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

I am now mum to a school aged child.  I find this really astounding that I have a child who goes to school!  It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was at school, but time flies and here we are!

Over the summer Joe and I spent a lot of time carefully and gently preparing Violet for school.  She was not looking forward to leaving pre-school and the thought of going somewhere new with new people essentially terrified her.  Also there was the fact that none of her close friends from pre-school were going to her school.  I felt immense pressure to strike the right balance getting her school-ready mentally whilst not freaking her out to the point she would refuse to even entertain the idea!

The school were really great with the preparations.  She had a 90 minute session in her classroom with her teachers and peers in July whilst us parents were ushered to a separate building to await feedback.  She hesitated at the door but somehow agreed to stay without upset.  I walked away from the classroom in amazement.  As I collected her she seemed relaxed and happy.  I could not have asked for a better outcome and told her how proud I was!

One of the mums set up 3 meet-ups in the local playground so that the children could familiarise themselves with eachother and hopefully form the beginnings of some important friendships.  Undoubtedly Violet gained some confidence from her little brother being there – she likes to be protective of him when out and about – and again she amazed me by playing a little with some of the girls.

We chatted to Violet about what her teacher would be like.  We almost created an image of her in Violet’s head and talked about her as if they were already friends.  We were trying to make her teacher familiar to her despite them only having met briefly.  The hope was that this key person in her life would be someone she already liked and felt comfortable with.

Then there were practical things like getting herself dressed and going to the toilet independently, being able to carry her plate with food on it and being able to use a knife.  All things that for a summer-born child are quite challenging.

We shopped for her uniform together and let her choose her own shoes.  We were hoping that it allowed her to feel like she was in control of the process rather than having it done to her.  She was genuinely excited about wearing her school uniform and proudly showed it to friends and family.

Everything seemed to be going really well.  She had gone from huge anxiety and worry about school to more acceptable and understandable nerves about starting a new phase in her life.  Joe and I kept putting ourselves in her shoes to try and imagine how she was feeling.  We talked positively, were up-beat but also discussed her concerns with true empathy.  It wasn’t right to just dismiss her genuine emotions as ‘being silly’.

The first day of school came.  Violet was prepared.  We were prepared.  And I’ll fill you in on the start of infant school in another post.

 Have your kids started at a new school this year?  Did you feel like you had to go through the same level of careful preparations as us?  How have they settled into their new routines?

Last week we found out we are expecting a……………….
Actually, I’ll let Violet and Ezra tell you…!

It’s a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!

Over Christmas Violet and I were messing about on YouTube and we started watching American gender reveal videos. Violet absolutely loved the idea of finding out whether the couples were expecting a boy or girl by the colour of the balloons. So when we told her that we were expecting another baby she asked if she could find out whether it’s a boy or girl by balloons coming out of a box. Why not, I thought!

Violet had hoped she would get a baby sister so when we found out he was a boy we knew we had to tell her in an exciting way to quash any feelings of disappointment she may have. I’m so glad we did it like this! It was fun, exciting and so memorable. Violet is SO excited to know she will get another little brother! She talks to him a lot and it asking many questions about what he can see/hear/feel. Ezra on the other hand was just thrilled to play with the balloons! He is still too young to understand what is happening. Hopefully as his language develops he will have some understanding by the time October comes.

So we have a little boy on the way. I am so happy we know! I love him so so much and am so excited to welcome him to our beautiful family.

Here are the small things which have made me smile this week, my Happy Days:

1. I have started my secondment and I’m enjoying it so much! The volume of work to get through is a little daunting but it feels so great to get stuck in, come up with new ideas and try to put some of my creativity into my work. I have 5 weeks left and I know it will fly by. I just hope my colleagues around me are happy.

2. Violet has just got over ANOTHER vomiting bug. That’s 3 in 3 weeks (thanks very much pre-school!). So while I’m absolutely fed up of dealing with sick, I’m happy we are through the latest one!

3. Ezra got his first shoes. More about that one later….

4. Ezra is saying Mama on request. It doesn’t have meaning for him yet but I love hearing sounds other than “uh”! He also sings a little tune which we have sung to him from birth.

5. We have had a few weekends now with no plans. As much as I love seeing friends and family, I really crave time where it’s just the 4 of us. Our weeks are a blur with the daily grind. So to have had so many weekends where we have pottered around the house, gone for walks, explored new parks has been really perfect.

That’s what’s been keeping me happy over the last week, what’s been making you smile?  Tell me about your Happy Days.

What Katy Said