Week 2 of the holidays are over and we have had another busy and fun week!

Monday

Ezra was at nursery as usual so in the morning Violet and I baked cinnamon rolls! They were sooooo tasty! I am a fairly awful baker so Violet doesn’t get to do it too often. But the whole family agreed that these were yummy.

Then in the afternoon we went to Christmas Tree Farm. The last time Violet went she was so anxious about feeding the animals. She wanted to but the fear of them nibbling her fingers (fair enough!) got the better of her until the end. With tears practically streaming down her cheeks she made herself feed a sheep some carrot! This time she marched up to the animals and fed them without a single worry! I was so proud of her for overcoming her fears and feeding the animals so confidently. We stayed there for ages and also managed to stroke the baby goats and ponies.

We then had some carrot cake from the shop.

Tuesday

On Tuesday we went to summer Boppin Tots! It was a Wild West Theme and Violet loved it. Ezra wasn’t so keen, I suspect because it’s a bit bigger and crazier than the usual term time classes. Felix really enjoyed watching the dancing and singing and then loved playing with the toys.

We got the bus home and Violet harvested another crop of carrots. She’s doing very well with her growing!

Wednesday

We headed over to the Dolce Vita cafe in Petts Wood for kids baking and lunch. I used to go alot last year so it was lovely to go back! The children made jam tarts. And then ate them! So I have to assume they tasted good!

Thursday

Violet went to an all day holiday club with a couple of class mates. Meanwhile I took Ezra to Bromley soft play. What a disaster that was!!! He literally cried the entire time and I spent far more time in there rescuing him than sitting down and chatting with my friends. After another dash to guide him down the steps I said we were going to leave and get lunch. We stopped at a burger restaurant and sat outside so that Ezra could run around and make as much noise as he fancied. Our friends who we abandoned at soft play came to join us later on and the children ran around in the gardens.

Violet had an absolutely brilliant time at her club and said she wants to go again!!

Friday

After a really terrible night with Felix I had a lay in. It was necessary! Joe took the children for the morning. In the afternoon Violet and I went to a local playground to meet some of her class friends. The sun shone (I’ve been missing the sun, please come back for the holidays!)

Saturday

We met up with some family and went to the Science Museum. We were first in the queue waiting for the doors to open! It really was a fantastic day. There was so much space to move around the museum and the children especially enjoyed the interactive displays. 1 tip is to bring a packed lunch as the food in the museum cafe was astronomically expensive.

We then went to the Rainforest Cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue for dinner. We came home with these two monkeys!!

Sunday

Today has been a lovely one for me as I got to catch up with some of my school friends. A lovely, civilised roast lunch with no children!

Once we worked out a bedtime for Felix I started crochet again. I had some evening time back to myself and I was itching to do something to engage MY brain and completely non-child related. I had seen on Pinterest many stunning crochet wreath projects so I decided I wanted to give it a go. In my usual way I bought the polystyrene ring and just started crocheting. No forward planning or designing….the design would come as I made it.

^I knew I wanted to do a grass and sky scene so set to work with rows of differing greens to represent my land and then blue, white and grey to represent my sky with clouds. I added in a few rows of yellow for the sun. This didn’t take too long but then came the fun part of stitching it onto the ring. It took aaagggeeessss! At times I didn’t think it was going to fit and would gather on the inside of the ring. But once it was on it looked great! I sewed in the ends and voi là; a crochet covered polystyrene ring!!!!!

Then came the good bit; many crochet flowers! I really enjoyed making these. Some took a few minutes, others took a couple of hours!

^I made up my own pattern for the daffodils which shows as they all have a different number of petals! I also made the red roses and white daisies without a pattern.

^The 3 hellebores were patterns from Attic24. Lucy’s tutorial was so clearly written it was easy to follow and I’m really pleased with the result. They do tend to curl a bit but I used a stiffer yarn so they can be manipulated into shape a little easier.

With the pansies I searched high and low for a pattern I liked and the only one I found was in Dutch!!!!! Thankfully there were step by step photos and a really good English translation at the bottom of the page. My pansies turned out alot more curly than the pattern suggested but I actually really like that as it gives more dimention to the flowers.

^One of my favourite things was the heather. Now I did start by following a YouTube video which I think was in Chinese but I couldn’t get it to work as they suggested so, again, I just figured it out by myself. And then I wrapped it round a green pipecleaner! The little blue flowers were my own creation.

^Then there’s all the greenery.
I really liked the winter wreath from Attic24 so made some curly vines to hang from the hellebore.

Another super tutorial from Attic24 was the ferns. I made 3 of these in different shades of green.

Then I made a creeper vine with leaves. This was my own design and I think it came out really well.

Once I had made enough flowers and leaves I pinned them all onto the ring. I moved flowers around and tried to get the best fit visually. I wanted it to look random and natural. Eventually I settled on their positioning and got stitching. As fun as the making of the flowers had been, this part was quite tedious. But after a few evenings everything was attached!

I decided to make a couple of butterflies to add some interest to the sky. They were patterns out of my head. And finally I needed something so that the wreath can be hung. So I made a rainbow!

And here is the completed wreath!

Here are a few close ups.

^I think my 5 petal daffodil was my most successful.

^A very curly pansy!

^The heather! I think these 2 sprigs look really cute popping out of the creeper.

^I’m really chuffed with the butterflies. They were not planned originally but I like the idea that they are dancing in and out of the flowers.

^rainbow loop so that it can be hung on a wall.

I really am delighted with the finished result! It’s a real mish-mash of seasons and I guess shows how I just went with the flow and created what I enjoyed.

This wreath was made as a thankyou gift and I gave it away this week. It was a really fun project and probably the most creative thing I have made so far. I hope it is received well and enjoyed by it’s new owner!

