Saturday, 31 March 2012

Growth Spurt.

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After a day filled with playing in sand, keeping up with cousins and stuffing his face full of food I decided to have a nice wind down with Roman in the garden - basically letting him loose out there to work off any extra energy he'd have kicking around.

I also really wanted to spend time with him; stealing cuddles and kisses where I could and making my observations. And, as you can well see, he's really stretching into a tall boy.

I can't quite remember what caught his interest here - probably me randomly shouting 'CAT!' at him from behind the camera just so he'd look my way and stand still for five minutes ;).

Friday, 30 March 2012

Cheese.

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Today was a day of cheese.

I got a new camera (and wrote about that here) and so did Roman, in the form of my 'old' camera, which he absolutely adores. He'll pick it up, look through the viewfinder, shout 'CHEESE!' (not sure where he learned that as I never used to say it) and take my picture.

I'm excited to learn from my new camera - and to expand my photography knowledge even further. Most of all? I'm so looking forward to the pictures (and videos!) I'm going to shoot throughout the year.

Photography - Canon 60D

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After a lot of greif with HM Revenue and Customs (which included an unexpected Import VAT bill) the camera is finally here.

It's here. It's queer. And I need to get used to it. 

I hope to do many updates on this little baby because goodness knows it took a lot to get her to me.

Lens: 35mm.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

What's Dis?

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He's never seen cress up close and personal like this so he was very interested in inspecting this alien green plant ;).

Roman is fantastic at helping; shopping arrives? He's on the case. Handing me every single item he can get his chubby fingers round and even attempting to lift the items he can't quite grab or pick up. He watches everything I do.

Yesterday I posted a picture of him attempting to wear my bra on my Facebook page here and as I uploaded the photo and the comments came flooding in I wondered to myself, "when has he ever seen me putting on a bra?" and it dawned on me; all the time!

While I'm not a naturalist who loves to exhibit their naked flesh or flash my knickers at my guests, I'm not going to be a prude around my two year old. There will of course be a natural age where I will find it inappropriate to be naked or dress in front of him but for now I'm comfortable with things as they are.

As for Roman? He is ultra observant. He follows our examples and imitates our behaviours and with that I'm really trying to be the force for good.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Changing Faces.

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These are the few faces of Roman ;).

With each time the shutter was released, I got a different pose. This reminds me of a scene I once saw on 'America's Next Top Model' in which the presenter and model, Tyra Banks, said that good models could pull a different look every time the photographer released the shutter. This is definitely the case for my cheeky bundle.

My instructions to him were to smile - and this is what I got. One cheeky grin and one scrunched up little face. These are the days where I'm so thankful for this Project - there is no way I would have got these photos today - it was hot, I was working and busy but I stopped for a good half an hour after Roman's afternoon nap just to enjoy his company, to smell his hair and to kiss his little hands. I am so thankful I paused and I am so thankful for today, for every day, with him and being able to capture it like this.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Favourite.

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With their favourite clothes on, doing their favourite thing (watching TV) and with some of their favourite people.

And my favourite? Sitting in our sunny living room, taking pictures that my soul delights in and makes my heart dance. I love them both so much like this and always.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Shiny Happy.

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I was in two minds about this photo today. For a start it was one of those photos that looked spectacular in the camera and then very different on my computer. Still, it shows what today was full of; a happy sweaty little face smiling back at me.

And after the photo was taken? Well he saw I was a little unsteady in my crouched down position and decided to push me over - cheeky little thing ;).

Sunday, 25 March 2012

His Humble Servant.

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When he's done with his brush, I've to take it away. 
His humble servant at his service ;).

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Love My Little Grub.

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A busy day of chasing cousins, playing in sand, eating everything in sight (that is dairy free, of course) and sunshine brought home to me this little man. Full of smiles, chatter and dirt.

We got a new PC a few days ago, which has taken about a good week to get parts and for Bryan to set up (so we could cut corners and save a bit of cash.) When Roman got back from his grandparents today he was bewildered at this new contraption sitting where his toy box is usually housed ;).

