So to non-parents a trip to Tesco is just that. Do your shopping and get out. But when kids come along it turns into a full on trip out. We have just spent over 2 hours in Tesco and we didn’t even do a big shop!

There’s the unloading of the car. You know… buggy, millions of children, drinks, nappies, random toy which is super important right now and goodness knows what else.

Then we get in the store and head straight up to Costa. Our trip to Tesco had the big promise of cake so we better make it happen. Over excited Violet and Ezra drive Joe a little crazy with “I want I want” but he made the fatal error and bought them DIFFERENT cakes! Never buy different cakes or drinks or anything. Because they always want what the other has. But if you mention swapping then it’s met with howling.

“No, I want my one. And that one”.

For some reason Violet turned into an animal and ate her crispie cake in the messiest way possible. And Ezra decided with each mouthful that he didn’t really like cake after all.  <sigh>

It all got too much for Felix and he demanded boob and went to sleep. Once enough cake had been eaten Violet and Ezra decided to run about feral. I guess they were buzzing from the sugar. At one point Ezra careered into Costa with a Paw Patrol hat squeezed onto his giant head. As ridiculous as it was I did laugh. Feeling self-conscious of the other people trying to enjoy their Lattes in peace we left.

There were a few things we needed from Tesco. We pick them up no problem. Onto the escalator down to the main shop Violet scurries ahead to the bottom. It’s one of those escalators you can take shopping trolleys on. Anyway, it suddenly comes to a halt with about 30 people and their trolleys which are magnetically stuck to the escalator. I look down to see a skinny 4 year old with floppy curly hair shuffle away from the emergency stop button. That moment where as a parent you imagine a giant arrow appearing over your head saying:

“THE ONE WHO HAS CAUSED YOU ALL GRIEF BELONGS TO THESE IDIOTS”!!!!!!!

Violet legged it back up the escalator to us, clearly feeling a bit shaken that she had messed up. A security guard came over after about a minute and restarted the escalator and everyone carried on with their days.

I took Violet over to the security guard and asked her to apologise for stopping the escalator. She actually did say sorry which I thought was immensely brave of her. The guard was lovely and said it’s OK and gave her a hug.

We are home now. Violet is chilling with a movie and both of the boys are taking a nap.

I think Violet learnt a lesson today. I’m just pleased she owned up to it and was able to say sorry.

I don’t know about you, but recently I felt we were totally overrun with toys. There seemed to be so many of them, nowhere really to put them and the children didn’t seem to know what to play with. When we asked them to tidy them up, toys would just end up on top of the storage units higgledy-piggledy. It was really frustrating me and with Christmas round the corner I knew they would get a whole load more! Where would we put them?!

So I took it upon myself to sell some of the lesser played with toys. We had a huge collection of Happyland things plus some other items which took up so much room. I managed to get them shifted by advertising them on local selling pages. It made me feel a bit better but we still seemed to have toys coming out of our ears.

After Christmas I went to Wilkinsons and bought about 15 different sized boxes with lids. I have spent the little time I have without a child attached to me or wanting me organising all of their toys into different boxes and finally we have some real order!

We have almost finished decorating Ezra’s bedroom and I’ve moved some of the toys into his room. He is really enjoying having his bedroom as a play-space. Often when he wakes from his nap, Felix is still asleep so we spend some time together playing with the toys in his room. He likes selecting a box and bringing it over to me and we play so nicely. Then once we are done we quickly scoop it all into the box, pop the lid on and move onto something else. It sounds so simple but just having a bit of order has really helped him see which toys he has and has improved his play no end.

Here’s a little tour of the Kallax (got to love Ikea!) in his room.

^ Paw Patrol! Our house is a little obsessed with these dogs. Violet really loves these too and makes up all sorts of games. Ezra enjoys pressing the buttons and seeing their backpacks pop up. I’m on the hunt for Everest and then we have them all.

^Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly. They also have a little Peppa holiday house which is in the Kallax.

^Noisy toys. These were all Violet’s when she was little. Ezra doesn’t seem as interested in them as she was, but maybe Felix will like them when he is a little older.

^In The Night Garden. This was a Christmas present along with a fold out mat of the garden. Ezra (and Violet) has really liked these and they often get tipped out and played with.

^Mini cars. Ezra absolutely loves these cars. At the moment they just about squeeze into the smallest sized box but I reckon we may aquire a few more over time. These are cute and little enough to take a couple out and about with us to keep Ezra happy.

^Wooden train set. I separated these into 2 boxes so that he can just build a train track if he likes without needing to get out all the wooden trees and animals. He quite likes just getting the little box out and looking through the different pieces without the train track. I hope once Felix is older they will play with this together.

^Vehicles. This is the largest sized box and it’s full of different push along vehicles. Ezra, unsurprisingly, loves this box and we tip it out and play with these a lot.

^Mega Bloks. I don’t think Ezra even knew we had this because it was buried somewhere, so I’m pleased we have this back out again!

^Duplo. We have a nice big box of Duplo which both Violet and Ezra enjoy playing with. I got them some Lego for Christmas but Ezra is definitely still at the Duplo stage.

^Sticklebricks. This is a really nice sized case of Sticklebricks. However we do seem to have a ridiculous number of wheels! Ezra hasn’t quite got the hang of building things with these yet, but I think he will turn to these more soon.

