The start of the summer holidays

I have been looking forward to the summer holidays - I don't work so I don't have to worry about childcare, I really hate the clock-watching round the school run and I like having my children at home.

However, I would be lying if I said it didn't feel a little bit daunting now they have arrived. Days spent at home are not always very successful for us so my default has always been to get everyone out once or twice a day. That seems a lot more challenging this year with a small baby thrown into the mix who is nowhere near any kind of feeding and napping routine. On his sleepy days when he is happy to nap in the buggy for a three hour stretch it should be fine. But when he decides he is having a feeding day it gets a lot harder to keep an eye on the other three when I'm stuck under a hungry baby. I got stuck feeding in the park the other day and had to across with E still attached when A managed to get his foot wedged in something designed for much older children!

The o…

Tuff tray round up - March

Glossing over the fact that it is nearly the end of April and I am only just getting to this, here is a round up of our tuff tray efforts from March. I think it's fair to say the novelty of the tuff tray is wearing off for the older two so it is becoming harder to set things up that hold their attention. A, on the other hand, is still loving it and is generally happy with quick set ups.

Our first themed tuff tray for the month was for Pancake Day. We haven't done much ice or water over winter so I froze some lemon segments into ice cubes and added some utensils, flour and oats. It turns out that the combination of melting ice cubes and flour wasn't great, it all ended up a bit gloopy! I think it's fair to say the boys take after me in not being keen on textures like that and once things started to melt they lost interest.

The following week was World Maths Day so I went for a nice simple set up with number cards, our painted wooden numbers from Ikea and pom poms in egg…

Why am I doing this?!

I'm having a bit of a crisis of confidence with my blog at the moment, and have been pondering why and what to do about it. I feel like there are many reasons why I am struggling to find the will and the time to write at the moment, not all of which I need to beat myself up about - some of them are temporary (like approaching 'heavy' pregnancy) and some are positive.

Without trying to tempt fate, one reason why I am writing less is that life is ticking along fairly well. I find it easier to write about the boys and parenting when I'm finding it all a challenge - it's definitely cathartic and stops me dwelling on things quite so much if I get it down on paper. And at the moment we are trundling along pretty well. Don't get me wrong, we still have plenty of challenges (T is doing a good impression of the awkward middle child, W is moving us into a whole new world of parenting challenges as he gets older, and A has suddenly developed his own opinion on things he …

Learning to write

I am loving W's writing at the moment - in the same way that I will be sad when their last baby phrases in their speech disappear, it will be a sad day when they spell most things correctly. W decided to make a calendar the other day, he wasn't at all phased about adding March and April on to the end when he realised he had missed them out. I think 'ortom' is my favourite though!


W had superhero dress up day at school last week, and I think we surpassed ourselves with our homemade efforts! The cape was a Christmas present a couple of years ago, W made his mask and I discovered the benefits of some felt and a glue gun for the top and belt. We had to do a quick last minute fix on the cape so it fastened around his shoulders rather than irritating the eczema on his neck. I think he was the only one in the class not wearing a shop-bought costume but he seemed quite happy with that. He said there was the odd comment about how his belt looked like a pair of pants but he looked a lot cooler than a lot of the kids coming out of school at the end of a surprisingly hot day!

When he was little he really wasn't into fancy dress - he would definitely not be found running around a play cafe or soft play wearing a cowboy outfit or a fairy dress. They have got more into dressing up at home in the last year or two but we are still in the realms of handmade costumes for th…

W's birth story

Despite being my eldest, this is the birth story it has taken me the longest to write. I have finally got round to doing it, partly because I wrote it on my blog plan and partly because it has been on my mind again as I start to think about birth number four. It's fair to say W's birth was not the birth I had hoped for and I still put a lot of that down to my lack of confidence in my ability to have a baby.

The early stage of labour was very long - a weekend of twinges which may or may not have been early contractions and generally feeling a bit uncertain about what was going on. We had a trip to hospital on Sunday night because I thought my waters might have broken (not the gush I experienced with my second son, just a slow trickle) but nobody was really sure.

We went back again on Monday night as my contractions were much closer together. We stayed in for a couple of hours as they worried about whether or not I had pre-eclampsia but were cleared of that and told to come bac…

Tuff tray round up - February

This month has gone from one extreme to the other with the tuff tray - for our first one in February we had bowls of snow and the last one was outside because the weather was so balmy. We did miss a Tuesday in February as we had birthday cards to make but we're doing pretty well with sticking to #tufftraytuesday.

Snow! As much as I love the idea of snow, the logistics of getting three boys kitted up to go outside and stay out for longer than the time we spent getting ready mean there are some definite benefits to bringing the snow inside!

We had pink rice for our tuff tray in the week of Valentine's Day, inspired by a friend who was staying with us. We don't have many heart shaped things in the house but I did manage to find some red and pink accessories to go with the rice.

A bonus tuff tray one weekend, mainly for smallest boy. He has been standing up at the sink and trying to feed things through the holes in the container that holds the cutlery so we had some pipe clean…