"CHAIR!" he squealed in delight, closely followed by; "WANT DRINK!" 

Looks like we need to work on his manners a little more ;).

And in other news: I very nearly didn't get a picture today. I have been very sick since my trip to the dentist - which I'm hoping is coincidental (no pun intended) and not related...or maybe I'm hoping it is related so that I'm not struck down with a horrible throat-closing sickness that I've had once before. Being sick is so much fun. Well I'm just grateful I'm nowhere near a hospital, that is something to celebrate :).

Friday, 23 March 2012

Cream Puff.

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A missed nap, a few bumps and being told he wasn't allowed out to the garden (because we were heading out) led up to this little huff. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Piano Man.

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We have an amazing app called 'Piano Perfect' on Bryan's tablet. And when I watch Roman's hands sail down the 'keys' I can't help but be reminded of the first time my younger brother, at the age of 7, played a few keys and then began to play a song, followed by another song, another and then another.

We were all amazed with his talent and to this day if you tell him to play a song, provided he's heard the tune, he'll be able to play it. He actually didn't learn to read music or play 'properly' until he was 15 when he took lessons from a Senior Missionary at church, at which point he'd been playing the church hymns on the piano for a good few years. My brother can also play the guitar by ear, too! I really hope Roman inherits some of those mad music skills, he certainly shows the same dexterity in his hands as well as making up his own lovely little delicate tunes (as opposed to most toddlers just slamming keys.) 

We shall see. I don't read too deeply into things and as children's tastes develop over the years we'll see how this one works out ;).

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Reminder.

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Lest we forget, he's always there to remind us to pray. 

Yep, in 2012, there is a family that prays. I know many. I can't help it, we're Mormon. We have never enforced our beliefs onto Roman - and never will - he just copies what he see's and is happy to say a dozen or so little mumbly prayers each day with his arms folded like this. He'll go to a quiet spot; a little corner or near toys, fold his arms, sometimes bow his head and he'll begin a little prayer of his own.

When food comes into the room he'll exclaim; "PRAYER!" and fold his arms, waiting for us to pray and give a special blessing and thanks for our food. When he is all dressed up and ready to go he'll shout; "PRAYER!" and again, have his arms folded. At night it's "Scip-tures" (reading our holy scriptures, something we do every night as a family.) And after scip-tures we'll get a little excited; "PRAYER!" and a little man waiting, arms folded, for his family prayer. 

To me prayer is a way of communicating with my Heavenly Father. He's my biggest confidante - he knows everything. I spill my hurts, trials, triumphs, secrets and everything in between. And admittedly there are times when I forget to pray - that is until Roman reminds me with this little pose ;).

Return of the Blog (And the 366 Project.)

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Last week I made an executive decision to take a break. I also wrote a long, rambling and emotional post about childhood illnesses, my paranoia's and list as long as my arm neurosis's. I'm not going to share that, not today, and instead I'm going to tell you I'm back from my break. I'm also going to share why I took the break and I really hope (and know) it will be met with understanding.


I wanted to start off by saying, 'Oh I'm so busy!' (aren't we all?) and while that is very true - and also drains me of time and energy I don't have to spend on blogging - I felt it was an excuse and masking my real reasons for not blogging. Yes I don't want to spend time writing out posts people never read or 'working' on the blog fruitlessly - trying to make 'friends' in the blog world, connect with other bloggers (and UK bloggers are a funny bunch. Every single one I've contacted never gets back to me! Especially Scottish bloggers!)


My problem is simple: I struggle with people. Emotions are tricky for me and over the years words have become tricky for me. Don't get me wrong I can very easily put my point across, I can articulate what it is I want from people...I just struggle to reach out and actually say that part. If it's for my son I have no problem, of course, but for myself I really struggle.


Currently I find myself at a very strange cross roads in my life when it comes to friends. I don't have friends I see regularly and quite honestly I don't believe I have any friends, truth be told. I don't have a friend I can call up for advice, I don't have a friend to go and see movies with and I don't have a friend who is there for me 'just because.' A handful of people do nice things for me, sure, but all of the above things to me are what a friend is. 


