Category Archives: Parenting

So what have Adventurous Kids been up to? I did promise some ideas about how to get kids more active and we haven’t seen hide nor hair of them! They have been active, I assure you. Here’s a little round up of their activities.

January

We went to the Big House near Barmouth which I mentioned in my post about Helsby Half Marathon. For 4 years we have been going to an activity weekend. We call it indoor camping as we go with a group of friends who we camp with in the summer. We get to do all sorts of fun activities such as archery, team building games, ropes courses and zip wire.

I think the best thing to do is to show you some photos of the kids having a great time. Just look at the enjoyment on their faces. Even when we retreat to the house, they have a fantastic time playing Nerf gun wars and hide and seek in the house with no-one to tell them to be quiet!

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Bullseye!

Whoo- hoo! That was fun

Whoo- hoo! That was fun

 

 

 

AD on zip wire

Adventurous Daughter loves the zip wire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February

AD with bronze medal

One happy cub with her bronze medal

 

Both my twins took part in a Cubs swimming gala. Adventurous Son had done this two years ago when he had just moved up to cubs. I didn’t make it along to watch him that time but apparently he got a round of applause for being the plucky finisher as he took a long time to finish his length. This time he is one of the older cubs in the pack and, although he did not qualify for the finals, he swam well.

Swimming is Adventurous Daughter’s favourite sport so she elected to swim in the Backstroke heat. It was initially unclear if she had qualified for the final but eventually we learned that she had. She went onto win the bronze medal! One very happy girl.

 

AD with mile swim cert

Still smiling after swimming a mile!

Adventurous Daughter had also decided that she wanted to swim a mile for Sport Relief. Like a lot of people, we watched the Sport Relief Bake Off. She was very moved by the plight of the two young boys living on the street in Kenya and decided she wanted to help. Her swimming school agreed that she could use a lane to do the challenge along with 3 other children. I really wasn’t sure how long it would take her to complete the challenge, so she surprised me in doing it in just over an hour. She was so fast that the swimming school instructor missed her and some of the other children finishing!

To date, she has raised £192.00 so she has raised enough money to help get some African children off the street and into school. One even happier girl.

March

AD at TKD grading

Nice walking stance from Adventurous Daughter…

Both Adventurous Kids do Tae Kwon Do. It’s been a while since they graded for a new belt so the time was looming where they would have to bite the bullet and take the test. Some intensive schooling at home from yours truly meant they performed well on the day. Adventurous Daughter was pleasantly surprised to get a pass plus.

AS at TKD grading

Adventurous Son demonstrating his best pattern moves

 

 

 

 

Go ape photo

Adventurous Mum pretending that she’s all cool with this…

We also ventured to Go Ape in Delamere Forest. We had agreed to team up with our friends Pam and Isaac for this particular adventure. Adventurous Son was not well so I had to take his place. Despite my adventurous moniker, I am not fantastic with heights. So the children were busy completing the course (about 3 metres off the ground!), I was gingerly making my way round. I loved the zip wire though and my only complaint was that it was too short. I did the course twice and it was definitely easier the second time. Adventurous Daughter loved it and wants to go back. Maybe I will be brave enough to try the adult course next time!

 

 

What have your kids been up to over the winter months? It should be easier to get them out more now that the clocks have gone forward. We are looking forward to warmer days and more time outside.

Canoe photo Oban

Do my feet look big in these?

Canoeing with Children

Part of our mission to be more adventurous was to learn to canoe properly. My husband learned to canoe at school and is pretty proficient. He and I dabbled in day trips in canoeing when on holiday, once in New Hampshire, USA, down a fairly slow moving river in an open Canadian style canoe and once in sea kayak in a sea loch near Oban in Scotland.

Fast forward to 2015 and husband decided that for his special birthday (one with a zero in it but I’m not allowed to tell you any more) he wanted to build his own wooden sea kayak. He has therefore spent most of the year building his boat.

Nige in canoe

All I need now is some water…and a paddle…

Mostly at his insistence, my twins and I signed up for canoeing lessons in our local pool. I was a little reluctant to start with I must confess. Not at all adventurous mum! The first session was not much fun as the pool was very crowded with all us newbies bumping into each other. I was the only one who fell in the pool trying to get into the canoe for the first time. Hmmm…cue a very red face and children shouting: “I can’t believe you fell in, Mum!”

As the weeks went on, I began to relax and enjoy it a tiny bit. However, one night, I was pulled over by the instructor and asked why I was looking so stressed. I didn’t think that I was obviously stressed but it did bring it home to me that it is extremely difficult to try to learn something new with your children. In my case, I always feel that I am looking out for them to see how they are getting on. I am not even too worried about them falling in or otherwise hurting themselves because they are both pretty confident in the water and have enjoyed it from the word go. But…but…there is always that parent hat to be worn to make sure that they are enjoying it, learning, paying attention, not being a nuisance to anyone else and yes, not drowning!

So the lesson learned that for me, if I am learning anything new in tandem with my kids that it might be better for me to have separate sessions. Hopefully then we can go on to new things together and enjoy that time together without the pressure of learning new things and listening to coaches.

