Thursday, 23 September 2010

Pee Pee in the Potty!

Today we had a strange success with the potty. We had pee in it. 

Being on a meat-free and dairy-free diet can bring it's interesting points when people ask us about it. "So what do you eat?" we hear non-stop. Uh, food. Then people look at me "So you're a vegan? Really?" Okay, yes, I'm on the pleasantly plump (but I'm not so pleasant about it!) side of life right now after having had a baby seven months ago and not losing all that weight I gained but Vegans come in all shapes and sizes. Fat, thin, average, tall and short. They're just like "normal" people. They don't go out at night to hunt their tofu.

 Now, enter in One Roman Quinn into this equation and the questions get a little more "interesting." Things like; "Is Roman going to be a Vegan, too?" Well...yeah I kinda figured why not? I'm not a nutrition numpty. I know what I'm doing with this kid. It's all okay. But to be honest, why do people ask these questions? I know it's ignorance - the kind where people think it's okay to ask what the hell they like type of ignorance. I don't ask them if they're going to raise their kid eating meat and dairy (heaven forbid I do lest I wanted my head served to me on a silver platter). 

So I figured if I'm going to upset a few people living my life - but let's face it, we're never going to make every one happy and would probably kill ourselves trying - why not go on and potty train Roman? To be honest my first thought wasn't to tee anyone off - far from it. I want to do this for him. It wasn't that long ago that women were hanging their 3 month olds over the commode in an attempt to "toilet train" them and the government issued leaflets on this. It was a lot more strict than my flexible and relaxed approach with the potty and I'm not too caught up on creating bad associations with anything - at least not on a conscious level.

Wishing I had read this book on going nappy free before he was born, I decided it wasn't too late in the game to start at six months. I ordered my potty on-line, going for one that I liked the look of and felt happy with the quality - a Thomas the Tank Engine potty from Mothercare and by that I mean from eBay after I'd seen it in Mothercare - because, after all, this little boy's butt has to be cased in this potty and it can take up to ten minutes/or more for little people to go wee or poo after they're sat on the toilet or potty (interesting fact, I know ;).

I decided for me personally that I would start off this nappy free thing by letting him air out his little baby bum. As a woman who has periods (it won't get any more gross than that, I promise) I know how annoying it can be to constantly wear underwear. So I had a think to myself - his little baby bum is constantly swaddled in nappies.

 Nappies that are sometimes full of human waste. There's no nice way of saying that. Babies are awesome and oh so delicious. But sometimes they produce monsters in their nappies. And although I'm not an amateur dramatist about this (after all "going" is a fact of life) with pegs and a bio-hazardous bin in every room of my house, I don't like the thought of waste being plastered to Roman for any longer than it has to be. He normally is very aware of when he is wet or poopy and let's us know quickly and has since he was born.

Which is great for the purposes of being tuned into him now.

We've tried on a few occasions now to cue him with a "hsss" noise (it sounds like peeing, basically) and he looked at us like we were mad and just laughed at us. Then we had a breakthrough.

One night, during a bath, he looked up at me with a great big smile on his face and made the "hsss" noise and then started to pee. After he'd finished he laughed at me. As if he was saying "Look, Mum!". Haha. Thatta boy. Unfortunately Bryan didn't get to witness this but it was too funny to keep to myself so I shared it via Facebook. I was surprised at the supportive and open minded comments I got in return. I wasn't expecting that...but what else did I expect?

We were going to keep things hush hush because to be honest I didn't want criticisms and negativity impeding my choices and judgements I'd already made - in other words I didn't want un-supportiveness to sway my decisions or put pressure on them to change. A lot of leaflets you can get on the subject of toilet training tell you that between the ages of 18-24 months this is when the child is "ready" to train. 

Today I got him up from a long nap - and his nappy was very, very full - and changed him as usual. His skin is getting a bit red these days from his nappy wearing :(. So I let him roam free for about ten minutes. Then I suddenly had this feeling - from the way he was moving and acting, all silent and a bit fidgety and it's rare he'll pee on me, he usually fidgets an awful lot, moans a bit and if I don't put a nappy on or get him over the toilet or sink then he'll pee on me. I've tuned myself into his cues for needing to go - that I should get the potty out. Now, shamefully, the potty usage has gone to pot (ha! pun intended!) lately because I recently have taken to feeling like crap and so it's gone a bit out the window so the potty was a bit dusty. 