^Then in the final slot in the Kallax we have 2 of Ezra’s big lorries, an ambulance and a puzzle.
So that’s how we have organised the toys in Ezra’s room. So simple but it’s made the world of difference to how the children play and how we keep things tidy!!

My baby is 3 months old! No longer a newborn and the 4th trimester is over. I’ve really embraced the 4th trimester with Felix in a way I don’t think I allowed myself to with Violet and Ezra. As difficult as those newborn days are, they have been precious and a privilege. I’ve not wished any of it away (even the cluster feed which only ended at 5am!). I’ve just gone with Felix’s flow. He has shown me the way and together we are through the haze about to start a new chapter in his development.

Felix has grown. And grown. And grown! His newborn sparrow legs now have glorious rolls. His cheeks have filled and his wrists have that adorable chubby crease! He’s jumped up a percentile line (or 2!) and I can certainly feel his weight in my arms. Despite being my smallest baby at birth he has filled out the quickest.

Felix is loving his milk and I’m utterly thrilled that it’s all from me. During the pregnancy Joe asked me what type of baby I would like. Aside from the wishes for him to be happy and healthy I said I’d love a baby who just ‘gets’ breastfeeding. My wish came true! After so much heartache, complications and frustrations with Violet and Ezra and our breastfeeding journeys, Felix really does ‘get it’. I have to confess that I do love feeding him. I look forward to each feed and I enjoy having that enforced break to just sit with Felix and take a breather. Feeds are quicker now however he does enjoy staying on the breast for comfort.

As convenient as breastfeeding is, it’s a big undertaking for me and has taken me away from Violet and Ezra. Joe is doing most of their care when he is around while I sit and feed/comfort Felix. We have had some trying times with Violet and especially Ezra’s bedtime over the last couple of months. And it’s fallen on Joe’s shoulders to deal with the upset. I do have guilt over this however we both want Felix to be breastfed (as long as it’s working well) so the challenges are something we have had to accept. It doesn’t last forever and without wanting to jinx anything, I think we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I wondered whether Felix would be the spitting image of his big brother. For a few weeks there did seem to be many similarities. However now I look at him and I do think he will have a face all of his own. His eyes are much bigger and blue whereas Ezra’s are green. He also has chubbier cheeks and much less hair. It will be great to compare some photos in a few months time.

Nights with Felix are OK.  He isn’t an amazing sleeper but I cannot say he is bad by any stretch of the imagination. He goes to bed when I go to bed and sleeps 2-4 hours. Then he has a feed and goes back in his bed for 2-3 hours. The second night feed I struggle to have the energy to sit up so I tend to bring him into bed with me and feed him laying down. That’s how we spend the rest of the night. Cuddling, sleeping and feeding. I actually love it which is something I never thought I would say about cosleeping! I really hope he starts pulling out longer stretches of sleep soon….

Felix is very ticklish. Even putting his arms in his vests and gro makes him squirm. He is so close to laughing – I’m waiting for that sound impatiently.
Felix loves to be held and cuddled. He isn’t keen on being on the playmat or in the swing. He will just about tolerate his bouncy chair if you get him in the right mood. So it’s certainly not easy holding him all the time while trying to sort out a 4 and 2 year old! I know this phase is short lived though. In a few months time he will have much more interest in toys, his siblings and the world around him. I tell myself that as difficult as this is right now, it’s a very brief moment. Enjoy the cuddles.

Life with 3 young children is far from easy. Felix has put a little spanner in the works and we are finding our new balance. But he is a total darling. He is the little boy who was missing from our family and now we are lucky enough to have him with us. I look forward to another 3 months of growth, development and making more memories with the littlest member of our family!

Today Violet has completed her first term at school. What a rollercoaster it’s been!

She started in September excited but very nervous and it took her a little while to settle. She found saying goodbye in the playground very difficult and there were tears every morning for a couple of weeks. All of a sudden one morning she walked in without crying! I felt so so relieved that we had reached this point and it hadn’t taken too long for her to settle. Violet really loves being at school. She loves playing, eating her lunch, singing, drawing, learning new letters, exploring in forest school and getting to know her new friends. By far the highlight of the term was seeing her nativity last week. She sang all of the sweet little songs enthusiastically and I loved watching her do all the actions!

Violet has had a lot to contend with this term. We welcomed her little brother Felix into the family in October. As much as Violet adores her baby brother and is very good at helping me out with him, it has taken me away from her a little. I rarely do bedtime and story time is a juggle with her craving a book before bed while Felix wants to feed. We have worked hard on her reading and her progress has astounded me. When she concentrates she really can read! The last couple of weeks I have been reading The Twits to her. Her first introduction to Roald Dahl and first proper story book. She’s found it unbelievable that 2 people can be that awful to each other!

I took her to a cafe for an end-of-term treat of hot chocolate and cake.

I asked her of all the things she has done at school what was her favourite. She had a think and then said “writing letters”. I often find her at home copying words from books and writing a random collection of letters and then asking what words she has made.

Violet is complex. Friends and family will know about my endless questions about her. But she’s my number one girl who has made me so so proud over the last couple of months. She’s started her school life so positively and genuinely loves going. I couldn’t ask for more in that respect.

Oh and look, she lost her first tooth at the age of 4 and a half. That’s pretty early I think!

Here’s to a nice Christmas break and then starting the new year with continued enthusiasm.