Monday, 24 December 2012

It's My Birthday! WooHoo ;).

Merry Christmas (Eve)

Christmas Eve in 1985 I was brought into the world with a bang. Or more importantly I was being born via C-section. I haven't really been able to enjoy or appreciate my birthday until I had a child to share it with. Truth is that everyone is so busy, stressed and up to their eyeballs in things to do before Christmas day that it seems to have a knock-on effect on my mood, too.

As a parent I've learned that being prepared is the key to almost everything we do, hence why most Christmas presents were bought in August and wrapped by November this year. I don't want to be wrapping presents on my birthday or indeed buying anything on my birthday. Last year that happened as well as Bryan being away all day to buy things for other people. Um no. That isn't happening ever again.

Today Bryan's parents took Roman for a little while and eventually we joined him for dinner. It was a different kind of day; I felt quite sick, the weather was closer to early spring weather and I couldn't quite be bothered to eat much of my birthday cake. Later on once Ro was in bed I had great fun laying all of his presents and stocking out, ready for the morning :).

Sunday, 23 December 2012

He Looks After Me.

He Looks After Me

A self-made beard ;).

I've been feeling very 'blah' lately. A few weeks ago my gums started to swell around one of my wisdom teeth, waking me up in the middle of the night with strange flu symptoms. I've still had to get on with life, as you do, and it's been tough on both me and Roman. One morning I put on a Christmas movie, on our iPad in bed and I woke up to Roman accessing my Facebook page - thankfully he doesn't write because that would be an interesting status update, wouldn't it? 'My mum puts me in front of movies so she can sleep in' ;). All he was doing was scrolling through photos, looking for babies to clap eyes on no less (this boy is baby crazy, it's a little bit funny.)

From Friday-Sunday Bryan is off. Today was Sunday, the first day during that time period of Bryan being off that I began to feel like 'me' again. Roman was all over me like a little limpet, not desperate to leave my side and offering me food and drinks whenever he could. I never believed a child could be so sweet and thoughtful, but he really is. In this moment where I felt over whelmed and very connected to our first born I asked Bryan to take a photo. This is a special moment for me and although it doesn't look special this is it. This is life. These are our mummy moments, our cuddle moments, the moments we need to capture and have imprinted somewhere special on our brains so we can conjure up these images when we feel we can't cope or go on with this motherhood thing. Us and our children, together.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Almost Forgotten.


It was a busy and tiring day all round. Roman went off to his grandparents and I forced myself to not be in pyjamas and went out with Bryan. It was strange to be without a buggy to get on and off a train and once we got to Stirling it wasn't as busy as I'd imagined it would be :).

When we got home we went out again to get more stocking fillers - Bryan was mostly buying for me - and so there was hardly any time to sit let alone take photos. When we got home I collapsed on to the sofa and suddenly at 11 o'clock I remembered I hadn't snapped a photo.

"I've forgotten to take a photo!" I announced to Bryan, very sad that I wouldn't get one.

"Just go in to his room and take one, then."

Knowing he would definitely wake up I didn't want to do this. "What if he wakes up?"

"Then he does, you can't not take a photo."

So with Bryan's support I walked into our sons room, camera in hand, and got a few shots without even disturbing him or putting the light on. I've always been a little sad since Roman was a baby that I can't get these sleepy face photos, with him being such a light sleeper, he would always wake up at the slightest of sounds. Lately it's been all change for Roman's sleeping habits; we've been able to enjoy sneaking into his room at night or during a nap and catch our own little snore show :). 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Daddy Day.


Today I struggled to keep my eyes opened and my stomach wouldn't stop churning - I felt averse to food and felt like I couldn't face the Stirling crowds. I really wanted to go along with Bryan and Roman today as 1. it was Bryan's day off and 2. I'd been telling myself all week I'd go and buy a few stocking fillers. However it was clear I was only fit for travelling back and forth from the living room to the toilet so I had to stay at home.

On their travels they went to Santa's Grotto, something I wanted to comment on. We don't 'do' Santa in this home; our presents are to each other, I don't use a fat jolly guy for leverage for good behaviour but Roman is crazy about the idea of Santa. I suppose it's like Disney; you watch the films, you believe the magic of it but you know the difference between Disney and reality. And it's 'okay' to visit Disney World. Either way...that's how I approach Santa. I don't indulge the idea but nor do I thwart it away if Roman gets joy from the idea of Santa - albeit a different idea than most children have/grow up with.

He was quite overjoyed with his wooden ducks and then they broke within minutes. Still, he wanted to play with them and kept asking me for glue so he could fix them ;). Also you may notice the pile of 'folded' clothes beside the ducks - all Roman's work.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Funny Faces.

Funny Faces

In contrast to yesterday's photo I present to you this funny little face :). Because our bathroom light remains to be fixed (we've been busy, I've been too short and too sick to fix it myself) Roman has a bath in the mornings, instead of at night. Right after his bath he begged for his dressing gown, several cereal bars and then to 'cheese' (bringing me my camera so he could pose for me) for me. My funny little boy ;).