Outside of my family I couldn't write a list of 'friends' that I have because I would struggle to name names. I would also be embarrassed to consider someone a close friend and not be considered the same in return.


In school I had a hard time feeling connected to anyone there. I just didn't feel like I had any true friends at all and even now the 'true friends' I did have, I don't have any contact with and barely speak too - and even if I did I would feel as though they didn't really 'get me.' In short, the cliche of growing apart has manifested over the years with my many friendships I had as a child or teenager.


In London I had a great bunch of friends. People who were my true adult friends. But that's the problem, they live in London. When I moved back to Scotland, although we semi kept in touch, I did lose those friends. I know that's part of the deal and part of life, I accept it, but I did find it hard to gel or connect to people here when I moved to an area I'd known previously. 


It was terrifying for me socially because there were a lot of new faces, too. At first it didn't really bother me because I still had some of that sass inside me. Then we moved yet again. This time to another ward. I held a calling for a while but because I was so ill when pregnant - and I'm still working that sickness off and getting back to an even keel these days! - I didn't have time to form friendships or get to know anyone. I felt like all those months cooped up have damaged me socially, that I don't know how to just 'be' with people. 


It was literally me and Bryan. If I went out, it was with him. I didn't have any friends I could call up who'd zoom round to see me (something I got too accustomed with, I'm sure.) I was also going through a hard time with some family members, a settling period and adjustment time for them to get used to Bryan - all is forgiven and forgotten, but I want to put that out there. All in all it was a very lonely time for me. A lot of the time I went over our monthly phone bill - sometimes doubling it - just so I had someone else to talk too. We didn't have a phone line, had no internet (and eventually I had to stop going to the library to use it) and no TV. 


I got very anxious any time people would want to come round to see us and eventually over time got less and less anxious as the missionaries spent time with us. In fact I remember the first time they came round. I was so eager to make a good impression, just so they'd come back, that I don't think I spoke for the whole night. Ha! 


I remember when Roman was born. We were overloaded with people, with noise, with chaos and with life. I was so unbelievably happy at that time. Finally my home was full and my heart was very, very full because this is what I was used too; a tribe of people. Not one or two people but many. A house full. And while I couldn't stand it growing up and daydreamed of my own place, away from the noise, it was what I grew up craving. And in the month or so following Roman's birth it felt like a non-stop party - in a good way. A very reserved, chatty party ;).


I realised that while friendships are to be treasured, maintained and grown what is more important is family. They've been here for 26 years, they're committed to me. And frankly, they can't escape me ;). 


I also want to put in here that someone in that ward/branch reached out to me at a difficult time in my new motherhood journey - in fact many lovely people did. And if you felt pushed away by me at the time, I apologise. It was a strange time for me - I felt I had so much to prove. 


I've been anxious on this blog for some time now. Anxious in the same way I was when I moved into a new area - I saw the groups of people who were already friends, saw the various meet-ups people were having and I felt very pushed out. Not sure where to start or end. Feeling like I'm neck deep in loneliness. It got to the point where if I got a comment from someone I knew I felt let down that the people I didn't know off the blog weren't interested in what I had to say. My so-called followers, for example. But I know how blogging works. You click 'follow' on a blog because it looks cool or because you want someone to follow you back. Or perhaps you just don't have a spare moment to leave a comment. Or maybe you want to read/lurk but not identify yourself.


All of those things are okay but I will say I got swept up in a moment of insecurity. Of not feeling good enough at all. That despite my own mum and aunt being my daily cheerleaders it seemed to matter what a bunch of strangers thought over them. Insanity. The point is very clear to me now and I capture it here because I want to remind myself of this in the future:


I'm here for me, not you. 


This blog, this project and everything else that follows is to entertain those who want to read it. It's a choice to be here, it's a choice to follow me and it's even a choice whether or not you like what I say. But what I write and document in our lives is also my choice and my way. If you don't like it, you don't have to like it. 