However, I didn't have time to mess around getting it clean and I honestly didn't think he would pee in it - he loves being on the toilet and this is when he laughs the most at us but when we've tried to put him on the potty he will protest rather loudly about it. However, today was different. I thought it was weird he didn't really react. The potty isn't like a Bumbo seat. It's a lot higher up. And the material is a lot harder.

However, he didn't make a fuss. As a precaution I grabbed his toy to keep him amused while we waited for pee. I figured I'd try it out, see where it got us and then be happy with whatever the outcome was. I checked a few seconds in and noticed he hadn't peed at all. All the while, making the cueing noise. He got fussy and I lifted him up...and lo and behold:


(Sorry the photo isn't better quality, I snapped it on my phone camera because I was holding baby. Also, notice the cow toy sticking out).

I was shocked beyond belief. This massive wave of pride went through my whole body.

My little man's first pee outside his nappy.

I scooped him up and bewildered him with lots of praise and kisses - something I promised myself I wouldn't do. After all it's pee. Not an Olympic gold medal or a First Class Honours Degree. It's a "life skill" (as Super Nanny is always saying about potty using), don't draw attention to it. But I couldn't contain myself. 

I was cheering; "YAAAAAAAAAAAAY! Our first pee pee in the potty!" then proceeded to sing the "Pee Pee in the Potty" song from Look Whose Talking 2 (YouTube it, I'm too lazy to link you in). The neighbour was in at the time so if he heard me he must think I'm absolutely mental - or that I worship some freaky Pee God.

I am a bit mental, but it's okay. It makes me the marvellous and interesting individual that I am today. 

I just wonder what Roman's face would look like if he read this blog.

Maybe a little something like this?

"Muuuuuum! How could you?"

And more pictures of the Pee Pee Prince looking quite happy with himself to be out and about after we met his Daddy up town:

"Dis ma hand. It taste YUMEH!"

Yes, I love reading my babies mind and making him say really impossibly cute things.

This weeks highlights so far: Bryan got a job interview! Yay. Roman started taking naps again! Yay. Roman is now up to date with his 6-9 month wardrobe! Yay. 

Still to come: An update on how the job interview went for Bryan. More 365 Pictures to be captured :). My brother and the cutest little family alive (of course mine is included here, too!) are visiting very soon from Washington (not DC). 

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Roman's Room.



hoose (plural hooses)
  1. (Geordie and Scottish) house

If you walk into our flat (I call it "the house", "my house", "our place" ect but it's really a ground floor flat. I despised the idea of being on the ground floor because people told me horrible things about occupying the ground floor. It's made me never want to live on the first, second, third or heaven forbid FOURTH floor) and turn left and open the first door you'd come face to face with this view of Roman's room. These pictures make everything look smaller than it is - or perhaps my perception is messed up, I don't know. His room is pretty big. It houses his drawers, old crib (that he never slept in, we were given two and this is the one I still haven't returned balanced against the wall), new cot (that he has spent about 3 and a half nights in), single bed and a radiator that's never turned on because the room heats up in about 4 minutes straight.

A few days ago I decided to air Roman's mattress out. He doesn't sleep on it so I wanted to keep it fresh. I turned it on it's side and faced it towards the window. I air his room out everyday because dead skin cells just love to congregate and accumulate in there. Bogging, I know. 

Halloween is a-coming. And man am I excited! Halloween didn't really mean anything to me in the past but it was probably the only festivity I got excited about because the build-up of it was always better than the outcome (unlike Christmas or New Years Eve where everyone gets drunk and starts fighting). This year we'll have a little spider to dress up! My Aunt bought him this cute little outfit and I am so pleased with it - it's adorable.