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Bright smiles

Today Bryan came home from college saying he was sick and needed to lie down. When Roman woke up from his nap (very late) we descended upon Bryan, not realising he was very ill and it wasn't just a sniffle. Roman wanted to constantly pose with his hands under his chin, propped up on Bryan's knees loudly shouting to me; "LOVE YOU MAMA!" it was very sweet but I think not at all appreciated by Bryan who was having his stomach palpitated by toddler legs. 

"Roman," I said to him gently. "That hurts dad when you do that."

"But want to do 'love you mama'," he told me, with the saddest eyes. He quickly broke down in tears and asked me to pick him up to give him cuddles. And that's the change of this year; more affection for me, I'm the one he wants when he hurts himself or when he's upset, more time is spent with this boy in my arms and more time is spent vocally expressing how we feel about one another. Sorry Bryan that you get kicked in the stomach into the bargain.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

His Bed, His Space.

On his bed

I love that Roman has a bed. And I think he feels the same.

After the missionaries and Bryan had left - leaving me and Ro with full bellies and a kitchen sink full of mess ;) - it was time to play with my two year old. He bounced on the bed, pretending to nurse his soft toys and then he settled down on his front like this to read his nursery rhyme book to me.

"OH! CAT! Oh, hello," he said, following his own plot and not looking once for my approval, very lost in his own world. I love his company, the time we spend together and I can't believe how difficult the first few months of his life were for me - adjusting, early morning bed times for us both, pain, pain, pain and tiredness beyond anything I've ever felt but knowing I had to function as someone's mother in a few hours. I can barely believe we moved into this home when he was seventeen months old; still at the breast, all of his teeth not yet in his mouth and footsteps still to walk. What happened to time? Where the heck did it go? 

Monday, 17 December 2012



The living room was turned upside down all weekend as we'd been sorting through papers and junk on Saturday (plus cleaning mould, but that's a different story) and today was the first day that Roman could roam free. I think this made him a little bit crazy as he pulled off his socks and told me, very proudly; "THESE MA GLOVES!"

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Off To Church We Go!

Merry Christmas

Today I was extremely ill, more than usual, and feeling incredibly sorry for myself as a result. We'd had a busy Saturday and so it was a slow, painful Sunday today where Bryan and Roman got in from church and slept until 5.30pm. When they woke up I began to suddenly feel better, though very shaky on my legs. We called a taxi and made it to church for the Carol service - I ignored how ill I was feeling which is always a bad move. 

Before we left I took this picture of Roman in his Christmas jumper, which he adores and didn't want to take off. He got plenty of compliments!

Saturday, 15 December 2012



Lately I've been feeling beyond exhausted because my sleeping pattern has been off so on a Saturday I don't often make it out the door at a reasonable time - or with these two. This year Roman has been spending less of his Saturday's with Bryan's parents which has been wonderful, in a good way. Yes we spend every day together but it's not usually the family, the three of us, together and it's a great when we can take off somewhere without worrying about getting back for grandparents or to collect Roman on time and as much as I liked getting those precious few hours to myself, or with Bryan, I really like having Roman around. Maybe that makes me 'weird', that I had my child to actually spend time with him, but if it does I'm happy with that :).

So like we did last year today we went to see the reindeer's. We (I) left it quite late so we caught the end of the reindeer display which meant that it wasn't too crowded and Roman got a front seat view of the reindeer. This time last year he enjoyed it but this year he was definitely more aware of the reindeer :). 

Friday, 14 December 2012

Life. Long Hair. Crisps For Dinner.


At the start of this year I was determined to be a healthier person and I think I've come close to getting there when I think of the opposition this year has also thrown at me. I've battled with countless inner wars about the way I look, the way I speak, things I do (or do not do) and just generally fitting into too many moulds that made me unhappy. 

So what does 'healthier' mean, exactly? Does it mean allowing your child to eat prawn cocktail crisps as part of a meal? Um well sometimes it happens. I think healthier means 'letting go.' Letting go of ideas of what perfect means and letting go of bad thoughts, habits and patterns of thinking. This includes being negative about my body around my child. I'm selective about the kind of language I use around him. He's a child, he doesn't see 'ugly', he doesn't see 'tired', he doesn't see 'fat thighs, bum, hips...' and so on. He only sees what we teach him to see right now. 

There are particular sore points of my body I'm sensitive on but since having my child I've lost (and am losing) my hang ups. Why? Because his future is more important than my present choices - if I think one part of me is bigger than it should be, why wouldn't I do something about it? Yes I'm still sensitive to remarks and comments that revolve around my body, any woman's body, because the way the world is set up to view women's bodies is ridiculous and I don't want a part in being a negative voice to back all of this nonsense up...but I'm less hung up on it. The comments don't hurt so much because I see they are mostly untrue, unfounded, unwelcome and quite frankly; so what? If I'm happy with the progress I've made and I'm making, that's all that matters.

With all of this in mind I asked Bryan to take our photo - a photo to cherish and remember, a photo that will be printed and put into a photo book of memories and no doubt viewed by a lot of people. A photo that I hope, in time, will be one I look fondly back on and treasure for the time we spent together, for the love we felt for each other and for the two people in the photo who don't judge each one another on how they look. A photo, the first of many I hope, that I didn't judge myself on.

Thursday, 13 December 2012



Me to Roman: "Don't bite yourself, it makes me very upset."
Roman to me: "I'm a dino-sawr (dinosaur)!"