I love my readers. And I love comments. I also love to inspire people to do something of their own; to think, to create, to take action. I glory and celebrate when people can do that because I've somehow set off a chain reaction in their brains...but lately I was feeling like all I was doing was dragging myself down. I was wasting my time on a Project that wasn't relevant. Wasn't helping me or others.


All I can say is that if you feel I'm irrelevant, good for you. Feel free to think that. You can also stop reading beyond this point because quite frankly my dears, I don't give a damn what you think :).


For anyone who got beyond that point; of course we're all relevant. Every. Life. Counts. And every way you can demonstrate that and be that example to your children, your families and your friends you should take it with both hands. My personal choice is to document a year in pictures, a promise I made to myself on New Years Eve, 2011. 


I just deal with crippling phases of low self esteem and serious pre-menstrual issues. It doesn't make me a failure, weak or a monster. I'm human, after all. I have flaws and I'm not ashamed to admit them. And I also don't have a clue how to make friends in the 'real world' or in the 'blogging world' but I won't let it defeat my purpose. And pushing that aside for now - because in a week's time I'll be on a maniacal high; full of ideas, inspiration and an over whelming urge to gut every room and organise socks into colour order - I know that things can only get better.


For now, for the next year, I'll be taking a picture every single day. If I need a blog break from time to time I'll take that, too. If I do take a break please refer back to this post and keep gently encouraging me to keep going.


And thank you: for all the comments I got. Thank you for taking the time.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Sleeve.

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I caught him chewing his sleeve. And he wasn't in the least bothered I had caught him because he was completely transfixed by The Simpsons. It's a ritual in our house; watching The Simpsons, that is, not biting our sleeves.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Sock Sock.

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Happy to dress himself Roman selects some Spiderman socks from his sock drawer. 

"SOCK SOCK!" he'll scream excitedly and then quickly pull them on should we take them away and try to put them on his little feet ourselves. 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mothers Day.

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Starting him young on the washing ;).

P.S I'm taking a little blogging break here. See you soon!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Saturday: New Pants Edition.

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Being locked in your own home is not much fun. But seeing as we were locked in for the day - with only access to the garden, seeing as Bryan had a Priesthood meeting at church and took the keys. If I had gone out the front I would have locked myself out - I decided to try out the new pants that arrived in the post for Roman. If you want to read about how that went click on 'Read More.'

Friday, 16 March 2012

Hat.

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Roman doing sign language for 'hat.'

As we were watching Mr. Tumble  Roman rather enjoyed joining in with the signs that Mr. Tumble was showing us; 'clothes,' 'scarf,' 'gloves' and finally 'hat.' 

P.S we're working on phasing out the remainder of disposable nappies so we can go at least part time with pants. A few people have told me; "GO FULL TIME WITHOUT NAPPIES," and then I've had conflicting views of "GO WITH NAPPIES, BUT ONLY IF HE HAS A NAP AND AT NIGHT."

We're going to try the pants, see how he gets on with those and then make up our minds about whether or not to even use cloth nappies, but they're there - just in case. I feel like he'll never be out of nappies, but I have to keep up the hope that we'll get there - eventually - we just need to be strong and consistent when his underpants do arrive (also - it's near impossible to go to a shop and buy a decent pack of pants for a little boy! So I bought online.)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Full of Cheek.

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It was hard choosing a photo today but this won because he was so proud of himself in nabbing this shower gel bottle before I had the chance to tell him to put it back ;).

I was running the shower when I took this photo and his favourite thing to do is push bottles of shower gel and shampoo into the bath as the water runs into it - I have no idea why but he kills himself with a giggle fit every time. I love the happiness he gets from simple pleasures.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Enough of Me.

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Lately I have caught myself thinking things like; does he get enough of me?

I know that one on one time is most needed at this precarious age, at all ages, but especially now. He's taking it all in, forming memories, forming links in his brain and he's learning how relationships work. I don't want to be responsible or at the helm of any damage.

