Friday night we left our tiny terrors with their Grandparents overnight for the first time. You can read how it went here. Instead of sitting at home wondering what they were up to, we decided to take a drive up to Ikea and buy a few bits for the house, have a stroll around Lakeside, visit Brentwood and have a nice meal.
Before dropping the kiddies off with their Grandparents we visited Aldi. A second favourite shop to Ikea. I went in for fabric softener and I couldn’t even tell you what I left with.
We waved goodbye to our littles and I had tears streaming down my face. The first part of the journey Mr Firstooth spent reassuring me that they’d be ok. We called every hour, just to be sure. There was loads of traffic in the city we were leaving so we thought we’d be smart and drive a different route to reach the motorway. As we were driving we hear on the radio the the Dartford Tunnel was closed and they were expecting hours worth of delays. This is the only way for us to reach Ikea so Mr F asked if I still wanted to go there. I felt a little insulted that he’d even asked. I’d had my heart set on a spending spree and if we had to sit in traffic then so be it.
We reached the traffic and it didn’t bother us too much. We chatted and sung terribly along to the radio, but eventually there was only so much singing we could do before wanting to escape the car. We found another sneaky shortcut and ended up cutting our traffic jam time down by half. I was almost shaking with excitement now to dance my way around Ikea.
When we arrived we had a quick drink and got stuck into the shop. Mr Firstooth usually hates Ikea, especially with me. But today he seemed really interested in what we were looking at. He didn’t roll his eyes everytime I gasped and rushed over to a shelf that we ‘have to have’ or a candle that smells just like oranges. He rushed over and sniffed those candles with me.
By the time we were half way around the shop our trolley was already full. But I hadn’t finished clearing all of their shelves just yet. Mr F said quietly that he thinks this will do, however I was too distracted looking for picture frames and heard none of it. He looked so disappointed when I walked over with six picture frames and a huge grin. He didn’t bother protesting, you know what they say, a happy wife makes a happy life.
I also discovered a little trick which made him agreeable to purchasing more accessories. He hates clutter, mess and hoarding things. So I played on this and kept saying “I’ll get rid of this, if we get this”, which worked like a charm. It may not have even been related I could have been asking for a new table cloth and telling him I’d clear out the towel cupboard. As long as ‘clearing out’ was mentioned, he was happy.
We spent over two hours in Ikea and were really excited to select the furniture from the hall at the end. It’s a little deflating that our excitement goes no further than this these days! They had our side tables but not the matching dresser. This was shortly after we had an incredibly long debate over which dresser we were getting, do we get the matching dresser or the cheaper – not matching but just as nice one. He won the debate in the end, although I could see that my not-matching-but-just-as-nice dresser was available. I think God did us a favour there as it wouldn’t have fit in the car anyway. We’re hoping to pick it up next week as I’m itching to fill it.
After picking our jaws up at the cost of our Ikea trip, we headed over to Lakeside shopping center. We strolled around the shops and the funniest thing about our child free date was spending the majority of this time looking in toy shops, at kids clothes and talking about them. Can’t be with them can’t be without them. Even if this time was mostly centred around our absent children, we still enjoyed browsing the shops.
My darling man treated me to a lovely Bobbi Brown blush and a much needed new primer. My pores have been looking a little drab lately. He then treated me to something even better which was a delicious shake. You know the ones where they blend absolutely anything in with ice-cream. I had Ferrero Rocher, Nutella and Kinder Bueno in mine. I’m pretty sure my daily calorie allowance was in that cup, but each sip was deliciously sweet. They also sell a shake known as the worlds worst, with Marmite, pickles and things that just don’t belong in a shake. The thought makes me a little sick, but it’d be a great dare.
Our next stop was Brentwood. I started watching TOWIE in my teens and it’s something I’ve not stopped watching. I’ve always wanted to have a look along the streets it’s filmed so we made a last minute decision to go there. We didn’t do much other than look for everyones shop, which was obviously all closed and no film crews were in sight. But it’s such a beautiful little town I’m so pleased we went. I think next time we’ll go there for the day, even take a selfie with the cast!
In hindsight, we should have eaten in Brentwood, but the idea of a takeaway curry sounded so appealing and I sort of didn’t want out day to end. I certainly managed to drag our date out for as long as possible because we didn’t start eating our takeaway at 10pm. It was delicious and straight after our last bite we headed up to bed. Exhausted.
It felt odd not having our kiddies in their rooms and Mr F even tripped over a noisy toy, which at first panicked us, until we realised there was no-one to wake.
I felt like a normal person for that entire day. Usually when I’m with my little ones all day, I feel tired as they’re both little balls of energy that need constant input. Then once they’re in bed I suddenly come to life. During our date day I felt energetic and once the evening came I’d lost that energy. It’s an odd combination and probably one only parents will understand. I know many mums who come to life at night, but complain about tiredness all day. It’s just something we all experience. But this is the first time I’ve experienced it the other way around.
Surprisingly I slept awfully. I think I really missed my kiddies and I’m so used to settling our girly in the night that it didn’t feel normal. I say that, but it was absolute bliss to lie in until 9am in the morning, especially when I’m so used to being dragged up at 5. The morning without out them was, dare I say, lovely. We cleaned the house from top to bottom, even behind the fridge! We sipped tea, had lunch and felt ourselves ache a little to go and see the other half of our family.
On the way we bought them each a little toy, which was a huge hit with them once we arrived to pick them up. They had a fantastic time with their grandparents and although it felt very strange without our little dots running around our feet, we had a fantastic time too. It was a simple date, but one we thoroughly appreciated.
I didn’t take any pictures of our day out so I thought I’d just share a few pics of our Ikea purchases instead. They’re probably not very interesting and the wallpaper is being changed!
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