent an hour being screamed at and cried at by her Tired Minions.
  13. Mammy can’t win.

In conclusion.  Mammy does indeed need to rejoice that she has made it to Friday night, has the tired minions in bed, her feet up and the grapes poured.  And now Mammy needs all of her Lovely Supermums to say Hello and remind her of what I have been missing while abandoning you all this week while trying to keep 286 plates spinning without falling off her heels and onto her poor,  muck-uped, Mammy-guilty face.

Because as Tired as the two Dollies are, and despite the fact that I had to WAKE them every morning this week, I guarantee that the little farts shall be up at 6.30am tomorrow…

Why?

Because it’s Saturday of course.  

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Cheers Bitcheepoos. xxx

I am Sun & Fun in Salou Mum

Well we ventured abroad for a week with the girls, and despite my fears and worries, it was fantastic. (So fantastic in fact that we are probably going to book the exact same hotel again for next summer!)

The girls in Atlantic Travel in Letterkenny were brilliant when I went in. I wanted short flights, short transfer, central location and good food. Within a few minutes, I was looking at Family Life Avenida Suites in Costa Dorada in Salou.

Atlantic were able to recommend it, having visited it and from customer reviews, so we booked it, trusting their recommendation.

And it was everything they said it would be.

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We flew from Belfast which is only 80 minutes from our home. Flights were 2.5 hours and transfer was only 20 minutes. We were the first stop for the bus and everything was so easy.

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Arriving at the hotel at 10am meant that rooms were not quite ready for most of the families in front of us. There was no problem with this as they were simply invited to leave cases and the hotel phoned them once their rooms were available. Now, here is where Atlantic Travel impressed me most. When I went to check in, at the end of the queue, our room was ready! Emma had requested “early check-in” on our booking. Ingrid at reception was so lovely and we were delighted to get in to our suite. We were at the poolside by 11am.

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The main foyer

This resort is beautiful. It’s clean, it’s well organised and it’s fully geared towards families. The suites are incredible. A double bed, kitchenette, wardrobe spaces and shelves. (Not one square inch is wasted…shelves everywhere!).

Then a huge bathroom with bath and shower and massive mirror area AND a separate twin bedroom for the girls. We had a double balcony and were on the first floor. Room service made beds and did a quick clean of bathroom each day and on 2 mornings, they changed full beds for us where a nappy incident had occurred. No problem at all.

Now, our room was directly above the bar and while it was noisy at night, the suites are quite well soundproofed. My girls sleep through anything, however if your kids are light sleepers, it might be an idea to request a quieter room, but you might lose the pool view. For us, it was perfect. And everything was quiet by midnight anyway.

Family Life Avenida has everything you could imagine for the kids. There are 2 kids’ clubs, a creche facility, just inside the pool door there was a huge baby changing room, a room with chairs for feeding and cots for napping babies with chairs next to each for parents. Mini-Me joined the @611 club which ran from 10-12 and from 2-4pm each day. She went for 3 of our 7 days and LOVED it.

The resort is exclusive to English and Irish families, and while I missed the lilt of different accents around me, it did mean that Mini-Me and Princess had no problem making friends. There is a huge pool area with a separate baby pool, a bar, a cafe terrace and loads of play areas for the kids. It was only a 5 minute walk from the centre of Salou, where the pier and the fountain are a must see.

The food was exceptional; The breakfast buffet was so impressive, fresh and varied each day. Fruit, breads, cereals, full fry-up, porridge… anything you wanted. (Even bubbles for Buck’s Fizz for Mammy!)

The dinner buffet was also impressive. Again, unlike some resorts I’ve stayed in where Tuesday night’s dinner was a mash up of Monday’s left overs, the spread here was brilliant. So fresh and very tasty. We had the option of booking the a la carte restaurant for one of our nights, but the food was so good in the buffet and the girls were so happy that we didn’t bother. There was a little mini hot plate area for children to get their own food, which the girls just loved.

We were half board so we bought lunch each day. 2 pizzas, 2 chips and some drinks and beers was usually around €32. Ice-creams and drinks were all we had to buy, but with a pint and a wine costing less than €5, we weren’t too badly hit. All inclusive however, would be cost effective if your kids are a bit older. Then, the soft drinks and icecreams are unlimited.

What really makes this hotel however, is the staff.

From the room maintenance, to the front desk, to the restaurant staff, they were second to none. A special mention must go to Ana, the lady who met us at the desk morning and night. She was an absolute lady and gave the girls a coloured straw every time we entered, Might sound silly, but it was one of the little touches which made our girls feel special.

But the TUI staff themselves, what can I say?

Those guys work, work, work, but at no point did we see any one of them without a smile. They remembered names. They high-fived. They stopped to have conversations and their energy was contagious. And their talent? Now, I am not easily starstruck. My ‘theatre’ background means I am critical enough of “talent”, but these guys were phenomenal.

Our first night was a Magic of the Musicals night. We could have been sitting in the West End for some of the scenes. Francis in particular was exceptional. This guy could transform from clown, to chimney sweep to Jean Valjean in the blink of an eye. His voice, his acting and his dancing were superb. Izzy and Taylor were equally as talented. They did the Musicals show, a cabaret show of all TUI staff, and a Disney night which was fantastic.

The schedule of entertainment was varied and fun. At 7.20pm, a few episodes of Paw Patrol are shown on the screen. (Cue every parent sighing as they sup on a glass and breath!) Then the team entertainment starts with ‘Download’, a virtual interactive gameshow where the kids and parents get competitive. Other various pieces were mixed up throughout the week, with outside acts coming in on alternate nights; acrobats, Michael Jackson tributes etc.

The hotel was full of young families, with most kids seemingly under 12. We travelled at the end of June. The hotel was comfortably busy for the first 4 days, but it did become very busy on our last 2 days. The pool and restaurants were much more crowded by the end of the week with the UK hoildays beginning, and there was suddenly a queue for loungers at 8am, which hadn’t been the case on our first days. This is not a complaint by any means, but an observation which has convinced us to travel earlier next year if we can.

We spent most of the holiday in the resort, visiting the main town and promenade a few times, venturing to the beach once, and going to PortAventura World on the Tuesday. This was great, but expensive and tiring for our little kids. They’ll enjoy it more as they get older, but it’s a great day out.

And then, it was suddenly time to start packing up to come home.

Our journey home was as easy as our journey there. Bus pick-up was at 8am for our 10.30am flight. Check in at Ruess airport was incredibly slow and we were worried we’d be late for the flight, but with very little to do and limited seating in the airport, it was fine. Again TUI staff were on hand to assist.

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We’ll be back

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable week of amazing family time. Our fear of sun holidays with the kids has been dispelled forever and I’m going to book our return trip to Avenida Suites as soon as I can.

5 stars from Mammy… a great spot for young families

The S-Mum is an Irish Mammy Blogger and writer. No compensation was received for this review. I write it simply because I was impressed by the Family Life Avenida Suites and the whole TUI experience. These are my own thoughts and I am obliged to nobody.

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