Things I learnt while camping with the kids

fishing

I took my kids camping for the first time this week – this is hopefully an amusing little reflection on what I learnt:

  1. You cannot take too many changes of socks or footwear when camping near a river.
  2. A tunnel tent is basically just an enormous kite.tent
  3. Toilet tents should never be erected with their backs to the wind, the loo seat won’t stay up…
  4. Toads are strangely attracted to grey groundsheets.Toad
  5. Don’t let a 5 year old pack trainers with laces unless you have the patience of a saint.
  6. If you find yourself the wrong side of the river with two tired kids, just take your shoes off and accept that you are going to get cold and wet.  Don’t get fooled by the idea that you can leap across to a dry section mid stream and pass the bags and kids across one at a time, this will only result in wading across several times on a freshly twisted ankle and some extremely soggy trainers.
  7. In a tent, a crying child sounds twice as loud as normal.  At night even more so.
  8. The plastic containers that multi-packs of blank DVDs come in make fantastic loo roll holders. Loo roll holder
  9. Don’t bother trying to put the kids to bed at a reasonable time.  An ice cream van will come and park up behind your tent two minutes later, just as your youngest decides they want the toilet.
  10. “No shoes in the tent” sounds like a great rule until the kids just run around everywhere in their socks.

Seriously we had a fantastic time.  I’m feeling very proud of myself for taking the kids camping on my own!  Now, back to that knitting…

Crazy Turtle Hat

Not knitting, but a fun bit of crazy kids’ craft! My son’s school were running a “Crazy Hats” contest at their May Fayre last week. He’s very into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the moment and so came up with this design:
Turtle plan
Help! Paper Mache seemed like the only option, so we found a bowl the same size as his head and paper mache-d over it to make a base. The next night we attached scrunched up newspaper with masking tape to make a turtle head shape, and then paper mache-d over it like this:
Newspaper turtle
Once it had thoroughly dried out, we painted the front and back:
Painted turtle
back of turtle
Then we painted the detail, and outlined it with a black sharpie. Here’s the final Turtle Hat in action:
Finished turtle

New arrivals disrupt my week

Last week was pretty busy preparing for the school May Fayre so not much knitting got done. However I did make a sash out of garden trimmings and florists wire, and a pretty cool paper mache Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hat – seperate post to follow.

I’m supposed to be knitting a cardigan as an auction prize, won by the school head teacher for her grandaughter. I’d completed the back and half of the front at the weekend when I met the 2 year old little girl at the Fayre. There’s no way a size 2-3 will fit her so time to start again! No work done on it this week though as I’ve had a couple of lovely interruptions.

The first was the news that a friend’s baby had been born, a beautiful little girl named Grace. I’m working on a cute striped cardigan in candy colours for her. Almost done now, I can’t wait to see her mum’s face.
WIP Grace cardi

The second new arrival was at the wool shop – some irresistable new wool. I’m hoping to make Hayley a summer cardigan as soon as I’ve finished the auction prize. I can’t wait to get started now!

Rico creative reflection

Jumping in at the deep end…

I love watching my son at his swimming lessons; his ear to ear grin from the moment he gets into the pool makes my day. But the one aspect I find desperately uncomfortable to watch is when the class practice jumping in at the deep end of the pool. Watching him confidently throw himself into the deep water, unaware that he can’t really swim yet and blindly trusting that his teacher will catch him momentarily terrifies me. I find myself holding my breath with him, waiting for him to surface safely at the side of the pool.

So here I am metaphorically jumping in at the deep end but with a bit less playful confidence than my son. I’ve been a stay at home mum for almost 6 years now and like many others am starting to consider what I will do with my time when my youngest starts school in September. I’ve been told by friends that I should try selling knitted cardigans like the ones I love making for my children, so I’ve set up a facebook page to showcase my work. There’s no knitting on there as yet, just a few old toys that the kids have outgrown, but even publicly declaring my intention seems like a huge leap into the unknown right now.