Adventurous children have now progressed to the intermediate class and are having a whale of a time. They are almost able to roll! I decided that, with a new job (and a new blog!), I needed to focus on what I am already trying to shoehorn into my already-packed-to-the-hilt life. I am looking forward to the spring when we can get out on the open water together in some adventures. We will keep you posted on our progress.

What are your experiences of learning with your kids? Did you enjoy it?

 

 

Life Lessons from Mr Incredible…

We watched The Incredibles a lot when my twins were little. I mean A LOT. I think that the plot was so complex that they had to keep watching it to try to figure it out. I quite often felt empathy with Mr Incredible when he says in the opening sequence that he feels like the maid who had just cleaned up when he sees the world getting into trouble: “Hey, I just cleaned up here.” (Not that I am out to save the world but I do often look at our house in despair!)

I had planned this week’s blog post to be about my open water swimming adventures as we had just the usual Christmas stuff planned this weekend (parties, buying the tree). Mr Incredible and any kind of adventure were not on the radar. However my daughter came home from school on Friday night with tummy pains and said she didn’t want to eat anything. This followed a previous episode of tummy pain in earlier in the week. We decided to see if the pains would settle down with a good night’s sleep and she woke up the next morning feeling OK. Not for long. After she tried some cereal, she was in agony again and off we went to the out of hours’ doctors. The doctor was puzzled by her symptoms and referred us to Children’s A & E to rule out appendicitis.

At this point, I didn’t know what to think about my daughter’s illness; whether she was seriously ill or not, whether it was appendicitis or not and my brain was racing away with me if she had to have surgery just before Christmas. My gut feeling was that she was not seriously sick and that it wasn’t appendicitis but once it had been raised, I had to wait to see to the doctor for that reassurance. She was still in quite a bit of pain.

I had her twin brother with us because, of all weekends for this to happen, Adventurous Dad had gone away for the weekend! We ended up waiting for 4 hours to see the doctor as there were a lot of seriously ill children in the hospital that day.

I had to leave the twins at one point to get some food. I know rationally they are 9 years old now, actually quite sensible and that I can leave them. However, I have spent so long watching out for them as babies and toddlers, that it still feels weird to leave them alone. It was at this point, with my brain still racing as to the possibilities as to whether Tamsin was really ill or not, I metaphorically looked round for another adult, as the memes says, someone more “adult-er” than me! I am usually quite happy with my role as the adult in the family but just sometimes it feels a little overwhelming when it is just you bearing the responsibility.

Still a bit wobbly (metaphorically speaking), I phoned my sister and her re-assurance was all I needed to step back into my adult role. The doctor finally appeared and the diagnosis was that basically meant the cold she was suffering from was causing her glands in her tummy to be swollen and painful. She has now made a good recovery and is back at school today.

If Adventurous Mum is all about pushing yourself to discover your limits, actually children do that too in an emotional sense as I found out on Saturday. I take my hat off to single parents everywhere and to parents with seriously ill children.  Trying to stay calm when faced with a sick child, entertaining a healthy child, while waiting  a long time for the doctor and watching your  plans for the day slip away was a bit of test for me. So why did I think of Mr Incredible this weekend? I was reminded of his pearl of wisdom which he learned almost too late, is that our children are our greatest adventure.

Welcome to my blog!

When I was thinking about starting a blog, I initially thought that I would write about my adventures in triathlon and running. I love both of those activities but I realised there is more to me than that. I love camping, hillwalking and have started learning to canoe. I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and fenced at university. I haven’t done it for a while but I also love scuba diving and have more than 100 dives under my belt. More than all of that, I love spending time with my kids and trying to encourage them to be more active. So, on giving it some more thought, Adventurous Mum was born.

Now before I get started, I need to set the record straight. I haven’t trekked to Himalayas base camp, done an Iron Man or an ultramarathon. I haven’t even done a regular marathon of the 26.2 miles variety (although I think I have one in me and may do one next year) or walked the West Highland Way (although would love to do that too). So if you are looking for really adventurous people, this is not the blog for you. I am looking to scratch a creative urge that isn’t often satisfied by my job as a lawyer and perhaps encourage a few of you along the way to be more adventurous for both yourself and your children if you have them. I am hoping that in blogging I would open myself up to more adventure too.

Now that my children are older, I find myself yearning to be outdoors, running, cycling or walking. Open water swimming adds another dimension to being in the great outdoors which I now love (after a shaky start, it has to be said – more on that in another post). There is something particularly liberating about looking up from the water and not seeing a swimming pool roof but a beautiful blue sky (well, I live in hope with the Great British weather).

I also came to most of these activities in my adult years as my family didn’t really do any of these things when I was growing up. So I guess I am making up for lost time at this stage. I also want to give my children that love of being active and being outdoors. It all helps to get them away from their screens! I also try to find adventure in everyday activities, looking for wildlife when we are out for walks or exploring places we haven’t been before.

So join me and my family on our adventures and let’s share our stories, tips and adventures along the way.