 My Mum bought this bunting from Blooming Marvellous (I love that site ever since I got pregnant) and it is blooming lovely. I always feel disappointed with the photos I take of it because I never feel it captures what it really looks like. The photo is one I took of Roman months ago and the "photo frame" is actually a mouse mat we got sent from Organix (the baby food company, we love their food!).

I love being organised and prepared for the next day. I always line out his clothes for the next day on the radiator. I'm a tad anal at times. 

One of my obvious favourites. I got the photo frame in Relief Society and I tracked down where it was bought because I had an idea I wanted to do and wanted more frames. However, Snapfish photo paper is officially crap and sticks to the glass.

More stuff my Mum bought us :). Again, another Blooming Marvellous item. Yay! I love these book-ends. If I was a boy and I had a room I'd totally want these to hold my books together. I know that Roman is too young to even notice their presence in his room but I am not too young to adore them a little too much. On the left book-end is a paper weight that says "Baby Boy." I love it. It's the shape of a moses basket and is adorable. To your right is the car Roman had his beady eye on when my brother and his Uncle Fraser bought him when they took a stroll through Tesco. My brother asked him what car he wanted and it was reported Roman kept looking at the red one. This is a true story!
As you can see we also have a "name train" for Roman. As I mentioned before, I had wanted one for ages. I am so grateful that between me, my Mum and my Aunty Jeannette we seem to have mastered the art of ESP. And we seem to understand each others needs - be it concerned with baby issues, family issues, health issues. You name it we have it down to a T between us - or at least that's my take on it. My Mum got this name train for him and I nearly died out of excitement when I saw it.

Bryan's driving instructor bought us this aforementioned "Baby Boy" paperweight. It was wrapped in home made paper (I love crafty home made things!) and came in a lovely box that I may have shamelessly kept. I am a hoarder. I also kept the home made paper. I'm a sentimental chocolate teapot - I melt at anything to do with events in life and can't let go of every keepsake lest I lose a memory. I don't know why I'm designed this way. I don't even cry at weddings or funerals. Seriously. I fake-cried at my brothers wedding because everyone else was doing it. I feel so bad admitting that, but it's true. I didn't want to seem like the Tin (wo)Man, with no heart.

Just some clothes! I love his little star sleep suit! Bryan loves the red one the most. Haha. We're so geeky.

Poor old Rufus has been rejected for a while now. I'm too scared to get a picture of him with Roman because I am afraid he might be too dusty and I haven't got round to washing or airing him out. I'm a slob when it comes to such tasks. Bryan bought me this on our first Christmas as boyfriend & girlfriend together. We didn't last long in that state of our relationship. About three days. Then we were engaged! It felt right. And it feels even better now.


I got this rug for £1! (Maybe it looks £1 worth, but to me I was severely chuffed with it). I love it. It seems to match the blue in his book-ends perfectly. I bought it before the book-ends were even a thought. It's funny how things work out.

I wasn't going to post this picture (mainly because I want to keep up a facade that I'm an organisational Nazi and mainly because Bryan will not like it) but I want to portray that even organisational Nazi's have their piles. You know what I'm talking about. It starts off with just a few clothes innocently put down and then more is added. Before you know have this monster creation. I am a 24 year old Mummy of one. Married. Living in a two bedroomed flat. With no real storage for clothes. No drawers, no wardrobes. Our landlord graced us with lovely crappy furniture from Argos that fell to pieces as soon as we sneezed used it. We have plans to move so we haven't bought anything ourselves. Just heaped our clothes on top of the spare bed :). I have no idea where this balancing act will go when people come over - but I'll have fun trying.

 Also, I am seriously hoping you all don't think I'm a major mink for this photo! Not that I would care if you truly did think that; I'd tell you to go to hell anyway ;). Haha.

He snuck in after bath. Look at his yummy chubs. This towel is a newborn size but we used it tonight because the bigger towel was being washed. Don't worry, we have more than two towels for him. It just so happened they were either dirty or being laundered. 