In life my number one priority is always going to be my family. Me, Roman and Bryan. They come before anyone or anything. This doesn't mean my love can't grow, spread or be given to others it just means their needs, wants and desires outweigh those of anyone else. It's how my own parents were with us as children and it's what I know - and keeps me secure - but lately I have been knee-deep in working on author manuscripts. I manage to get a chunk of work done when Roman is out with Bryan (and I definitely manage to divorce work from home life, despite working from home) but there are days when I wonder what Roman thinks of me.

This Mama with a laptop glued to her knees. If he asks for a hand I will let him take me wandering. To the kitchen, the bathroom, the hall, his bedroom and sometimes we even go outside. I give him a little piece of me that no one else can touch - I give him my time because he is the one who needs it. If I run behind on deadlines I can apologise and, if it really came to it, work through the night. I lose sleep. That's it.

If I miss this toddler hood and if I fail on showing him that I can divorce work from my relationship with him, I can't get that back. I can't just say 'I'm sorry, Roman. I'm sorry I didn't give you enough of me when you needed it the most.' That won't make it okay. 

That's why being a mother is the most important thing. And it has to be. For the preservation of our society and for the sake of Roman's children, grandchildren and so on. He needs to know that yes, we have other interests and things we do outside our relationship but we put enough of ourselves into a relationship to make it work. 

We take 'hand' and we walk to wherever our toddlers lead us. Because sooner or later they won't be these sweet, impressionable mini-people. We will have wished away their whole entire childhood and then wonder where it all went. 

I remember sweet, sweet memories (and some not so sweet) of my own toddler hood. I'm 26 and remember being 2. That is a special achievement on the part of my parents, especially my own mum, who made every day absolutely magical and worth living. I want the same for Roman.

I don't ever want to question if he had enough of me or not. I absolutely want him to have enough of my time; one on one and as a family. The rest is just a bonus. This is my number one calling in life. Cobwebs, dirty laundry, author deadlines can all keep but a toddler hood cannot. You can't claw back that sweet, almost holy, passage of time that moves so quickly and so fleetingly.  

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

To The Loo.

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It doesn't look like it but today was challenging. 

A lot of tantrums, hair pulling (mine, by him), tears, defiance's and a refusal to go for a nap. Now that I am sitting here writing all this it seems like nothing but in all reality the minutes felt like hours. I found myself looking forward to bedtime and getting some reprieve from all his cheekiness. 

In one of his better moods he asked for my hand and led me to the bathroom. "Toilet," he told me and so I thought to myself, sure, let's try you on the toilet then. I fixed his turtle seat to our toilet seat, got him ready and plopped him on the seat. Where he stayed. 

He then started to act a little silly by throwing everything he could on the floor - that was until I realised he wasn't actually being silly and was just trying to get to the toilet roll so he could wipe. I was quite surprised to see how well he did with this to be honest and had a fit of giggles watching him mimic a very grown up thing - which, of course, set him off in a very adorable giggle fit of his own.

After he'd been sat there for a few minutes I figured he might get a bit bored sitting there with nothing to do and thus jump off the can and totally give up on going there instead of in his nappy so I retrieved his quiet book (made by my mum) from his room and he happily flicked through the fuzzy fleece pages, quite the thing. 

After some minutes of flicking through his book he threw everything on the floor and tried to get up from the seat. I wasn't expecting to see anything in the toilet bowl and was very amazed to see he'd peed in the toilet for the first time ever. When he saw the pee he shouted, very proud of himself, "BYE BYE PEE PEE!" and knocked the lid of the toilet down. I flushed, we had a little cheer and washed our hands - he loves this part of the toilet ritual. 

Formal toilet learning/training/whatever you call it hasn't started. We've been using the potty more and haven't really used the toilet at all - it was only today that he showed signs of wanting to use it. I'm just letting Roman lead the way and once we're done with his packet of disposable nappies we'll try him in underpants and see how it goes (if it doesn't work out, we have a back up supply of cloth nappies. I know. We're bad. I don't care. It seems to be working this way.)

There has been absolutely no pressure or stresses made on going to the loo or using a potty. I bought him a potty when he was around 9 months, have tried him on it now and then since then and well lately he's become more interested in using it. A few times he's been caught short and peed the carpet, but that's okay. It's all learning - for us and him respectively. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Dressed.