I’m celebrating a huge milestone in my journey of motherhood….6 months exclusively breastfeeding my baby. It’s a target I always hoped I would reach. My breastfeeding experiences with Violet and Ezra were not easy at all. So for my third child to take to it as easily as Felix did has been such a gift.

 I’ve been thinking about some tips I’ve learnt in my varied experiences of breastfeeding my children, so here goes….
1) At the beginning you need gel for those nips while they toughen up! Felix was born at home as planned but we were then transferred to hospital. I had a basic hospital bag packed but hadn’t put in my Lansinoh gel. By the time he was 12 hours old my nipples were raw and blistered. Joe brought in a tube of gel for me and I religiously applied it after every feed. Thank goodness! I think I addressed it just in time for me to be able to carry on feeding. I think I used the gel for the first 2-3 weeks before it was no longer necessary.

2) Breastfeeding groups are worth their weight in gold. In the first 2 months I went about 4 or 5 times. I had some specific questions and wanted help with positioning. I also went along when we were feeling ready to introduce a bottle of expressed milk. The ladies who ran the groups were so welcoming, informative, helpful and encouraging. They supported me at the beginning of my successful breastfeeding journey and I’m enormously grateful.

3) Drink. Always have a drink on the go, even better, have 2 on the go! I have a sports bottle which I take to bed to see me through nightfeeds. If I’m about to feed him I make sure I get myself a drink first. Even if Felix is getting upset waiting for a feed I know how important it is for me to stay hydrated. Dddrrriiinnnkkkkk!

4) I have an electric pump which is good, but a total faff to clean and assemble. There are so many small parts! So when I came across a silicon suction pump from Nature Bond with rave reviews I decided to give it a go. I cannot even begin to say how much I love this thing! I find I get best results when Felix feeds from the other breast. It’s perfect…super easy to clean, small and works so well. I easily get 4oz from this in less than 5 minutes whereas the electric pump would take me far longer. I also don’t need to hold the cup as it stays on with the suction.

 

5) Teeth doesn’t have to spell the end of breastfeeding. I had never previously breastfed a baby with teeth so just the thought of having to go through this sent shudders down my spine! Trust my only exclusively breastfed baby to get his first teeth before he was 3 months old! Today he sprouted his 7th!! I have noticed that he tends to bite more often when he is just about to pop another tooth through. I am also reading his signs and know that when he is coming to the end of a feed he is more likely to bite, or when he is bobbing on and off in a playful way. If he does bite I swiftly unlatch him (which in itself is enough to grab his attention) and then firmly say “ouch! No biting”.

I’ve experienced the heartache and joy of breastfeeding. When it’s not working it’s just soul destroying. But when it goes right it’s one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

I have reached 6 months now. Bring on the next 6!

I’ve been nominated by Naomi at Not A Perfect Mum to write 20 facts about me. So here goes!

1) I hold dual nationality – British and Finnish. Most people know this about me, but I had to write it first. It’s important!

2) The children are also dual nationals. Joe and I felt it was really important to get their heritage and identity as Finns registered.

3) I’m a lover of all things Scandi. Design, interiors, clothing, accessories… They are all so effortlessly cool and so practical.

4) I’m an only child. I think I do miss not having a sibling.

5) So I’m making my children have lots! Baby #3 is on the way!

6) I’m a total Londoner. I moved away for 3 years when I went to university, but gravitated back as soon as I could. I just love this city.

7) But I love where we live on the Kent/London boarder. It’s the best of both. Quick links to central London and a short drive the other way into the English countryside.

8) When I was 17 I trekked around the Guyanese rainforest for a month! We slept in hammocks slung between trees in the jungle, ate questionable food, drank questionable water and had our eyes opened to life outside of ‘civilisation’. It was a truly wonderful experience.

9) I’m t-total. Alcohol has never appealed. It tastes bad. It’s expensive. It’s not good for the body. It’s just not for me. I am not in the least bit curious about drink and very comfortable with my decision.

10) I also don’t eat cheese. In the same way most people cannot understand why I wouldn’t eat something so amazing, I cannot understand how most people eat something so awful!!

11) My favourite food would either be bbq ribs or a seafood linguini. Now I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

12) When I’m not off having babies I work full time. It’s a real juggle and life never stands still. I crave TIME. But this is how life is right now. I’m lucky to have my family and I’m lucky to have my job.

13) Three years ago I had 2 lots of surgery to remove lumps from my breast. I was lucky that they were benign. The only symptom I had was leaking clear fluid but sure enough scans showed there were 2 small masses. It was such a worrying time and I’m eternally grateful to the NHS for the swift treatment.

14) I love craft. I’ve taught myself how to use a sewing machine and how to crochet. Above, I said I crave TIME. I wish I had more time for craft. Thankfully I can take crochet with me so I can frequently be found with a work-in-progress on my commute.

15) As a child my dad’s nickname for me was ‘tiger’. I call Violet ‘scampi’ and Ezra ‘tinker’.

16) Joe and I got married in the winter. It was the best day of our lives.

17) Joe and I are very different in so many ways. We have a lot of contrasts in the things we like, our experiences, how we grew up. But we fit together perfectly.

18) My best travel experience was a 3 week trip to Peru. I trekked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, stayed is Cusco, stood on floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca. I cannot recommend Peru highly enough as a country to go and explore.

19) I think this next baby will be born at home. That’s the plan anyway!

20) I never spot celebrities but in the past week I have seen Mo Farrah and Emma Thompson!
I’m now going to nominate the following blogs to post their 20 facts:

Laura at Five Little Doves

Bethany at Being Mummy

Mary at Mamma Croft

Katie at Curious Little Teapot

Becky at Spirited Puddle Jumper

Jenni at Chilling with Lucas

 

Image courtesy Jen Chooses Joy.