There is one thing this boy loves and that's seeing his moving form stare back at him through our iPad (we're not rich kids, Bryan won it in a competition.) He transforms into this wild thing; biting himself, making up his own random words and laughing his head off. He's also taken to biting himself and laughing his head off - it's a strange one that I try to discourage but what can you do when the toddler is convinced he has prehistoric powers?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

New Table.

New Table

For a while now I've been desperate to get this little boy a table of his own; to eat, to play, to draw, create and generally have for all kinds of purposes. However lack of having a car and energy have got in the way of that - yes ordering from Ikea, even with delivery, is a decent price but I just never found I could be bothered to getting round to it. Then there was this marvellous little table that was up for grabs from a good friend of mine. 

As soon as we put it down in the living room Roman was all over it. With this new bed and now the table all in the same week I can't help but think this was the year that Roman moved away from all things baby and moved into true boyhood.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A Bed.

puppet (1 of 1)-95

When it came to getting his bed I honestly believed he'd be 'okay' for one at about 18 months but every time I would pray about it I felt like it wasn't a good time, or that we needed to get through other phases first before introducing such a huge change. When he turned 2 I kept thinking 'we should get him a bed' but again the cot stayed. He was happy to stay in the cot, we were happy to have him in it. A few months ago me and Bryan were talking about Christmas and we decided that if we were getting any money at Christmas that we'd save it up and buy Roman a bed - a really nice, sturdy bed with a 'good' mattress.

Well a few weeks later Bryan got a call from a friend asking if he'd like to buy a hardly used bed from him at a very decent price. When the bed arrived I was surprised with how new it really looked and how sturdy it was. We just had to buy a mattress. When I visited my sister I told them all about Roman's new bed and my aunt offered to buy the mattress for Roman's Christmas. Brilliant. I was very happy she bought him a really great mattress that arrived today - I set it up myself and Roman bounced all over his new bed. He's pleased with it and so are we. And I'm also beyond glad we waited until now to do this because there is no strangeness around this for him; he was outgrowing the cot and couldn't properly stretch out so I think he's happy to finally have his own comfortable sleeping spot.

Monday, 10 December 2012

He Can Cook.

Chef Ro

Roman loves the TV show 'I Can Cook' because it speaks to his inner chef/cook. Every time it comes on he runs to his toy kitchen and serves me up some delicious treat that I must pretend to greedily devour before his eyes.

On top of this he loves to slot in his real food into the toy oven, waiting a few seconds for it to 'cook.' "PING," he'll say then run over to his oven. "Oh, it's cooked!" 

Sunday, 9 December 2012


puppet (1 of 1)-89

Today: home from church, straight into bed, nap until 5.30pm (wow!) and then up for dinner and to watch Brave for the first time. Three cheers of approval on that film and for the first time ever Roman sat and watched a whole film from start to finish.

Saturday, 8 December 2012


puppet (1 of 1)-94

Roman and his 'kettabell' (kettlebell.) I had spent the day in bed, sick as usual, when I handed over my camera to Bryan and asked him to get a picture of Roman and this is the result of that ;).

Friday, 7 December 2012

Blue Cup.


I'm hoping this 'tub shot' is tasteful enough to share as a memory - I'm really wary of trampling all over Roman's privacy as both the child he is now and the adult he'll become. It's a fine line I walk more and more every day as he grows. 

His life is full of independence; he likes to soap up his own hair and occasionally dumps water on it to. He dresses himself all the time, picks his clothes, puts together some really classy outfits and generally is leaps and bounds ahead of being more in control of his own life. I love him, I love watching this little person form and develop. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

This Is How We Do It.



These days you don't fight to get out of the buggy, you don't mind me wrapping you like I do (above) to keep the cold from nipping your legs. 

There is one trait that I have that I hope you do/don't inherit and that is my ability to protect myself, or what's more commonly been referred to as my 'self defensiveness.' I hope you inherit this because while I like to jump to the defence of others (sometimes more than jumping to my own defence) I also like to defend the things that matter to me. I like to be understood, I like to clarify my point but I'm also learning; most people don't care and just enjoy judging you. Let it go and move on from their words.

These days I have imaginary conversations in my head or dream up scenarios where people in my life ask me questions about my day to day routine, about how I 'cope' with being ill and having a child - I assume no one is thinking this but I work through a variety of questions in my head should anyone wonder.

So, I thought you might like a record of this, so we can both look back and laugh in 20 years time or whatever ;). 

The one thing that sits heavily on my mind is the above. I don't talk about illness a lot because I'm scared of judgement; which is strange because whenever the judgement comes I just think 'that's a shame this person is so switched off to learning more about this illness' or 'you don't know what you're talking about and if you did, perhaps you wouldn't be so quick to judge this.' I worry that the mothers who have or had loads of children (to me that's 2+ children) judge me and think things like I can't 'cope' with my 'one child.' That I somehow must have things easy and I'm just being weak. I don't know if anyone thinks that but I'm sure someone has to, right? 

Then there are other sick people, people with M.E who try to talk to me, who I feel deserve to be understood and taken seriously yet I don't extend the same to myself. I panic that they think I'm 'not really ill' and this is another reason not to talk about illness. I do housework (minimal, but still, I'm doing it), I look after a child all day; cooking his food, cleaning his messes, trying my best to get him to use a potty, stay in bed, eat his greens and brush his teeth. All in all I feel like I 'do more' than the average M.E person but this 'doing more' often leads to not being able to attend church meetings and services, having absolutely no social life of my own, having zero friends, barely seeing family as well as taking the judgements that come with not attending church meetings and services - and the repercussions it has on my life even though both God and I know and see the good I'm doing in my own life and really, that's all that matters to me. 

In my heart and mind I'm just as worthy as anyone else who attends all their church services and meetings and is a worthy temple recommend holder, in a church sense I'm also at that point, just as worthy as anyone, doing all I can and going above and beyond when I can. Yet from time to time I feel judged because I am simply not at church, my body isn't there, my behind filling a seat, my voice not being heard in a room where a discussion on the gospel takes place yet in my home, in my mind, in my heart - and with God's approval - I am just like someone who is there for righteous reasons.  And deep down that's all the 'approval' or permission I need. No one is better than me because they are simply at church. I'm learning that it's inside your heart, what your deepest spiritual goals, desires and then acting on them and living what you believe (whether that's religion or non-religion) are the things that count in life.

This year has been all about: adjusting to being without so much help and it's been hard, but it's also been rewarding. Women are strong and so capable and I've felt that so much over the past few years of motherhood. My patience has new levels, my understanding has grown and I feel stretched to lengths I honestly didn't think possible. I'm working on myself now more than I ever have. We're doing well, but we're just exhausted and sick at this time of year. I'm doing well, I'm just exhausted and sick of judgement. I don't want my child to live in this world as it is now and I'm hoping to be the change I wish to see; one day a time I will judge people less and less.

A little side note:

I'm glad that I'm stretching myself, I'm glad this way of life works for me and I'm glad that I self-question myself so much; it gives me an opportunity to appreciate that motherhood is the making of me, that this is my best and I can finally see that and appreciate it for what it is. I finally know, really know, what I want from my life and that's my son, my faith, my relationship and my family.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dad Love.

Dad and boy.

Wednesdays are my favourite days of our week. Bryan is around in the evening and while he's here on Monday and Friday evenings, too, sometimes Friday or Monday feel really far away when you hit the mid-week point. Well lately we've both been feeling very run down, sick and tired so this Wednesday evening was a moment to just be together - and yes a moment shared with that favourite jacket of yours.

You literally hero worship your dad, it's sweet. When he comes in the door you run to him, a never ending stream of tales about your busy day following behind you. Over this past year the relationship has changed. In the morning you'll sometimes ask for dad or cry tears/scream about being 'left behind' but the majority of the time you're okay with the arrangement of him leaving without you. You've come to grow in emotional ways I didn't think possible; you'll tell us to stop shouting, to give you kisses better and generally I feel awed at the little man you're becoming but then I see this photo and I'm reminded of where you learn these lessons; in this home, with us as your parents and I just hope we get it more right than wrong ;).

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

At the End of the Day.

Love him

Today this is the only photo I managed to get of Roman. I'm drawing a close on my 366 Project and these days I'm getting close to the end of our days and remembering I haven't taken my photo for the day. 

I'm also finding that we're increasingly indoors these days due to the weather and darkness - dark by 4pm, anyone? Such is life in Scotland. Amongst the gloom of the night and the cold of the frost I found a warm spot in my heart for this little boy. In amongst his cheeky antics of bouncing on my bed and trying to rid me of my moisturising cream I did what I always do; laughed and just loved him. 

It's also startling to me how much he's grown (just over 3ft now!) but that his little face still stays rounded; so much like the little face that was staring back at me this time last year, yet he's grown and stretched out in every way possible.

Monday, 3 December 2012


Dis is mah snow

Last night it started to snow.

My heart filled with both dread and excitement; dread because I had no idea how I'd get the buggy out in snow and excitement because it's snow! It's fun! And the last time we had snow Roman was a 10 month old baby.

"SNOWMAN!" he said immediately once I told him about the snow. "The snowman has a carrot nose!" 

After his morning bath he was very excited to get outside, so excited that he skipped breakfast, got dressed and begged to go outside. I wrapped Bryan's scarf around Roman for extra warmth and we headed out. At first he was very wary of all the snow, looking at me, he said, "Mum, come out! Come over!" I joined him and together we attempted to make a snowman.

"Once there was a snowman, snowman, tall, tall, tall! Sun he melted, melted, melted, small, small, small!" Roman began to sing as I told him about me making a snowman with the very powdery snow. Well there just wasn't enough snow to make a snowman, not even a mini one, and as I said the snow was too powdery. I was worried Roman would become frustrated by this so I got him to roll our little snow ball and he understood the problem. "Want reindeer chocolate!" he told me, running for the open door, straight into the living room and making a beeline for our advent calendar.

Sunday, 2 December 2012



Every year since I can remember Roman goes into 'hibernation' mode. 

Our first winter as newly weds was spent under many blankets and always dressed up; we didn't put our heating on and it was only when guests appeared that we'd switch it on. It was amazing because our heating and electricity bills would come out ridiculously low - one month it was 58p for electricity! But that soon changed when Roman was born in the February and we had to heat our place for a newborn. 

The winter of 2010 I got into the habit of layering Ro up in his cot, putting several blankets over him in bed that he could easily kick off (and he was old enough to kick them off) and I've always believed this has led to him having a lie in. Of course that first winter with him, in 2010, was paved with early wakenings and sometimes I'd be entertaining him until 4-5am but there was also a chunk of time where he would sleep through to 9-10am.

Then last year. There was one day where he woke at noon, after going to bed at 7pm! It was truly wonderful and so refreshing. Lately he's taken to this again; going to bed at 7pm and waking between 11am-12pm. As my sleeping pattern is all messed up it's truly wonderful but there is one downside and that is that I feel the days slipping away in a fuzzy mess...albeit it a rested fuzzy mess ;). 

This afternoon, after church and a very extended nap, he was still tired and kept asking to go to bed and be with Aleksandr. In this photo he was asking me over and over to go to bed. Oh my sleepy, tired little boy. 

Saturday, 1 December 2012


Advent calendar

It's December 1st!

This means in 24 sleeps it will be Christmas and I honestly believe I'm more excited about this than Roman is. Though I will say he was pretty excited with the idea of chocolate coming out behind a magic door ;). This is the first year we've done an advent calendar because I didn't want to over do chocolate at a time of year where sugar laden stuff is rife. And it's also been difficult to find a dairy free version that was a decent price.

Instead of buying an over priced one I decided to 'veganise' this Peppa Pig calendar for Roman. Perhaps next year I will finally get round to making a felt version full of different treats - and not all that are sugary or edible - but this year I decided Roman would have a calendar and that we'd treat ourselves to one, too (that I managed to get at Holland and Barret.) 

We opened ours at midnight and Roman opened his this morning :). He was very excited to do this and it made me smile from ear to ear. I'm so glad I get to share in his childhood joy and I really hope this year that he can store some good Christmas memories - not all just about material things but about what the 'spirit' of Christmas is really about.

Friday, 30 November 2012

O Christmas Tree.


When I asked Ro to pose in front of the tree that we'd spent time decorating and debating on which part of the room it would look best from. Our Christmas tree is one for ants, it's small and it's seen better days but it's part of our traditions and so it stays. 

Every year I've managed to get a picture like this - all three Christmases that I've shared with Roman - but of course none quite like this. I asked him to get into the frame, he obliged but not before removing the top he had on and putting on his rather smart suit jacket.

And for records sake here are the past two Christmases in front of the tree:

Tree (1st xmas)

(This was taken on the run-up to Roman's first Christmas which was by all accounts very tame as Christmases go.)

 Tree (2nd xmas)
Last Christmas (2011.) This picture was actually taken on Christmas Day - the top he's wearing here, and that has been heavily featured throughout my 366 Project this year, was a Christmas present from gran and papa.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

This Is Joy.


Recently I've found myself slowing down on taking photos, on knowing my camera inside out and just enjoying life as it comes. This is extremely painful to do when your whole life has been spent perfecting everything you do. However these days it takes too much time and energy to keep that going and most of the time it's not worth it.

One day, in the future, I hope to have a freshly made bed that a toddler doesn't climb into or bounce all over but until that day comes I'm going to enjoy the simple pleasures, the little joys he finds in bouncing on the bed and the disbelief that I just let him do it ;). Sometimes it's just about letting go and having fun; his and mine.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Books and Pee Pee.

Toilet woes.

Using the toilet is a funny life skill. I feel like the whole world and their toddler has grasped this concept meanwhile we're struggling forward with it. Some days he'll run to his room, put on a pair of pants and then happily pee independently without me helping him in any way - this includes him pulling his pants on and off, getting to the potty and then standing up to use it. Then there are days like today.

Today he wanted nothing to do with the toilet or the potty but would loudly proclaim in the middle of us doing something (playing, putting away clothes and the like - always doing it together and nothing heavy so that we could drop everything and run to the bathroom if need be) that he needed to use the toilet for a pee pee. "Quick!" he'd tell me. "I need use toilet, I need to pee pee toilet!" so we'd run through to the bathroom and as soon as he began to climb the red stool he'd tell me he didn't need. Then he'd use the toilet, so long as he had a book, so I collected Peepo from his bedroom and he still didn't want to use the toilet. 

When he wanted to take his book through to another room I told him it was just for the toilet, just for when he needed a pee. Heeding my rules he set it up on the stool, in the bathroom, and read from it there ;).

I keep telling myself through every wet pair of trousers and the many wet pairs of pants that I've washed that we'll 'get there' with the toilet usage...but sometimes I want to cry at how hard this whole thing is in comparison to everything else he's learned. I sometimes think to myself 'tomorrow will be different' and it gets worse or sometimes it's easier but it's never consistent. I don't use shame, fear, anger or discipline when it comes to toilet using and this makes it easier for me and for him, I'm sure of that. If he wets himself I simply say 'let's take you out of these wet clothes!' and once he's stripped? He runs to his room, for another pair of underpants. He's eager, he's showing that he's 'ready' according to all of the books but sometimes it's so much over whelming hard work that I want to hit fast forward three years and pass this phase. I know we'll 'get there' but the space in between now and getting there is tough and oh so draining. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012



My comment to Bryan on this photo: "It's nice, but I can't edit the brightness in it so I don't think I'll share it." He then encouraged me to share as is and I looked at him like he didn't know me at all - you know the perfectionist crazy person that I am and then I thought to myself; shut up, listen to your husband and share it. 

I'm glad I'm sharing it. It's one of the nicest moments I've witnessed in my life. Roman is at this great (but sometimes terrible) age where he has these moments of pure love for us both. Kisses, cuddles and sweet muffled 'I wuv ooo's' are shared from time to time, sometimes randomly and always well received. And so I'd like to document these moments, these times where it seems the world is on pause and he reaches in for a kiss or a cuddle. I'd also like to share it for Roman's sake, for the times in the future where he feels unloved or unwanted. You are very much loved, very much wanted and very much thought about. If you ever doubt the love your dad has for you; it's right here for you to see in this moment and this photograph. Don't forget it.

Monday, 26 November 2012


This is my table...

While we're out shopping Roman is very considerate of the things around him; he takes things off the shelves with great care (unless I'm not looking for 5 seconds!) and when I tell him to 'put it back to bed' aka back on the shelf he'll do so happily and with great concentration. He loves to be free of the buggy straps and I've noticed there has been a huge shift from this time last year to the present day. One of those tidal changes has been the use of the buggy...basically Roman is escaping out of it more than ever and also getting back into it without any upset (versus last year when once he was free there was a massive frustration and upset about why he had to climb back in once he was out.) 

The buggy is one parenting 'thing' I have no clue about. I have no memories of when I stopped using a buggy as a child, nor can I really use parents around me as a bench mark as none of the parents I know are car-free! I think car-free families go longer with their buggies, but again; I have no idea. By the same token any children I have worked with have been of a clear buggy age (2 or under) or of a school age, way past the buggy I have no idea when we should stop using our buggy. My answer, in my head, goes like this: Never, let's never stop using it and I'm reminded that I sound like I'm growing dependent on it ;)...but I don't care. Viva la buggy. Or at least until he's 4. 2013 will not be the year of being buggy and car free - the two seem incompatible at this stage.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hats On.


These pair have a set of (almost) matching hats. Roman's hat is far snazzier, of course, because he's two and that's allowed ;). We were almost out of the door tonight, to go to a church class, when I snapped a few photos for my 366 Project...oh the times I almost forget to take a photo! I'm so glad I got this snap shot of time - where Roman is this small and Bryan towers over him. I'm so sure that give or take a few years down the line that Roman will definitely catch up with Bryan on the height ;).

Saturday, 24 November 2012


Playing 'photographers' with me ;).

Saturday is a special day. It's the day I get to sleep in a lot and be on my own a lot, too. I love Roman, don't get me wrong, but I need time to think my own thoughts as well. I don't have my side of the family close by, I don't have someone I can go to and ask for quick advice and I don't really have any friends here. It's hard when you spend a majority of your week with a two year old who wakes early and protests to a lot of the things you want to do (you know like use the toilet and how dare I take a shower without consulting him first.)

I'm by no means complaining - I chose this life, I agreed to live where I do, I chose to have a child and well he's actually really brilliant but it's still hard. I miss life when it was easier to do things but I can't imagine a Saturday morning without little elbows jagging into the most tender parts of my body (okay...maybe I can and maybe it was wonderful) or a little boy who is so keen and eager to learn everything he sees. A little boy who loves to play a game of photographers with me ;). 

If I had chosen never to have children I wouldn't know the extreme loneliness that comes with parenting at times but I also wouldn't have known the exquisite joy and cuteness that makes up the other bits of the parenting equation. I wouldn't have known Roman, I wouldn't have known what he's capable of doing and making me feel not just as a parent, but towards others and myself.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Toddler Munchies.

Vegan food for Ro.

I can't help but find a sweet satisfaction from children who enjoy their food. Roman has never, ever been 'fussy' about what he eats. He has his likes and dislikes but it's rare when he won't eat at all. 

Today we were out of bread so I thought I'd try spreading peanut butter on to rice cakes...well they didn't go down well. He took one bite, declared them 'ew' and didn't have anything to do with them at all after that. It's funny because he likes peanut butter and rice cakes, but obviously not together ;). My contrary little man.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

For The Bath: Nuby Splish Splash Stacking Cups.


I recently became an official Nuby UK Blogger. If you're wondering what that means here goes: I'm a mum of a two year old boy who is full of adventure, spirit and is a pretty good product tester to boot so Nuby send us out a few products, we try them, fall in love with them or don't and then I'll blog about our experience with the product. I'll always be honest about products as well as listing off pros and cons.

So the first thing I thought I'd write about was the Splish Splash Stacking Cups as Roman loves bath toys - and if you can find me a child that doesn't I'll hand you a cookie or something. I thought I'd pull up a description about this item from the Nuby UK website to explain the details I might miss:

The Nuby Splish Splash bathtime stacking cups teach coordination and development.

5 stacking bath cups are a bathtime classic and provide endless fun.

Your baby (or in my case, toddler) can stack them together, put things inside, and watch the water drain from the bottom of the cup.

In a line.
All in a line (3 of the cups pictured, the other 2 were in the bath): Roman loves to line up his cups.