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He is always awake before we are, has breakfast before us and is always dressed before us.

The life of a toddler is pretty sweet.

Facebook Timeline: My Cover.

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So a few weeks ago I totally caved and finally got the new Facebook Timeline. At first, I absolutely hated it. Now? Not so much. In fact I'd go as far to say as I like it. Especially when I can log-in and see this cutie every time :).


This is my Cover photo for my Timeline - what do you think? This idea came to me when I was sleep deprived and I have to say it worked out better than I thought it would. It was also very easy to create this; my camera, some natural light, a little time in Lightroom (4) and then onto Paint - I know that sounds complicated but it wasn't and besides I enjoy these things (reality starts tomorrow and frittering my free time away will be short lived.)


Do you have Timeline? 
What's your Cover photo? 
And: do you like mine? ;).

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sunday Chaos.

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This morning I was grumpy, Roman was cheeky and Bryan was rushed, as ever.

Because I woke up with a thumping headache, sore throat and achy muscles I couldn't make it to church and Bryan put me to work in supervising breakfast, then cleaning up Roman and stressing out when he tipped a full glass of water onto our bed (yes, he is cheeky.) This was my fault as I had put on Chuggingtons for Roman in an attempt to get more sleep - you think I would learn by now.

As Bryan rushed around getting everything done I wanted to crawl back into bed. As soon as they left I thought to myself: I should have just gone to church, I can't get back into a soaking wet bed. 

I'm happy in knowing that Roman is able to go to church every week, he comes home happier, brighter and full of little songs they sing in Nursery.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A {vegan} Food Post.

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Lately me and my non-vegan brother have been swapping pictures of our food. We want to see what we eat on a daily basis and an old fashioned food diary might not be the best way to document this - lots of programmes I've watched on food diaries suggest that the people keeping the diaries might not be as honest about what they're eating as you'd think. People usually record that they ate less or even skip out treats they have ;).


I definitely wanted an honest account of the things I eat and what better way than to photograph my food? In just a few short days of doing this I have found myself eating less. Whether this is me becoming more conscious of what I eat or me being too lazy to take a photo, I'm not sure ;). At this point in it's hard to say. We started on Thursday and I have already forgotten a few pics (mainly breakfast because I am not a morning person.)


After my trip the dentist last week - and the shame I felt being told just how much work I need done - I am determined to eat better. For my teeth, my health, for myself and for my family. All my dental work will be complete and up to date by the end of this month - my teeth are happy knowing this - but until then I have to keep sugar at a minimum. It's my choice to do this but it includes avoiding fruit juices and smoothies - something I was quite partial to before my trip to the dentist.


So less words, more photos:



Dinner:
 x4 wholemeal wraps
Lentils with Jambalaya sauce, peppers.
Alpro Yogurt (plain.)


Lunch: 
8 carrot and coriander falafels on the side.
Garlic and lentil vegetable soup (nom nom nom.)





Dinner {with the Sister Missionaries}:
Gnochhi, sun blushed tomatoes.
Grapes (dessert.)

I love food. In Twitter speak I would put: #Ilovefood I love it so much. I hope you do too. Would you ever eat anything I've posted up here? And what do you think of the food photo diary? If you like it, you should join me and my brother (Fraser) in our quest to eat a little better!

Big.

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It's still strange to me that one look, one lens and one angle can change a whole perspective on things. Throughout this whole project I've mostly been using my two prime lenses; my 50mm and my 35mm. 

For anyone who wants to know: this is my Sigma 17-70mm lens. It's not great in low light as the f-stop only goes down to a 2.8 buuut it's a great 'all purpose' lens. Macro, landscape, even a slightly fish-eye effect and my favourite - portrait. I need to learn more about this lens because out of all my lenses, it was the most expensive. 

It's great for capturing cheeky full length growing toddlers and it takes my breath away to see how much Roman grows, changes and develops. To see him like this steals my heart - a walking, talking toddler but also still a little man. When I saw this photo on my computer I remembered something my mum said about him a few weeks ago; "He's such a little man, but he's really still a little baby, too." Yes. I agree completely.