So there we go - my son's wonderful room. We're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. We're just doing our best with what we've got (which is a lot by my estimation). I think people who spend fortunes on little people are off their heads - there is a lot of junk they just don't need. Although in saying that I'm torn between spoiling him rotten and being sensible. I think our approach to things right now is the best way - a meeting in the middle of the two. There is also a time and a place for spoiling them and every day is a bit much.

And I hope that my 365 Project will be one of the crowing glories in my gift-giving to the little man.

If Elton John's gift is his song then my biggest gift I give to Roman will be this 365 Project. I hope he is a sentimental chocolate teapot like me and relishes this photo Project. 

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Thursday, 16 September 2010

The things I love about you.

Today, Roman's hair grew about five inches during his nap.

He's really cheeky with this mouse. Today he was sitting on my knee and I looked away for five minutes and  when I look back there he was with the wire in his mouth - he loves everything he can get his hands on. 

The things I love about Roman are his smile and laugh. His smile appears at the most unlikely times. When I feed him at night he is a little tiger before it - growling and pawing at me - and then he will stop halfway through and look up at me with the most ridiculously delicious smile in the World. 

Right before we put him down for his sleep at night he has "Happy Man Time" in which he babbles nonsense at us, giggles and smiles at each of us in turn. It's impossibly sweet. When Bryan has been out to a meeting or out with the missionaries and has missed bedtime he always asks; "Did he have Happy Man Time before bed?" haha. I love this language we all seem to be speaking together. I love our sense of community and love. Being part of a family is like being part of a small country in which you have your own customs and traditions.

I love our Happy Man.

When I was pregnant people kept telling me how much more laundry I would do with a baby in the house and whilst I believed them - having had my nephew live with me and my parents for a few months and then having looked after a newborn three jobs ago - I also thought that I wouldn't let it get on top of me. When he was new we didn't have many cases of spit up or exploding nappies (weird because Bryan is his dad, I promise) so the washing I expected to be swamped under didn't really happen. He's a "clean eater" these days as well not really fulfilling the stereotypical baby pattern. Like I said, Bryan is his dad and this boy has inherited his love of food and huge appetite (I love to eat, too, make no bones about that!) so the food doesn't really miss his mouth a lot. 

But he throws up so much! No sooner had I changed him out of one top than he was into another...then I decided to get him another top just in case he went at it again. Before I could even retrieve it out of his drawer Bryan informed me he'd spewed again. I came through and was greeted with:

Don't worry...he isn't throwing up in this picture. He's singing. He sings quite a lot. It's mostly babble but he does make quite a lovely tune out of his babble :).

He always "looks" for Bryan when Bryan speaks. I'll be sitting feeding him and he'll be engrossed in that so much then Bryan comes into the room and asks me a question and Mini Man looks up and searches for Dada. Today he did that and smiled up at me, then popped back on for a feed. I wonder what goes on inside his head at times like these.

All change. Nice puke-free clothes. I love these little shoes of his. They are 0-3 months but either Roman has small feet or someone at the factory messed up on labelling them because these were huge boats on him at the 0-3 month mark. They fit him now but he does love to direct them into his mouth for a good old chew.

He was in bed when I was folding my washing. I came across his little cardigan my Mum knitted for him and felt like crying - I can't believe this ever fit him. That he was ever this small. And it wasn't all that long ago. I just wonder where all the time is going. One night I put my newborn down for a sleep and the next I'm lifting a  seven month old in the morning.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A Day in the Life of moi.

It's not quite a "Day in the life of" post, because I am far too slothful for that kind of shenanigans...but it is a heavy picture post (just to warn you).

So today was officially a "pyjamas and housework" day. That's the beauty of being your own boss (well...Roman is kind of my boss. He sets the hours, the work and the pay. The pay being lots of cuddles), you can work from home and be in your PJs, too! 

But, alas, the Little Boss didn't want me to have a PJ day and threw up all over me. I had to jump into the shower. Which was fun, considering Roman was way grumpy and I had to poke my head out from the shower curtain every five seconds to prove to him that some monster wasn't attacking me behind the curtain. He decided to throw his blanket onto the wet and dirty floor at some point as well which wasn't too much fun.

