So the first week of the summer holidays is done, and we all survived. I think I’ve got the hang of 3 children now! Here’s a little summary of our week together:

Monday

Ezra was at nursery and the weather was dreadful. What is it about school holidays starting at the weather taking a nose-dive?! So Violet, Felix and I spent much of the day at home. We watched Moana for the second time (this is fast becoming one of my favourite Disney films). When the rain stopped we wandered down to Costa for a hot chocolate treat.

Tuesday

Yay for sunshine! We headed over to High Elms for a picnic with two of Violet’s school friends. It was such a brilliant afternoon. The children had space to run and play and Felix enjoyed having me to himself for a while!

Wednesday

My mum came over! The children adore her so there was lots of energetic play, stories read and cuddles aplenty. I also got to do some jobs around the house.

In the afternoon we got the bus into Bromley and my mum treated me to some new Converse! She saw the state of my old ones and said I should really get some new shoes! To be fair she was completely right as I’ve had them for 11 years!!!!!!!!! So now I have some beautiful new shoes with no holes in. Violet also dug up some of the carrots she has been growing and I cooked them for their dinner. They were very tasty!

Thursday

We were up and out early for the first time all week to go to Summer Boppin Tots! I have taken the boys to this class every week of my maternity leave and they have both really enjoyed it. Violet comes along in the holidays and always loves it. It was an extended class for the summer holidays so there was MORE of everything, including the snow machine at the end!

Friday

We headed out for another picnic with Violet’s pre-school friends. As soon as I stepped out of the car it started to rain!! But in typical British fashion we carried on. With an umbrella! It was actually fine, we set up the rugs under a large tree and the kids didn’t care about a few drops of rain.

And that’s our week! We are all still friends and I don’t think any of us are wishing school was still on! Roll on next week (after I’ve had a rest this weekend!!)

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!

Yesterday I had the task of solo bedtime for only the third time since Felix was born. Now, I know this is pretty good going seeing as he is almost 9 months old! My first attempt back in December was a disaster. Ezra was sick in his bed. Felix woke up and I had them both downstairs wide eyed at 11pm!! Then the second time I got Ezra and Felix to bed but Joe came home before Violet went up so he took her.

Since both of those attempts, Ezra has moved out of the cot into a bunk bed and shares a room with Violet. So there’s the whole escaping possibility and also the 2 of them often enjoy a good giggle and shout before sleep.

I had to wear them out! So at 3.30pm we went for a woodland treasure hunt. We are lucky enough to live a 5 minute walk from some lovely woods and we go there often as it’s on the way to a good playground.

Violet and Ezra had their buckets and I set them challenges to find things on our walk. They collected:
Round stones

Sticks

A feather

Twigs with leaves still attached

Daisies

Grass

A big leaf

Something curly

Sycamore seeds

Crunchy leaves

A V shaped twig

Bark

Violet was so enthusiastic! Ezra was too but needed his big sis to help him find things. They walked and ran so much! Violet has said she wants to go on a treasure hunt again very soon!

The success of our impromptu hunt was that Violet and Ezra went to bed so easily! Felix wasn’t too bad either! And I got a lovely evening of peace. Yesterday I definitely won the day!

I really hated potty training Violet. If I look back now I think we started her before she was completely ready. It seemed to take forever. So I vowed to leave Ezra til he was completely and utterly ready. I practically wanted him to slam-dunk his nappy into the bin and holler “NO MORE!”

For weeks and weeks we’ve had the potty down from the loft and Ezra would sit on it while watching a bedtime tv programme. More often than not he would do a wee in it. When wearing a nappy he would tell me when he was doing a wee. So last week I asked him if he would like to learn to use the toilet and he said yes!

Ezra has taken to it so well. Hardly any accidents. I remind him often during the day about using the potty but it’s him who comes running to me to say he needs a wee. I just can’t believe how well he is doing.

So today I decided to take all 3 kids to Tesco. Ezra did a wee before we left so I figured I had at least an hour before I’d have to seek out a toilet. Easy peasy! Violet and Ezra did their usual thing and went a bit bonkers in the supermarket (not naughty, just a bit hyper!). Shoppers were looking at them smiling. I felt like we were doing good! I even asked Ezra as we went past a toilet,

“Do you want to go for a wee, Ezra?”

“NNNOOOOO”

The children enthusiastically helped me select fruit and veg and we got a huge haul of ice cream thanks to this weather.

Then we got to the pasta aisle and as I was deciding between Fusilli and Rigatoni pasta shapes I heard,

“I done wee Mummy”

So I clean up the puddle as best I can, all the while Violet is talking a little too loudly about the WEE THAT IS ON THE FLOOR. I tell a shop assistant and then hot foot it to the toilets. Thank goodness I had a change of clothes with me! Get to the disabled toilets but I can’t shut the door because Felix is sat in the trolley! Change Ezra and have a big chat about where wee wees go. Meanwhile Violet is prancing around singing about wee and Ezra has half knocked my glasses from my face in an over enthusiastic embrace!

So I’ve learnt that when we are out I definitely should not go past a toilet without taking him in to try. And my hour window is a pile of shit!

Still, he’s been in pants a week and has only had 3 accidents! We shall keep going!

Dear Violet

Happy birthday!!

5 years being our trail blazer.

Our first born.

Our only daughter.

Our curly haired wonder. (Seriously, where are the curls from??)

Our sassy, stubborn, kind, inquisitive hot head!

Thankyou for making me a mum. It was always my ambition and because of you, my wishes came true.

The last year has been huge for you. Starting school, getting another little brother, joining clubs at school and starting swimming lessons. I know these have been challenging for you. Change isn’t easy. But you have faced them all with determination and a positive attitude. We are incredibly proud of you for overcoming worries and facing things head on. Especially with school, I really couldn’t ask for more.

I hope the next year is a little more settled for you. But whatever it brings, carry on being awesome!

So happy birthday my darling.

Stay happy.

We love you x x x x