Karate, Park Life, Family Time and Chocolate

The last week has been lovely. I have had the first week ever of all 3 of my children with me every day and there has been amazing weather too. Ok there have been moments where I have shouted so much I feel I should have apologised to my neighbours, but looking back at our week I feel warm, happy and full of love.

Family photo in front of Bluebells in chalet wood Wanstead Park
Bluebells at Wanstead Park

Co-parenting and Karate

We managed to strike the perfect balance between days at home and days out last week. I picked M up from her Dad’s on Monday morning after not seeing her for a week, it's really hard when we are apart for so long. I know from experience that the first day or so afterwards can be difficult as everyone is getting used to the transition. Her little sister just wanted them to play together, but M mostly wanted to play alone so there was a bit of friction. 

M’s mood was actually worse on Tuesday because she was worried about her Karate grading. Fortunately I had planned in advance to spend Monday and Tuesday at home. It was her first grading in Karate and probably the first time she has been tested on anything formally. M doesn’t like to fail and she puts a huge amount of pressure on herself. Her nerves came out as shouting and tantrums as well as saying she wanted to quit Karate and she didn’t want to do her red belt this week.

The grading took the form of 2 2 hour sessions on Wednesday and Thursday morning. It was in a venue about half an hour away, but fortunately it was near a friend's new house so on Wednesday we stopped by to see her. On Thursday we only had an hour before Little, Baby Boy and I went back to watch the grading. We spent the time at Bedfords Park which has a brilliant new play area (well worth a visit). It was a gorgeous morning and it was a lovely way to pass the time.

The red belt grading was the first time I have really seen my eldest do Karate, she gets too embarrassed to practice in front of us. I was impressed with how well she did the moves, although her focus in between needs to be improved. Her face was beaming at the end when she was awarded a red belt with distinction and I was very proud of her.

On the way out she told me “I don’t really want to stop going to Karate”.

Big sister in Karate Gi and red belt picking her younger sister up and hugging her

A toddler on a spider web swing with trees in the background
Bedfords Park playground

Stickman trail and Wiki Mama meet up

On Wednesday afternoon we headed to the Stickman Trail at Weald Country Park for a meet up organised by Wiki Places for Kids. Susie arranges a number of meet ups around the country and if you want to find out when then make sure you follow her on Instagram or Facebook. 

I hadn’t heard of the Wiki Places for Kids website before, but it is a great idea. It is full of places to visit with children all over the country. Anyone can add their recommendations and it means that there are lots of ideas and useful information too. To make it easy to find places you will want to visit you can search on a variety of criteria including proximity to an address and age range. It’s definitely worth checking out and I will be adding a few of our favourite destinations to it soon. 

We had a lovely time although we didn’t get to spend as long chatting to people as I would have liked due to my children wanting to be in different places to everyone else. It was great to meet up with a few people face to face that I only know online though.

A toddler carrying a very big stick with Weald Country Park in the background
A big stick at Weald Country Park

Bluebells at Wanstead Park

After Karate on Thursday we picked my Dad up and headed to Wanstead Park which is one of my favourite places to see Bluebells due to the log lined pathways through the Bluebell wood. The mental and physical exhaustion from doing her grading meant M was rather emotional, but we still managed to get as few photographs and have a nice wander around the estate. I wrote about how to find the Wanstead Park Bluebells last year.

2 girls and a baby boy sitting on a log in front of bluebells in Wanstead park

Family Time

Seeing my Dad was only the first of a few days full of seeing family. On Friday we headed to my Outlaws house where they made a lovely lunch for me, G, my trio, my younger sister and my nephew. The children had a great time in the garden playing in the paddling pool and soaking everything with the hose. It was hard to remember it is April. It's so lovely when the cousins get to spend time together and I wish we lived closer (it was lovely to see my sister too and actually get to talk for once).

On Saturday we had a day out and stopped by to see my Nana before heading home. Neither my younger sister or Nana had met Baby Boy yet because I haven’t wanted to drive anywhere long distance while he was so small. It was lovely that they finally got to meet them and he gave everyone some great smiles.

A wet Little wanting to eat the fruit off the chocolate cake

Thetford Forest High Lodge

On the way to my Nana’s we stopped at Thetford Forest to break up the journey for the children. While the parking there isn’t cheap there is so much to do and explore, we spent much longer than I had planned and it meant we didn’t make it to the beach. The girls didn’t mind as the playgrounds kept them well entertained. We went on the Zog trail and found a few rogue Gruffalo characters en route. There is also a Go Ape on site and M asked approximately 356 times if she could go on the junior one (there wasn’t the time or availability).

Sisters posing either side of a carving of the owl from Julia Donaldsons gruffalo at Thetford Forest

Sisters posing next to a picture of Zog at the end of Thetford Forest Zog trail

Easter Sunday

I filled a number of plastic eggs with treats when we got back to Norfolk and my Easter bunny honey put them out Sunday morning while the girls were still in bed. I made the effort to get up at a reasonable time so we could all go into the garden and look for them. Little has been asking for chocolate for breakfast for weeks and I have told her “no, only at Easter” so for one day only I let the girls go crazy and eat as many sweets and chocolates as they wanted. 

Impressively they managed to consume only sugary goodness until nearly midday when Little asked for “something not chocolate” she decided on blueberries and then proceeded to alternate eating blueberries and bites of chocolate. She followed it up with a hot cross bun to continue the Easter theme.

After the initial binge in the morning the girls didn’t eat much more of their chocolate or sweets throughout the rest of the day. They had much more sugar than the dentist would approve of, but they both showed some control which was good. I on the other hand ate a constant stream of sweets and dairy free chocolate throughout the day (and I haven’t stopped yet).

Sisters with lots of plastic eggs after collecting them from around the garden


Unsurprisingly given the busy week I barely managed anything blogging related last week other than my weekly update and posting on social media. I have been too tired in the evenings to work and it has been good to focus on my family during the day.

Baby Boy at 14 weeks

After not seeing Baby Boy for a week M declared on Monday that he would be crawling soon, I looked at him to realise that he has now learnt to pick his bum off the floor so it’s mainly arm strength he lacks to get onto all fours. I’m assuming crawling is months off, but he has demonstrated he can cover some distance by pushing himself along the floor. I have had to get the full size playmat out because the play gym isn’t big enough for when he’s in the mood to move.

Baby Boy has been fussy again this week, especially over the Bank Holiday weekend. His feeds are normally roughly every 3 hours, but he has been wanting milk every 1 to 2 hours. This has made all our travelling challenging because I’ve had to plan in more boob stops than normal. Fortunately his sleep at night wasn’t too bad though so I will forgive him.

It’s all going to go wrong tonight after writing that, but I’ll be able to update on that, and how his very belated first immunisations go, in my next weekly update.

A mum holding Baby boy and wearing a Mollie & Me necklace
#Gifted I am wearing a necklace from Mollie & Me Designs

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