In between his shrieks I unloaded the first lot of washing and put another on. I love doing washing. I never resent or feel p'd off doing it. It's my favourite task and about the only thing Bryan and I don't share - because I honestly don't mind doing it. I know other people absolutely hate it and it's the bane of their existence but I'd happily sort through a dirty load of laundry (within reason. I aint touching your skiddies), put it onto wash, unload and hang it to dry and then bring in, fold and put it all away for a job - and at one point I did do this as a job and still didn't loathe it! I'm a glutton for punishment, perhaps.

I am also obsessed with having a clean bathroom floor. Unfortunately for a few weeks now (yep, I said WEEKS) the bathroom floor hasn't been mopped. I say that and by that I mean I haven't done my ritual with it - it has been cleaned, but not to my satisfaction or standard. Haha. Queen of Sheba, much? 

So I set out about doing my ritual :). It consists of:

 One bottle of bleach (kills germs dead, you know!)

One shower head into bucket-full of bleach (I really want to use something eco friendly but I am struggling to find something to fit the bill, anything that anyone can reccomend is welcomed! I'm trying to cut down on chemicals in the home). 

And that's it! Simples. I mopped up the floors; bathroom, hall, kitchen and living room. The mop is getting a little pathetic these days - I know Tesco sell them for next to nothing, but I'd quite like one of those funky squeegee mop things. 

Our floors were gross - seriously gross. When I emptied the bucket of murky floor water back into the bath I was greeted by this:

Yuck! The water even had "bits" in it - which are just grit and dirt that gets dragged in on shoes and buggy wheels.

After mopping I like to "towel dry" the floor:

I learned this from my Mum and from Bryan. Bryan started doing it when we lived in Mill Street (our first flat we had together) and I did scold him the first time I saw him skating around the floor on a towel...then I tried it myself and remembered my Mum told me stories of how her Mum used to give them towels and they'd find this great fun - when in actual fact they were doing housework! I love my Gran, she's so clever.

And as you can see from these pictures...there's still a few other things that need sorting. But they can wait! It's Orange Wednesday which means that it's our "Date Night." My brother comes round and sits in our home while Bryan and I go to see some ridiculous but light hearted blockbuster at our local Cineworld.

It's important to take time out as a couple and remember who "we" (the couple we) are. We're quite secure in ourselves, though, and we do sneak conversations about our son in - even on Date Night. We can't help it. We love him. None of feels like we're talking "shop" and we don't overdo it like some people whose every second word is about their child - don't get me wrong, I have Mummy Friends and all we do is talk babies and our kids - because we love and adore them - and we could talk till we were blue in the face about them and never get bored...but you know the couples I'm talking about.

It's nice to know that the "glue" in our relationship isn't based solely on our son. And it's nice to have little reminders in our home that reflect "us", the couple;

Me and ME.

A few weeks ago a Doctor told me I have ME. 

My thoughts:

To capture my feelings, this is how things felt when I first found out:

I keep going on here...looking at the front pages, the "What is ME?" section (or whatever it's called) and not venturing any further. I'm not scared I am just shocked...I can't believe this is part of my life now. I wake up every day and the thought of it isn't hanging over me and then all of a sudden I remember. I don't know what I feel, but it's not disappointment, bitterness or's just disbelief. Is that denial? 

 It's like I've broken up with a bad boyfriend (the unknown) and I've woken up as a single person for the first time in years...then I suddenly remember the bad boyfriend and want to be with him again (or undiagnosed and ignorant to the facts). 

Maybe one day my mind will marry my body and they'll live happily ever after and deal with all this...but for now I think I am still in a bit of a denial state.

I have tried to write this post about four times and there are just no words, no words at all, that could possibly capture any true essence of what it is that runs through my mind.

I am so angry right now. I don't ever think "why me?" I think "Well why not me?". I am angry because I think of all the times I beat myself up for being lazy, dispassionate, uncommitted and I was none of those things. I was and still am ill.

I keep telling myself over and over: I wish it was Crohns. I don't share these thoughts with anyone because I'm scared. Scared they'll say stupid things like; "You don't wish it was Crohns." Yes. Yes I do. "Crohns is horrible!"

