Monday, 31 January 2011

Double Standards.


He's too quick off the mark for me.

Today, after his nap, Roman made a successful grab for his VTech book. The reason it's been out of reach for so long is that it's plastic and it's dangerous.

Roman got this one as a Christmas present so I feel bad about throwing it out - plus he loves the music on it - and so we've kept it and play him the lullabies at night time.

However, before Christmas I made a pledge to myself that I wouldn't buy him plastic toys/why I wasn't happy for him to have a plastic over load in the house and blogged about it all here.

But he loved this book from the minute he saw it lighting up on Christmas Eve.

And when he grabbed it today I felt bad about letting him play with it, but on the other hand he was enjoying himself too much and I would have felt terrible pulling it away from him.

In other words, I have double standards. 

But I'll tell you something, this is the last time I go back on something like this. 

Especially as he gets older and picks up on my influence in his life. Sure, he might just think I'm some crazy lady trying to ruin his life - like every other kid in the World.

As you can all see, he is properly engrossed in this book.

I try and join in with the incessant singing and explain to him that those are some pretty sunflowers...then he snaps the page over to another page before I have the chance. He looks up at me and smiles a big grin, going back to his book - snapping shut every page before the narration is done.

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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Hair cuts, hair loss and a few of my favourite things...

Hello World.

Lately I've noticed little strands of my hair falling out again. Remember when I blogged about it here?

It's not coming out in clumps or clogging up the drain, but it's definitely coming out little by little. I wonder if there's a weird eleven month hair falling out mark. 

My hair loss is compensated by Roman's gain of locks - he was starting to sport a baby mullet. So I  had to discretely cut his hair while he nearly stabbed himself about a hundred times. This was no mean feat, people. If he wasn't trying to grab the comb, he was trying to do a Winona in Edward Scissorhands (you know the scene, where she touches Edward's blades and cuts herself) and I had to be about twenty steps ahead of him, second guessing where his little fingers were going next. 

About an hour later the results were as follows:

Annnd I just had to add these. You know, because I over do the cute ;).

Look who learned how to use a comb (and was combing my hair, too.)

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Putting you out of your misery


I've been keeping everyone in the dark (and to be honest really enjoying that fact!) over on my Facebook for a while now. 

On Monday I posted that I have BIG news - and quickly added I wasn't pregnant just to avoid the slew of comments that would bring.

It's no secret that I appreciate a spot of Social Networking. Lately I have cut back on the time I spend on there because I want to spend more time on me. Rather than on the things that eat my time and will be of no recollection or purpose in the years to come.

By saying I'm taking more "me time" I don't mean in a fluffy sense of the word. I want to better myself with education, opportunities and experiences. While there are joys in life to be found on status updates and pictures, the real World is out there waiting for me to grab hold of the many things it has to offer. 

Well done Mum and Dad, your hard work and perseverance has paid off. (And P.S I love you.)

So, in an attempt to better myself with opportunities, I took it upon myself to apply to be a weekly columnist HERE.

If you're a true lover of all things handmade - and of course my brilliant writing skillz! - then catch up with me on the above blog where I'm going to be blogging about living frugally. 

Oh and just for kicks and giggles, if you want to view my profile HERE . I think I look suitably smug in my photo (which was, believe it or not, totally unintentional.) 

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

If I ever...

I've made a really important decision...

If I ever get pregnant again I'm telling no one.

Shall I begin to tell you about the constant horror scene stories I heard, or perhaps the well intentioned "get drugs" advice from men (okay, seriously taking the empathy thing too far on that one, guys!) and last but not least the "YOU'RE HUGE!" insults comments.

(4 days before my due date, I was 9 months pregnant here.)

When you're pregnant you become public property and Jack and Jill Average turn into Jack and Jill MD/OBYGYN/Midwife.

Seriously, back off people. 

The last thing any pregnant person wants to hear is how HUGE they are. Yes, I think pregnant ladies get it.  Trust me they're certainly feeling every kick to the groin possible, (just putting it out there) counting every day they have left until their due date (although not more than 5% of babies actually arrive on their due dates) and trying to get through the day (and night, pregnancy insomnia sucks!)

I was transported back to the 7-9th months of my pregnancy tonight while on a Facebook Group reading what Mum's To Be were saying - I'm not some weird person who stalks pregnant women, this group is for Mama's, too - and the insensitive and rude nature of people in this country never ceases to amaze me.

One Mum was so upset as some absolute tool had said she was the size of a house. Excuse me? Let's back up a second here.

The size of a house?

I wasn't shocked as when I was pregnant people kept reminding me (although I think they forgot I'm not blind and I can look in mirrors) how huge I was getting. 

On top of the "you're so HUGE!" comments were the constant: "HAVE YOU HAD THE BABY YET?" questions.

Twenty times a day without fail.

When I'm pregnant for the second time I will add three weeks onto my due date. When I had Roman my due date was the 1st of February. By the 8th of January people were asking if I had any twinges/signs of labour yet - with a few asking if I'd had the baby yet. Fast forward to a week later and my Facebook wall was covered in queries as to where this "stubborn baby was."

On the 2nd of February I had people telling me they'd perform a C-section on me themselves if the baby didn't show up soon.

On top of not sleeping, not really eating properly and the insane trips to the toilet I could have done without these queries, comments and insults.

So this is my plan of attack for next time;

Hide under layers of clothing for as long as possible, stretch the truth about the due date and delete all comments on Facebook related to the pregnancy.

And definitely make one of these cool time lapse videos!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Let's get it started in here...

Roman loves all kinds of music/videos; "Time Warp", "Monster Mash" (maybe even some In the Night Garden) and a few other classics.

Let's add to that the Black Eyed Peas "The Time (Dirty Bit.)" 

This boy is a strange one. Night Garden I can understand; it's Teletubbies, but better (sorry, but it's true.) In fact I can pretty much understand all of the above...but the BEP? Seriously? 

Don't get me started on the obvious and blatant product placement in this video (and in the song: "It's gotta be the APPLE, I'm the MAC daddy, yo") and of course the shameless album promo at the end...never mind the club scenes/all those hoochy mama's that probably inspired the "Dirty Bit" of the title.

Me and B watched the Black Eyed Peas perform in December on the X-Factor where they performed the above song and we both reached a consensus of it sucked.  I mean, don't get me wrong, BEP are okay and speaking on behalf of Bryan here; he has a crush on Fergie from the BEP. I know. And if you follow me on Facebook you know what I think about that one ;).

Anyway, our tastes aside, I think we have a rouge gene and it's swayed Roman towards liking the BEP. And dancing. When he was newborn he would wake up and bop his head to he dances to it, if it has a good beat. I don't have a jiving bone in my body and B dances like Napoleon Dynamite. In this case, I can probably blame my parents.

They have skills and talents I do not possess. Like being able to paint, to draw and do really complicated mathematical problems at the drop of a hat - meanwhile five years later I still don't get it. I'm okay with that, though. I'm awesome in other ways (and it only took me twenty-five years to be okay with that, this is surely progress!)

I'm thinking if being skilled can skip a generation like this, then surely, other things like this can skip a generation. 

When I was younger my parents were cooler than me. I think most people were, mind you. But I was okay with that. I was kind of weird and my life long quest was to be the opposite of everyone else (such a rebel!)

So them being cooler than me meant they had better dance moves than me. All. The. Time. My sister has inherited the good dance gene and I was 100% convinced she'd do something with it professionally when she grew up - she spent tireless hours with me trying to perfect my routine but my heart just wasn't in it. I lacked the discipline and co-ordination it required.

So now I have another dancer in the family in the shape of my eleven month old.

Concentrating so hard on's dance moves.

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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Frustration And Beginnings.

I've been thinking lately about things people told me when I was younger.

"You're too young to be a pessimist."

"You need to live a bit longer to feel properly frustrated."

And it's made me think, what qualifying age and how much experience of life do you need to have before you can be a pessimist and properly frustrated?

Frustration can be found at every point in your life. When I look at Roman I see his frustrations with so many things and he's not even a year old. He can't speak in sentences, has to "go" in a nappy, he can't walk, has to rely on everyone else and their schedules (kind of) to be fed, cared for and loved. Of course he doesn't know anything different and is working from the ground up but I can see the frustration of when he takes to his feet and can't get anywhere fast...or, you know, get anywhere at all.

But he still ploughs on regardless. Still pulls himself up onto the radiator thingy for drying clothes/tables/anything really and he still tries the quest for being able to cruise around the place rather happily.

For myself right now there's a frustration in my life that I can't seem to move forward and I feel at the same spot I landed upon about five or six years ago: back at the beginning. In the sense there's a bit of a freedom about that, there's also the major blues you get with it. The creeping thoughts of: I'm going to end up a nobody. And they'll carve my grave stone with: Cara Quinn, Nothing Special. And slowly, slowly all these other random assortment of thoughts combine to make one ball of misery.

And people tell you things like; 

People: "Hey, Jesus was a nobody."
Me: "A nobody who started a movement with 2.1 billion followers."

Plus, that's just dumb. Jesus isn't and wasn't a nobody. Don't even get me started. Seriously.

Anyway...Jesus and babies that are trying to walk everywhere aside I'm mad at myself for being 25 and having too many interests that I can't really do anything with. 

Last weekend my Dad told me to make plans. I remember being 22 years old and telling him; "Plans are TOTALLY dumb! I never see them through anyway, so I don't see the point in making them!"

Words, meet mouth. I shall now begin to devour you and prepare for desert: some Humble Pie.

The thing is when you're 15 you start to develop this complex. It's called I Know Better Than My Parents. You don't shake that off until you have your own kids. I'm serious. Or maybe when you're 30 if you don't have kids. Or maybe when you're 30 and have kids. Or maybe you're one of these people who don't ever suffer the complex. 

The thing is this: Daddy K was right. Plans are not "totally dumb." They're essential. I have also been writing lists for years. Mummy K does this as well and this is a kind of planning. So really, I've been making plans my whole life. 

So, this week, I made some plans. It's not the first time I've sat down and wrote a list of formal ideas with dates attached to achieve said ideas and still not followed them through. But I know I will see these ones through, for a start they're goals I want to reach and the above is my road map of how to get there - well, maybe not a road map as I'm terrible with any kind of map or instruction, but you can grasp the metaphor I'm sure.

So perhaps yes, this is the beginning. But it's not so bad being here after all.

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Saturday Six.

BWS tips button

How do you feel about the death penalty?

Coming from Scotland I find the death penalty really strange. I used to think if someone took a life then yes, we should take their life, but over the past couple of years I've reached the conclusion that it doesn't make sense to keep someone on death row for years and years with the sentence of death hanging over them.

Did you make a New Year's resolution? If so--what!?
To be healthier. I know, it's the boring and very clich├ęd resolution but I need to work harder on myself. I found out earlier in the year I have M.E so I'm striving to be healthier. 

Why do women take men on Maury for paternity tests when they know DAMN well that Maury is going to say..."You are NOT the father!"??
I don't know but that really annoys me! Why bother trying to make yourself look responsible, good or like you're "doing the right thing" when you know he's not the father. To me that is the lowest of the low.

Teen Mom on MTV...does it glorify teen pregnancy? Do you watch it? Don't lie--you do, don't you?
Okay, here's the thing...I don't watch it but I have seen clips of it. Does it glorify teen pregnancy? Well I don't know as I have never watched a full episode but hopefully it will show teens just how damn hard being a mother truly is. The commitment, selflessness and sheer effort of it is not something I could have dealt with as a high school student, or even as a teen. I applaud anyone who finds themselves in that situation and does their best and hardest with it.

Pajama jeans--rockin or ridic?
What the...? Never even heard of them, but hey if people are comfortable in them I don't care. I used to think Ugg boots were ugly and now everyone, including myself, (although I don't wear Ugg as I'm vegan) wears them.  

Travel back in time--tell us about the teenage you!

I had an opinion about everything - even more so than now - and I thought my parents were constantly trying to run my life. I was also a bit of a big mouth when it came to it, but not at all confident and I lacked the self esteem that I seem blessed with these days. I was also very, very unhappy and miserable with myself and my life. I wasn't doing well in school because I felt under so much pressure to be "smart" even though I am very intelligent, I just wasn't getting good grades in any classes and it brought me down. There is so much more I want to write but I would never, ever go back to being a teen even if you paid me.

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Thursday, 13 January 2011

House Hunting.


Well, it was one of 'those' days today.

I woke up annoyed and tired; I'd been on the phone till 3.30am to my sister and it was roughly about 8.45am when I heard cries coming from Roman's room and my day began. 

As the day wore on at 12pm I was so exhausted I wanted somebody to shoot me. However, we had to go and view a house we're looking to rent at 2pm and I so wanted to reschedule. But I figured if I stay in I'll fall asleep on the sofa and not be able to sleep tonight until 5 in the morning. If I go out, however, it will keep me going even if I feel like death warmed up.

Or so was the logic.

Well we set off with plenty of time to kill - Bryan has this weird thing of being on time. Pah! Over rated completely if you ask me...but it actually worked out pretty well as Google Street View doesn't do things justice and I was able to have a proper nose around the area versus if we'd been running late, going at 100MPH (I travel at a cool 2MPH at all times, however. One of the joys of having M.E) and all frantic and not get a shot at seeing stuff about us. Also, I got some perfect opportunities to take photographs as we waited the ten or so minutes for our agent to show up.

The house was actually really great, minus a few details. Like the bog that was the garden. Or the fact the living room matched the size of a dolls house living room. But then I reminded myself to take off my Perfectionist cap and look at things objectively.

It more than fit our needs. The kitchen was a healthy size - one of the most important rooms in a home. The bathroom was also a decent size. The stairs aren't too steep. The living room has blinds. It comes with a TV and DVD player in the bedroom - nope, still don't plan on connecting a TV up, paying for and owning a TV licence as I see it as an unessential expense when there are so many TV shows on-line and which idiot thought that one out, anyway?

Also, once summer rolls around hopefully the bog of a garden won't be so water logged - it was like stepping onto the surface of a chocolate mousse. Only, not at all tasty. And we have some vegetables that need planting by May. It means we can have our own vegetable patch - the idea of that sounds great but I know how much work my Mum put into her veggies.

There is also a teeny tiny little play park about three houses down. It probably won't be suitable for Roman until he's nearer his second birthday, but it's there. 

We've honestly been searching on and off for months for a place and it's rare when I feel comfortable about moving to somewhere. And I definitely feel it about this place. We'll see how things pan out in that department, this might not be the place we'll call home. And I have this horrible feeling that before the ink is even dry on the tenancy agreement that things will start to go horribly wrong for us.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


I am sometimes asked:

"What camera do you use?"

I understand why people ask this as it's a normal response when you see a photograph you like, you wonder about the technology behind it. Maybe so you can have a piece of that for yourself, or maybe you're even thinking about upgrading your camera.

Well, I can tell you this right here and now: if you're thinking of "upgrading" your camera, you'd have no interest in my 2004 photographic technology ;). Yes, I use a camera from 2004. 

I wrote about my camera a few months ago and I am constantly surprised when people think I must use a more professional camera - or a DSLR for those of you who can talk the talk. I remember seeing it in the shop (second hand, by the way) and I couldn't take my eyes off it. I'd wanted to buy a more expensive DSLR camera for a while (in the Canon EOS range), but this seemed to fit my needs better at the time. It was hundreds of pounds cheaper, for a start.

What I learned quickly are a few things in order to get a good photograph from any camera:

1. Always have good photo editing software you feel comfortable using. Get to know the controls and the short cuts. I used to use Picnik for editing my photos and it was honestly as good as any software out there - I can spot when someone has used Picnik to edit their photos a mile off. I downloaded a Picasa program so I could edit my photos off-line and it has an option which will take you to the Picnik site. I could probably still get by on this software, but I found it very limiting so I decided to bite the bullet and try a little something from Adobe called Lightroom. I downloaded a trial version, which took me up to 30 days of use. For some reason my trial ran out and I was able to update to a better version of Lightroom so I had another 30 days on my trial. I love to test everything before I buy it and at first I didn't like Lightroom. It wasn't hard to figure out, but I didn't like the "export" option, which basically meant "save." The reason they have this export option is that Lightroom won't write over your original photo. When you get the hang of it, it's really great. I paid £145 for a download version of Lightroom and I don't regret it for a single second (it was B's Christmas gift to me and it's money well spent and invested.)

2. Always, always use natural light whenever, wherever you can. I notice a huge difference in the way people react to my natural lighted photos than to my flash photography photos. With the above software there are editing tricks you can pull to give you natural light, but it doesn't really give off the same effects.

I'll show you an example of a photograph shot in natural light:

Now here's one I took a little after 4pm today, when it was dark as midnight outside:

I haven't edited the photos so that you can see the differences in the quality of photo you're likely to get using the different methods. I always, always find that natural light is the way to go and only use a flash when I have too. 

You don't need to spend hundreds on a great camera - although if you really want and can afford to, don't let me stop you. I paid £150 for my camera and that was considered cheap for the model I bought. Given that it's from 2004 and I remember back in 2004 it was around the £700 mark, it shows me that when it comes to technology that prices are fleeting and if you apply the above simple and easy principles - investing in good software and taking advantage of nature - then you're probably going to save a packet.

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And spare a comment so I can put happy faces onto these sad faces.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Little Things.


You know that saying about great things that come in small packages? 

It's true. Although, in terms of "small" I don't know if Roman can be considered that. He is the biggest baby so far in the history of my family, born at 10lbs, 1 and a half ounces.

Still, while he's a small package now, he's great. 

He copies everything I do. If I cough, he starts to cough. If I yawn, he yawns. If I stick my tongue out, he does the same. I think you're starting to get the picture here (and you can literally see the picture above.)

I still think he's great even when it's 2/3/4/5/whatever am and he's awake - yep, since October he's been getting up in the middle of the night/early hours of the morning and I have reached the conclusion that teeth are causing his restfulness. I've also been in denial of his wakening, putting it down to a sleep regression or a cold...but now I've got to accept the facts: he wakes up at inappropriate times of the night and morning. 

I got so used to the fact he sleeps right through from 7pm until 8 or 9am in the morning. I got so used to that stretch of time that was mine again. As selfish or as bad as you think that sounds (and I don't, just normal) it's also very true. It was nice having the evening for "the adults" again. 

But now it more or less looks like this (nine times out of ten):

I promise we're not hippies.

I know these intermissions won't last forever and I know this time won't last forever, so I'm enjoying each wakeful moment I can. Meanwhile chewing on the inside of my lip.

He's pretty good at night, just gets a change then is back to bed. Also, there have been the odd nights where he does sleep through...I just wish things in life worked out consistently, but that's not how it goes apparently.

Having a baby around is the biggest and nicest shock I've had in my life.

Some more photos I took yesterday (just for the cute overload): 

He's laughing. At what I don't know.

I just loveee the backs of babies heads - very kissable!

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