The cups come in a pack of 5 in an assortment of colours, sizes and patterns. They also have little shapes on the bottom of each cup which is a lovely addition and I have to say Roman has had fun telling me all about the triangles, star, flower and squares at the bottom of his cup ;). He's also enjoyed no end the fact that you can drain water out of the cups and enjoys dumping water onto his head via his cups - I know it's a Nuby Christmas miracle as we've had a somewhat turbulent relationship to water being dumped on his head for some months now.

Green cup.

My perspective on the cups: I think they're brilliant. I really couldn't fault them...except for one thing: the packaging! My aunt has been a nanny for over 20 years and couldn't open the packaging they came in which is frustrating if you don't have a pair of scissors handy. It's also good because it means little people can't easily open the packaging which reminds me of a really embarrassing moment I had in Tesco where Roman managed to get something out of it's packaging in the toy section - and I can safely say you wouldn't have that embarrassment with Nuby products! Ha.

Once they were out there was no stopping Roman. I'm very pleased with these cups; they're built to last seeing as they're made from a very robust BPA free plastic and in our home that's a deal breaker as a toddler has meant things being chucked around an awful lot ;).  

They come in wonderful bright colours, which I adore. Roman is at an age where he tells me everything in detail and he's loved telling me all about the shapes and colours on his cups at bath time. 

So what are the pros and cons? Um well I have to say there aren't any cons apart from the packaging. I can't find fault with the cups design - they are built to last and with parents of toddlers (and heavy handed babies!) in mind and I really, really love the colours of the cups; they are gender neutral, easy on the eye and make bath time very fun. 

Nuby Splish Splash Stacking Cups.

Price: I was surprised to find out these cups were priced at £4.99 for a pack of 5 as I honestly thought they'd retail at a higher price. If you're like me and you know bath toys inside out you'll know they don't come cheap at all and while £4.99 doesn't place these cups on the 'cheap' market they certainly aren't on the 'out of reach' market, either. They'd make a great addition to a little one's stocking at Christmas time or for any little winter babies celebrating birthdays in the next few months :).

Who this toy is suitable for: On the Nuby UK website it states the cups are suitable from 9 months + and I would say that's about right. Roman didn't really get interested in bath toys until he was about 10 months and before he got to that stage we stuck to the odd duck or bath book but now that he know shapes, colours and is getting a little bit water averse these toys are fantastic - they make a great talking point at bath time as we go through the shapes and colours on the cups and hair washing isn't a complete nightmare for me any more - woohoo!

It's actually a really great time to invest in some Nuby gear as they have a few money off sales on at the moment, plus free delivery on orders for this week only - perfect if you're Christmas shopping on-line like I am ;)! Nuby have also added a 'store' feature to their Facebook page which means you don't even have to go off Facebook to buy things - and if you're a self confessed Facebook addict like me this is a win/win scenario ;).

Learning At Home.

Roman train

Maybe it's a little twee of me to say so (even though I've thought this one thoroughly through) but we decided a very long time ago that we'd home school our children. I can still remember questioning Bryan on this, to gauge his response first.

Me to Bryan: "What do you think of home schooling?"

Bryan: "I knew someone who was home schooled and they were a bit strange. If you were going to do it, you'd need to socialise A LOT."

Since then we've discovered a lot more about learning at home/home schooling. We've discovered children who are currently being home schooled, adults who were home schooled and parents who home school/ed. I've also discovered I don't want to do anything other than that, where it's possible. But sometimes I wonder if it's really what I want to sign up for, you know? It's a huge responsibility and while I have the education, intelligence, experience and common sense to back up my choice the responsibility of home schooling my child terrifies me from time to time.

Choo choo

If we were doing what a majority of people do in this area then Roman would be enrolled in nursery right now. I'm not confident of the nurseries in this area so he hasn't been enrolled. It's not mandatory and it's not even expected, it's just what people 'do.' I myself wasn't nursery educated, I went straight to school from home and I feel no negativity from that experience whatsoever. I know I'm me and that I can't simply justify my choices for Roman through my own life experiences but I'd rather have him here, playing and learning, than send him to a nursery with a sub-standard record. I've had various work experiences from nurseries and I can say one thing: what they do at home is no different to what they do in nursery - or rather the tasks I did with the nursery children is really no different to the activities I'm doing with Ro. The only difference seems to be numbers; more children, more adults, more social interaction. Not all of that is good or positive interaction but who wants their child to grow up in a bubble, right?

Well I spend a great deal of time researching various groups we can attend that will provide that social stimulus for Roman and now he's at an age where he can form friendships and have other children around for play times I feel it's important to be out there, making connections socially - for both of us.  

R + R

Today, however, was spent learning various letters and more specifically; the spelling of Roman's name. I tried in vain to get him to copy my r's (I even did a join-the-dots 'r' for him) but he wasn't interested and instead scribbled all over my writing ;). He had a lot more fun - and less frustrations - with the name train my mum bought him when he was a few months old. 

"Arrr," I'd say to him. "Arrrr!" he'd repeat back and so on until I could point at an individual letter and he'd tell me what it was. "And what does that spell?" I'd ask once he'd completed telling me each letter. "ROMAN! ATT'S MA NAME!" he squealed in delight then picked up the 'a' and told me, very happily, "Att's a 'eh'!" Now I know...some kids learn their alphabets before they hit 2 but Roman's strong points seem to be in numbers. He loves telling me the volume of things and he loves to count. We go through numbers every single day and I'm finding that it's improving my cloudy brain - numbers? Not my favourite. I deal better with words.  

Roman loves books, he loves learning about dinosaurs, meerkats, panda bears, he loves visual lessons where he can be very involved and included and he loves to help in everything we do. Today I realised I can let go of my huge fear of educating my child from our home because although it won't be easy and I'm sure I'll get stuff wrong I'm really looking forward to learning, changing and growing by his side. I'm excited.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Day He Wore This To Bed..

Wrong Way Round.

Roman has been frequently dressing himself with great success. But sometimes he'll make these clothes faux pas ;).

Also he's really loving 'Cars' (as in the Disney film) a lot right now. He's only watched the second film once but ever since then he's been hooked on Lighting McQueen - just like my little (or not so little any more) nephew who lives in the States. 


As a side note: I've been indulging him in this one, even though these pictured above PJs are old and from last year, but I don't plan on buying into the Disney franchise if I can help it. Not for any reason other than they over price their low quality items and I'd rather spend my money on something better for Roman but he's had his eye on this Lighting McQueen cushion and I'm not sure whether or not to buy it for a Christmas/birthday present.

I know Disney loving is a phase for a majority of children and for me that's totally fine but I've noticed that I can spend the amount I would on Disney items for something that will 1. look better and 2. wear well with time. These above PJs haven't really lasted well when I compare them with other PJs he's had for the same time and a lot of the Disney toys look cheap and tacky to me - or is that the point? I don't know these days!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Red Stool.

Stool Friend.

Sometimes Roman does (or says) the most funniest things. A lot of the time I really want to write down all the funny stuff he says but then I forget about it, or it's not entirely appropriate to share but all of it makes my sides split, honestly.

And when he does silly little things like I've got pictured above I can't help but think to myself, he really is my child. He loves his stool, it's another means of independence for him, and he drags it from room to room for various purposes. Today it was climbing onto the couch and then as a foot rest. I love this little boy and long may he entertain me!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Little Chef.


For a little while now Roman has been asking/begging me to bake 'Peppa Pig' (cakes) with him. Every time we go shopping he'll try to put a cake mix into the basket so today I finally decided enough was enough and we should get our bake on.

Well it was fun this time when most of the time in the past it's been a stress fest - usually he'd want to eat everything edible on sight. This meant trying to keep utensils covered in cake batter away from his mouth as he was mixing up the batter and because me and Bryan have huge germaphobia this is a must - plus it's not good to teach your child these horrible habits never mind my germ aversion. 

This time, however, he's shown me yet again how much he's grown over these past few months, weeks even. He's maturing, his hand to eye co-ordination is improving, his grip is fantastic and following instructions? He is wonderful at that. I'll ask him to take something to the bin and immediately he's on the case, I'll show him how to mix something up and he'll do it exactly the way I showed him...and he's frequently in our fridge retrieving and then putting back whatever we need to make cakes, breakfast, lunch and so on. Tonight I asked him to get the, 'icing stuff, with the red lid' and he knew exactly what I was talking about - I'm guessing because I mentioned red in my instructions - but sometimes I feel like I'm living with a 5 year old instead of this 2 year old who stands before me, mixing up cakes and soaking in everything that goes on around him.

I'm so full of thanks for him, for every day we have, for the little things and for the things he learns. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012



I really have no idea what goes on inside his head at times ;). Today was a sleepy day, like most Sundays are around here, and so me and Bryan mostly just sat back and watched Roman from the comfort of our couch. We laughed ourselves silly when he began to fill up his toy cup with water and then spooned it out, declaring it was 'mec-ci-cine' (medicine) and that it was 'yummy.' 

Saturday, 17 November 2012



Trying very hard not to do what we're asking of him and fresh from a bath. I love this boy so, so much.

Friday, 16 November 2012



Welcome to 2012: where we think technology can't go anywhere else but here. Where father and son are engrossed in a game of Star Wars Angry Birds on the tablet - a bewitching device that holds her audience captive and suspends the male of the species in a strange state; unable to hear the female of the species telling them it's bedtime ;).

Thursday, 15 November 2012

New Pyjamas.


The effects of staying up late and adventuring took their toll on Ro today. He woke up later than usual and had a very, very long nap that I was very, very grateful of as I was so tired my eyes kept slipping closed. When he woke we went to the shops, where we bought these new pyjamas. You see something strange has been happening over these past few weeks...this toddler boy is stretching, growing and changing. And also; picking his nose a lot.

But nose picking aside, he's growing. He's growing a lot. In ways I haven't witnessed since babyhood, in fact, and a lot of his cute little toddler outfits are having to be tucked away into piles of 'keep this someday for a future, hypothetical, non-existent sibling' and 'charity.' I'm not complaining of course, I'm quite happy to clothes shop for my little man and he oddly enough enjoys it, too; along with posing in new clothes, trying them on, selecting the things he wants and putting the outfits together.

"Go over there and we'll get a picture of you," I told him and he was quite happy to oblige.  Little did he know that he'd be forever immortalised picking his nose in his new pyjamas ;).