This isn't exactly the Ritz of illnesses, either. But because you're not taken seriously or you spend years jumping from one diagnosis to the other you take a battering and you don't share how you really feel. Not really. Because you half expect people will open their mouths and more often than not that they'll not know what they're dealing with or talking about.

I've felt like this isn't a big deal, but to me it feels life altering. Not life changing because that's reserved for good things. I guess it's like when your husband or child dies (not claiming it's happened, but I have observed) . It means the World to you, forever, but to every one else they get on with their lives and wonder why you haven't got on with yours. Why you're still stuck in the phase of caring about it. Thinking about it. Talking about it. And everything around you is new and has altered, too.

One day I "knew people with ME" this horrible illness that seemed to come in and strip people of their energy and didn't give it back. Made them walk in a World of cotton wool and fudge. 

And next I was joining this World and not really feeling a part of it. I'm stuck in between not being accepted by the people who see themselves as War Heroes to the illness and not being accepted as fit by the healthy people. I'm in between the two Worlds with no map of where to go next. And no answers, no solutions and only myself to rely on for the answers.

It's terrifying. 

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

My Bad Attempts at a Home Decor/Clothes post...when in reality it's an "I Want" post.

I remembered we have a Matalan near us. 
Within walking (if you're an athlete you could probably get there within 10-15 minutes, if you're me it's half an hour) distance. I love Matalan. I have been in love with them since I was about 17 and they built one in Livingston :). They change their ranges round a lot so it's not like Primark where you buy something in one store and it's been mass produced and you turn around and there's a million girls of all shapes and sizes wearing the same Primark hoodie/trousers/whatever that you have on.

And now they have improved their home wares section! Bad news for the bank balance and good news for the bland rented accommodation we have. 

On my cushion wish-list;

Can you believe the rose is a cushion! I couldn't believe my eyes. It's like something I've dreamt and daydreamed about for years finally realised. I have inherited my obsession with appliqué through my maternal line - but isn't that pillow amazingly gorgeous? I love everything and anything to do with Japan - it's a sumptuous country for colour and art, like the geisha inspired kids pillow and the red flowery pillow right here. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I'm not a trendy person. I will outwear clothes. I will plot in my head how to run up a cushion cover and never do it. I will plan to get a hair cut and think about trying a manicure at least once before I die and never do all these things.

But I do have my simple pleasures in life.

I love accessories. Namely bags, shoes (a little too much), cushions and other ornaments that have no reason for being other than to be pretty :). Now my head isn't full of fluff. Underneath skin and skull I have a brain. And it's not made of feathers. I just enjoy very simple pleasures and can be quite materialistic at times - hence why I have a spare bed full of clothes (this is actually quite the wake up call and slightly drives me demented...I'll get round to donating all the unwanted clothes someday...).

For now I am happy at the thought of filling my home with Matalan goodness :). Even if it doesn't come true. I got all excited about their new home ware section and immediately jumped onto the infants clothes section and was disappointed. Not as nearly cute or creative as their pillows :(. I did find a jacket I wish they made in my size, though:

I did eventually find two cute things that Roman would look like such a little man in:

I do find it funny that price-wise M&S aren't too far off these same prices and quality-wise M&S are so much better than Matalan. There really isn't a contest and if I were going to buy anything it probably would be M&S I would go too - as a Mum. I do have distant plans of having another baby and there are some cute clothes that Roman has I wouldn't mind passing down to Baby Number 2 so I want them to be in a decent condition.

And here is my little man, sporting his latest cute outfits:

Excuse the bed-head husband. He'd rushed out the door this morning all but to miss his bus! It was nice to hear his key in the door on his return, though, I must admit and even nicer to see his wee face pop around our door - Roman was full of smiles. I wish I had been able to capture how big his smile got at that moment. 

No amount of money or "things" can buy what we have and that's pure and unfiltered happiness. So even though I lust after yet more things to fill our already thing-filled home, I know that I can never go into Matalan and buy this decanted in a bottle. It's priceless and is out of stock.