This last week has felt much more ‘normal’ than any other week for the past six weeks. It’s taking a while to get back into a routine after Christmas, and the children are still expecting later bedtimes, their own food orders for lunch and generally being able to potter about doing whatever they feel like. While none of that is horrible, we need a better routine for the faster-paced school days and my sanity! It happens every school holiday and it takes a while for us all to adjust back and find a happy medium.

Swimming Lessons

Just before Christmas, Amy moved up into the next stage Swimming lesson. This means all three older children are at the same stage & lesson again (for as long as it lasts!) I really am not sure how I feel about this yet…. On one hand, I am happy to free up our Saturdays again. On the other hand, I now have 30 minutes to get from the school to the swimming lesson. Including; parking up and gettting three children changed while juggling the slightly feral toddler. Then I have to entertain the toddler in the sauna-like viewing area, sat like a sardine for 30 minutes- all on my own. I feel like I need some like of high-five from the staff on the way out for making it out alive.

Toilet Training

We are toilet training at the moment, Ava is almost 100%, but when she utters the toilet word, it’s still a bit like a ticking bomb and we have to find a toilet fast. She is waking in the night to use the toilet too, and she still needs a hug & milk to settle her back to sleep. On average she is awake a three or four times a night, and it’s just exhausting. She doesn’t need the milk now she is eating & drinking well, and for our sanity I know we need to help her drop her milk feed, which will reduce the amount she is waking in the night for the toilet.

Back on focus

This week we have been researching how we can reduce our plastic waste. Reducing our waste in general (and saving money along the way) is one of our aims for 2018. We already live simply and our aim is to be mortgage free before we reach forty. This fell a little bit by the wayside towards the end of 2017 and in 2018 we are looking for simple ways we can live a more cost-effective and sustainable life that don’t involve huge costs or a big change to our lifestyle.

Living In The Moment & Gratitude

It’s not much of a secret that I’ve been finding life really hard recently. I’ve been looking for a few things help me live in the moment and photography really helps. Having a reason & prompt to take my camera out of its bag and to capture those photographs is very welcome.

Writing helps too. Whether its getting thoughts out on paper, documenting our lives or sharing our knowledge as we grow and learn. Even if they are deleted shortly afterwards or remain unpublished. I know I will never win any writing awards; but just putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard is almost cathartic to write things down.

I am very grateful for this little online space and all the supportive communities around it. It’s nice to read other blogs, gain inspiration, support others, make friends. All while feeling a little bit less alone.

James, when he was helping me, use up the last of our over-ripe bananas to make banana bread. He was posing with the finished product but it ended up being a beautiful shot of him, and an awful shot of the banana bread!

Lily playing hide and seek. It is one of her favourite games at the moment, along with a new version of it called ‘sardines’. All the children hunt for one child, and whoever finds them has to hide with them – like sardines

We won’t be winning any helmet positioning awards, but I love this shot of Amy with her new bike and helmet.

Ava having lots of fun on her Toddlebike. Although I am lucky to be allowed ahead to take photographs, on her last walk with her Daddy she insisted that she was ahead at all times because she wanted to ‘win’

Living Arrows
“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran