Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Things for his room.


I saw this on a design blog (forgive me because I have forgotten which blog) where the designer did the whole alphabet. Luckily for me the 'R' was a robot and this happens to be one of Roman's nick names (don't ask.)

I had an idea about cutting out balloon shapes from various card colours...but I'm not sure my fingers are up for the drawing and cutting. So these pictures are an inspiration for a picture idea I have. I love the Disney film 'Up.' My sister recommended it and I couldn't get over how amazing it was. The music, the characters and the storyline were all perfect. If you haven't seen it, watch it. Now.

I tried to score this Pintoy house off a seller on eBay, but they weren't willing to post it for fear of it getting damaged. I have looked everywhere else for something similar to this, all to no avail. Just as well really, there's no 'home' for this shelves, no drawers (too small) or desktop for it to sit on.

I love retro toys. So I Google Imaged 'retro toys' and this popped up. Perfect. I wonder if it would breach copy right to print this out and frame it?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

North of Scotland: Being there.

So if you haven't already read 'part one' of our little trip then go here to read it.

So...if you've read part one you'll be up to speed that we took our 19/nearly 20 month old on a long journey on public transport and all was well (kind of) by the end of the trip. 

I'm going to admit that I never took a lot of photos while we were away because I was so distracted or busy. But here's what I did get...

So...after our trip we got to my parents lovely house. Where we froze for the night until we figured out the heating. 

I had a few things to take care of while we were up there but once I was done, I spent time with the two of them. We'd huddle around the TV and catch up with Quantum Leap or Raising Hope (two of the best TV shows made, I think.) 

Roman loved the zoo up there. On the first few days the cats were very wary of him, every time he'd shout 'CAT!' and chase after them they were like speeding bullets out a gun. By the fourth day they would let him clap them. He was very careful and gentle with them. Shadow was the opposite. At first she would be okay with him, but then as time wore on her growls got louder. One time she even 'herded' him by butting her head on his side.

This called for splitting the room in two - Fort Roman was made...

More pictures...with a little narration. 

One of the days we went into town. We waited an hour for a bus.

The bus finally showed...

 (1) inside the sweet shop, loads of chocolate-inspired mugs. (2) 1,000 welcomes. (3) Thistle bag.

I really enjoy going to this sweet shop when I'm in Thurso. Pretty much all of their sweets/candy aren't vegan, but it's how I remember sweet shops; hard boiled sweets and other goodies in jars, known as 'quarters.' 

Something Scandinavian about this...

Bryan bought himself some we gave Roman his first chippy chip. He was a fan so had another. I think, when he's a lot older, we'll have chippies every so often. I hadn't wanted to give Roman any chocolate or junk foods as obesity, heart disease and other problems relating to food are such a huge problem in Scotland but I figure if we are sensible about it and show Roman how to manage his eating then we can't go wrong - that is far healthier than trying to not give him these things ever. 

Could he live without these things? Yes. Of course. But if we, the parents, are going to eat these foods then it would be hypocritical not to allow them. 

And since we're talking about food. This is how vegans cook anything that requires eggs (although, not really, I just use oil when I don't have egg replacer.)

And it comes up looking like wall paper paste. Yummy wall paper paste. Mmm.

{Peanut butter and chocolate button cookies - not a fan of the buttons but there were hardly any in there.}

To finish: some yummy 'cakies' which were meant to be cookies but baked big and cake-like.

And this, my friends, concludes our little holiday up north. Going home was hilarious...but that's another story ;). 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011



A cheeky little boy. 

Today we got him a new chair to sit in - a kid sized version of a stylish chair. I felt fairly confident he'd enjoy the chair. When it arrived, B made up the chair and we introduced it to Roman. He sat on it, sure, but then he spent most of time pushing it around the room!

Eventually, in the fading sun of the afternoon, he settled down for a seat. His relaxed attitude was a contrast to my panic over a wrongly delivered parcel (what was meant to be our TV stand was actually our neighbours Betterware order.)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

North of Scotland: Getting there.

I'm back from a week of being in the Highlands of Scotland - the true north. 

The view from the speeding train is like nothing you've laid eyes on before. Lots of green, open spaces. A field full of golden hay; ripe for the harvest, dotted with fluffy sheep here and there - or as Roman calls them 'baa.' Cows are 'baa', too and everything else is 'woof woof.'

When we arrived in Thurso we were excited; to have made the journey (9 hours) with our 19 month old and not one tantrum between the three of us. We called a cab and for some reason the driver took the long route to my parent's home. We had no car seat and so Roman sat by my hip - I felt like I was breaking about a million laws.

A 9 hour train journey is hard for loads of reasons when you have a kid. I worry about not only myself but other passengers; you get all kinds of reactions when you bring a toddler onto public transport and although my experiences have been nothing but great I always worry I'm going to get that one huffy passenger who throws me dirty looks and does great big exaggerated sighs when Ro makes a few squeaks. 

We were so lucky on both trips there and back that we were landed with a sweet Dutch couple and then a practically empty train. Everyone was lovely and courteous with us - even when Roman (embarrassingly so) began to shriek. His screaming hurts my head but mostly I am paranoid what other people think.

He was great once he had some food inside his tiny tummy, of course. 

A 9 hour train journey when you're chronically ill downright sucks. When you can't make it out of bed 9 times out of 10 most days...but I did it. I don't know how, I just did. I felt like sleeping a week and I start to adjust right before we leave.

When the train had emptied out enough (and the Inverness-Thurso line was never busy) we took it in turns to sit with Roman in one of the seats. I'm going to admit that B did the bulk of this but you won't find either of us complaining - I cannot believe this little boy sits so patiently and quietly - in fact he played with a straw for 30 minutes on one of the journeys. 

A straw! Or rather the straw that provided the evenings entertainment. 

Everyone but us was asleep for the bulk of our journey, it was a quiet and peaceful journey punctuated by the odd 'whyyyy?' or 'howww?' from Roman. There is also what, where and so to add to the ever increasing vocabulary. 

My travel companion for some of the trip: the Kindle. And yes I like it a lot. I love books and this doesn't take away from them. If anything these eReaders keep people reading and interested in books. And with so many books now being turned into movies people want to be able to buy books as quickly, easily and as cost-effectively as possible. It also solves the old age problem of hiding a book inside a textbook because the Kindle is so much slimmer than any book I've owned.

This is Scotland; farms, fields and hills. Lots of greenery and plenty picture taking opportunities. 

A sign in English and Scottish Gaelic. Me and B have an ongoing debate about Gaelic. I say it's cool and he says it's a waste of time. Neither of us speak or understand it but it's spoken by around 58, 552 people in Scotland (or so Wikipedia tells me.) 

The BBC also have BBC Alba which is a Gaelic TV channel. This might sound weird but when I lived in London I used to watch this channel on my computer. I didn't grow up with this language and I only really knew one friend who spoke it and she was from Stornoway, a Scottish island. I don't know why Gaelic makes me feel home, but it does. I remember sitting with my Gran and watching Gaelic TV shows, both of us not understanding a word and reading the English subtitles provided. We also used to tune into the kids programmes and wet ourselves at the dialogue - it was so foreign, yet sounded so familiar. 

There was also this amazing mural painted on the walls of the Invergordon station. The train windows were seriously dirty, plus the train was moving here, but I had to share this photo. It's an incredible piece of art and I was really impressed by it.

I snapped this because well, its ROgart ;). Ro is a little nick name (amongst the many) we have for Roman. And well this is why I don't speak Gaelic, more words for a simple place. But maybe that's a reflection of the Scottish people. We're not a 'less is more' people. A majority of us could talk the hind legs off a donkey. 

This trip took 9 hours. 9 very long hours. They were painful but it was made great by all that surrounded me. I felt like a tourist in my own country.

And I made three new friends this week...

Baby, Precious and Shadow. The dog shaped one loved all the walking and jogging done with B. And the two cats were like speeding bullets fired out of a gun every time Roman was in their line of vision. 

I hope they're over the trauma by now.

Monday, 10 October 2011


Do you believe in seeking revenge? I don't. But I believe if living well and being happy is a form of revenge in itself then it's probably the best type of 'revenge' you can inflict upon yourself. After all forgiveness is easier, that way you don't have to remember any grudges or use up any energy hating people or things they've said or done to you.

I believe people can be rude and insensitive but I prefer the offended to look inwards and examine just what it is they are being offended over. And even when someone has 'every right' to be offended, sometimes it just doesn't matter or isn't worth the hard work that hating someone creates.

It's better to live well and grudge free. It's better to have friends than enemies and it's better to love than lose.

Living drama-free has its benefits. That I can testify to.

Friday, 7 October 2011


 I'm off on an adventure to the Highlands of Scotland today. Wish me luck as we pack for all kinds of weather that might happen; rain, sun and wind. 

I'm off to look after my parents cats and dog; Shadow. I'm sure I'll inundate you with pictures and Highland tales on my return...I'll just have to get through all the washing first.

This was last night's task: the packing. 

What's in the suitcase? It's his stuff. Not too much, not too little and just enough to cover almost any season. Scotland is like that. Temperamental with it's seasons.

I was going to try and fit everything into this bag, my hospital bag. But I was fooling myself big time.

Wish me luck. We're about to do a 6 hour journey with an almost 20 month old. Hope we end up with passengers similar to ones we got last time; by all accounts I think they were grandparents and they spoiled Roman for two hours with their time and funny faces. 

Which was a welcome change to the dirty faces many other passengers pulled when we dared bring a buggy onto public transport. Roman wasn't even making any noise and 
that's why they call it public transport. I don't always want to travel with smelly rude people but I don't have the luxury of choice if I travel on a train. 

So please, fellow passengers, who're giving me death glares, please keep the assumptions to a minimum. I'm not going to let my child needlessly scream, squeal and if he cries I will try to do all I can to soothe and comfort him. It's not always possible. I, too, get my head done in by the screams of children. It's not as though motherhood has somehow prepared me any better for them. 

Anything but...

Remember when I posted about my Google search terms for the blog here? Basically these are the most popular search terms used by people, on Google, and they'll end up here because of it.

Well I had a look, out of curiosity, tonight and this term came up:

mormon perfect life blog

I have a problem with this. Number one problem is that a lot of journalists have recently written about how 'Mormon blogs' have sprung up all over the Internet - with the authors of the blogs being housewives who write about their 'perfect Mormon lives.' My life is Mormon, but it's not perfect.

I love my beliefs and my life but I struggle with both - usually struggling more with the latter. There is a great implication in general that somehow those of a particular faith or belief lead these impeccable lifestyles - or at least lifestyles that try to be impeccable.

Well I'm here to tell you that I'm probably like you. I slum it in my worst clothes around the house from time to time. I have arguments with my husband over things that don't matter the next day, although I'm trying to cut back on those because an argument free household (at least between my parents) is what I grew up in - and it was great. I also question my abilities as a home maker, which are thin on the ground. I can go days where my hair hasn't been washed. And I don't bake my own cookies. Although, that would be great.

The thing is that, I feel, with my beliefs as they are I am a pretty happy person in life, in general. Yes the every day grind wears me down as much as the next person and sometimes I don't understand the conveyor belt-like set-up of housework (something gets dirty, clean it, something gets dirty again, clean it again) but as I know my Heavenly Father personally knows me, I feel secure as a person. 

We're also taught to honour each other as husband and wife and with that you have to learn empathy, understanding and trust like nobodies business. A husband has no dominion over his wife and a wife has no dominion over her husband. They compliment one another as they stand side by side. And perhaps it's that great equality we've managed to find in our relationships, that the World seems to lack, that makes us come off as 'smug' or 'perfect.' And what's wrong with perfect?

Yes, granted, I don't feel it's a state any one can reach in this life. This life is our perfection dart board. We try to hit that bullseye and miss, but it doesn't mean we stop trying to reach that target. 

Perhaps perfection is so far-removed from where the World, societies and cultures can be right now that the very idea seems so far fetched to people who look in from the outside? I don't know.

All I know is my own life. And my own beliefs. And all I know is that I am not writing this 'Mormon perfect life blog.' I am capturing my families life, as we grow - and it's not perfect. In fact it's actually quite messy, fun and full of tears and grammar mistakes.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve Jobs: A fitting tribute.


I am in no way an Apple customer. And by that I mean products like the iPad, iPhone (pictured above) and whatever else Apple Mac make these days. I don't mean that I don't eat apples because I do. A lot of them. 

So when I saw many updated statuses on Facebook reading; "Steve Jobs, RIP" my curiosity got the better of me and I found myself Googling the name. "Ahhh!" I said upon discovering just who this man was. "That's Steve Jobs." Well he seemed a thoroughly decent businessman. And he looked cheery. And jolly. And yes the beard helped.

So I am sad that the World lost out on him to pancreatic cancer. And sad for his family, too. 

But in the sadness there will be tributes, beautiful and fitting remarks made by the people who actually knew this man and of course there is always going to be people like me. People who didn't know him but still have some good things to say anyway. 

And that's when I came across the C. Jane tribute to Steve Jobs. I'm a Mormon so it's my kind of humour - side note: being a Mormon doesn't mean you'll understand C. Jane's humour. Half the time I know I don't but this time she really hit the nail on the head of humour for me - p.s I also loved when she tweeted on General Conference 'Is anyone else thinking Pepto Bismal?' when the MoTab were singing. 

Okay so read C. Jane's fitting tribute here. Also, she didn't call it a 'fitting tribute' I just thought it was great and hope to be immortalised by something similar when I'm...well, dead.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Hello Winter.


We celebrate all three of our birthdays in winter. 

B in November, mine in December and baby boy's (2nd) birthday in February, when the weather doesn't know whether to freeze your toes or warm your head.

Ro was 10 months last Christmas and this year he'll be 22 months - two months away from being a whole 2 years old! Don't even ask me to comment on that one because I can't believe time escapes away from me so quickly. 

I started buying Christmas presents back in August - I'm working on being better prepared as a parent. Last year we ventured into Mothercare, in October, where they had a sale on. B talked me out of buying a few lovely items that then shot up to full price once the sale was over so this year my early buying plan is bullet proof - if he complains I just say the words; "Remember Mothercare last year?"

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