Friday, 9 March 2012

My Two.

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I've come to terms with the fact that, at least for now, we're a family of three. We also might stay that way for a good few years (or for the rest of our lives, who knows.)

It's hard to deal with that because Roman is such a daddy's boy. Today I was thinking about who could have fulfilled this daddy role, out of all the people I know and the ones I've known. Yes, I'm sure you can be a father but to be a dad and daddy is an extra special thing. To be there every day/as much as you can be, involved and excited to share your child's life - to me that's what a dad is. And that's what Roman's dad is. What a blessing to see this in action every day. We're just so fortunate.

And although I wasn't feeling my best today I was very grateful Bryan was around to look after Roman for the whole day. I hate being sick because it feels like I never get to spend any time with Roman but luckily tonight Bryan had to attend a church meeting due to his calling in the Young Men's program ;). Me and Ro snuggle under a blanket, watch In The Night Garden and he'll offer me a dozen kisses and 'cuddos.' 

Oh and I found this blog tonight. Like I need another Mormon to follow on Blogland. I just can't help myself, we're pretty damn tootin' good at this blogging thing. Must be all our years of keeping a journal ;). 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Mr. Small is Fed Up.

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After a morning full of strawberries, 'see-ral' (cereal) and a visit from our Health Visitor, the excitement became over whelming for our own Mr. Small. Close to lunch he lost the rag with everything. I can only imagine this upset was fueled by hunger, tiredness and frustration.

Poor Mr. Small.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Internet: Love & Hate.

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{Image: Pinterest}

For a while now I have been so careful. Nearly every post I create and share with the world, I think about. I think about the people I implicate, the things I say, the way I say it...I think about it all.

After all, if you share it on the internet it's 'out there' for everyone to see. But I also think that give and take attitude should be considered by the readers of any blog - if you don't like what you see, it's okay to express that, but please think about how you'll go about doing that. As bloggers we really do think about our readership and care about them. But we're people, too. Behind the pictures of our well-dressed children, our posts on how to make pita bread pizza and our computer screens sits a real, flesh and blood human being. With feelings and emotions.


Over the weekend I became quite reflective and spoke about a past relationship I had here. Before I published the post I had to think it through very carefully. Did I want people to know things about me they hadn't known before? At least, not from my mouth. Sure, people can (and will) assume what they like...but I hadn't said the things I did before the post. Ever. Not in person, not over the phone and not even to my mum. I'm pretty sure I hadn't even shared my thoughts with my husband.

A relationship like I had is something I don't think about very often, let alone let off steam or talk about. I don't get the opportunity to talk about it and quite honestly I don't know if I care enough about it to go there all that often. It happened, it ended and I'm over it. I don't know how many ways I can say that, really.

It's just that there are some blog entries I read from other people and I think to myself; 'woah, they're sharing a little close to the bone here.' And although I've had several people email me to congratulate me on my ability to lay myself on the line and shoot from the hip the truth is that I'm actually quite a private person. 

I explained in my previous post that I kept my relationship on the down low. I saw that my friends would get into relationships and suddenly everyone comes rushing in with the advice, the unwarranted remarks and somewhat catty comments. 

I see blogging in the same light. If I don't want someone to criticise me, I better not write that post. Or if I do write a post and someone takes offense/finds something wrong with what I've committed to words then I better make sure I'm ready to deal with it. Whether that's to completely ignore the nonsense or engage with a comment or reply to an email, I better be ready.

There are things I've said on here and there are responses I've had that I've found tough to deal with. I won't specify anything but suffice to say the negatives and the hurtful responses have been to a minimum - I'm either very lucky or very unpopular ;). But the things people spend 30 seconds on writing, they have an impact on us. Whether we admit that openly or not, they hit us in some way. 

Another example of this is when people say stupid things on Facebook. I usually find the people who know me the least say the most hurtful things on-line about me. Ranging from me throwing a tantrum, to me being a horrible person, a bad mother, a brain washer, selfish, judgemental...etc. The list goes on. And on. At first I would retaliate with people and engage their own negativity until one day I realised; those who matter don't mind and those who matter don't mind.

In other words if someone really thinks all of the above about me, they are welcome to think that way. I won't stop them. But I will continue to do what I think is right and live my life. I won't change my values or views just to get a popular vote - I never have and I won't start doing it now.

I remember being 15 years old and being at a very strange party (sorry mum. You never knew about this) where everyone was either drunk or drinking. I couldn't tell you, even to this day, what was strange about the party it was just a certain vibe. I knew I shouldn't have been there. For a start me and my friend had talked around the party and I think I'd even told my parents we'd just be hanging out at my friends place - my friend then told her mum that we'd be hanging out with another friend, I suppose it's the old cliche and not very original at all. 

Anyway...this party was weird. There were plenty of people around to talk too but the lights had been put out and there was a horrible strobe light going off in the corner of the room. The music was too loud and I felt sticky, hot and awkward. It's the sort of situation I would die if I found Roman in it when he's 15 - in fact I'll send him to military school if I ever do!

Like I said, everyone was either drunk or they were drinking booze. Being 15 and Scottish it is not uncommon to be drunk or drinking. But let's remind ourselves that I was LDS, 15 and Scottish so it was a different playing field for me. I refused any drinks for fear of them being spiked with alcohol or drugs. I was polite to everyone and made good friends with one girl there, but apart from that I really didn't want to be there. I don't remember any pressure to drink and anyway I didn't usually cave to peer pressure - I only did things to try them or because I wanted to do it.

I never had a strong urge to experiment with drugs or alcohol - and there was plenty of opportunity in front of me should I wish to. I just wish I could show that part of my personality and my life story to anyone who doubts my strength to say no, my strength to keep doing what's right and my strength to really do all I can within my means.

The point is that back then, at 15 years old, I knew drink and drugs were bad. I didn't want to go down that route because I knew I would only let myself down if I did. I see returning a negative comment back in that same light. I see retaliating and responding (and feeding) negative emotions and actions to be just as destructive as drink and drugs - okay, maybe not in the same way, but definitely in the same vein.

When the party ended I remember the mess of the place. I remember seeing it with the lights on. I remember the words that came out of many people's mouths; "We respect you." 

I want to be the same with blogging and with the negativity on the internet. I want to be free to say what I feel is okay to share - which would only be appropriate to share off line as well as on line - and I want to share my life with people, free of the judgement I've seen being made on other bloggers over the past few days. We should be free to share innocent videos of our kids, free to share what moves and inspires us without fear of what a small minority will respond with.

I can't promise that the bad feeling and comments won't hurt me, because I am sure they will. But I want to hear, 'we respect you, Cara. We respect that you don't hurt us back.' Maybe I'll never hear it, but I will definitely feel it for myself.

And as Bill and Ted say: be excellent to each other. 

Isotonic Boy.

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This empty bottle he toted around the whole morning? He took it from my bag, that he happily raided while me and Bryan were chatting on our bed this morning. I don't know if he quite understands that my bag isn't his bag. 

And of course there's the little reminder I need - to always have my beady eye on this cheeky bag raider ;).


And just a little disclaimer for any outrage on giving a two year old an isotonic drink: I would never do that. It was an empty bottle that I brought back home from the pool on Saturday ;).

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Face Full of Crumbs.

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The theme seems to be food this week - and this little toddler eating it ;). I can't help it, I find it precious when he eats. I love that he loves food and has such a healthy appetite.

He was pretty ravenous today and made short work of every food stuff put in front of him - and these crumbs? They're the crumbs of the biscuits he stole ;). So full of cheek and charm.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Yogurt.

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Hey Roman, you have a little something on your face.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I'm Clothin' It.

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He is eating, dancing, walking and singing in this photo.

And, as you can clearly see, balancing on one leg.

Roman is also wearing a Little Lamb cloth nappy. I chose these nappies after a bit of research into what we could afford, what Bryan would fit on Roman and also something I would find easy to change. And if you want to read more about the cloth nappy journey we've taken - press 'read more.'