Tuesday, 31 July 2012



My brother and Roman's uncle Fraser dug out his old toy train set; much to Roman's delight.  I've spoken about over boying my child in the past; he is free to play with whatever toys he likes, but I am very conscious of not over doing the train sets and cars in his toy collection so he can have a varied and assorted range of toys that aren't all typical 'boys toys.'

With all this in mind he naturally seems to gravitate to cars, planes and trains and I've no problem with that. He enjoys himself and can play independently, ramming police cars and trucks through the tunnel that is intended for a small train ;).

Monday, 30 July 2012

Wee Bit of Mess.


Roman loves mess; making it, that is. My mum found a can of spray soap (who knew such a product existed) that was leftover from my nephew's visit two Octobers ago and we let Roman loose with the can. 

I took this picture to illustrate the prank we played on my dad. We called him through from the bathroom to inform him that Roman was playing with his shaving foam ;). 

Sunday, 29 July 2012



Don't be fooled by this picture; the beach was freezing cold.

Today we went to Melvich beach with the expectation that we'd be dealing with a running toddler who was eager to jump into waves and knock over our proudly built sandcastles. Instead there was a pretty cold wind blowing in off the sea that turned Roman's skin purple and froze us out but of course a little bit of cold wasn't going to hold this boy back once he'd warmed up in Bryan's arms and with two towels wrapped round his cold shoulders.

As soon as his granny began to make her sandcastle - and after seeing me and my brother turn out our own sandcastles - Roman was up and at 'em ;).

Unrequited Toddler Love.


At this age it's all about unrequited love. Kisses are often not returned, hugs are wriggled out of and 'sorry' isn't a familiar word in their vocabulary...it really is all about them, the way people tell you that it will be and you shrug it off thinking, 'that will never be my child!' Eh, well people fail to mention that this is every toddler and yours will be no exception. Just believe me when I say that ;).

Friday, 27 July 2012

Tired Toddler.


Tired from a morning of running around, chasing dogs that don't want to be chased and trying to catch a sneaky glimpse of cats who move faster than the speed of light to escape the clutches of the 2 year old boy. Oh this sweet, sweet life of a toddler. 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

On A Train.


Pulling into Dunblane station, on our way to Inverness, "Oooh! LOOK!" Roman says as we stop, mesmerized by everything and not sure what to do with himself. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Gregarious Peach Guest Post.

Anyone who's anyone in the blogging world knows about the Gregarious Peach blog...and if you don't? Where have you been! ;). Georgia has inspired me twice to capture a year of my son's day to day life. The first time it was through my digital camera and mostly my camera phone; little snippets of Roman's life from 4 weeks to 13 months. The second time? Now with this 366 Project. 

And a few weeks ago I was asked to share my own experiences with my two projects. I wrote an embarrassingly long post - I don't do that on other people's blogs but it just needed to be said. If you haven't heard of Gregarious Peach and you want to read my guest post then head on over there :). I'll be waiting on tenterhooks to see what everyone says. ENJOY IT!

And please leave me comments, they are appreciated.

Ro Ro Style.


Allowing him the freedom of dressing himself while I sort, organise and tidy our bedroom for our trip tomorrow.

Roman chose his summer hat, pyajama top that he already had on, a pair of grey and red stripe jogging bottoms and matching dinosaur boots. I was impressed with his matching clothes; something I'm no good at as I just throw on clothes that are comfortable.

Roman seems to really enjoy the freedom of self dressing, he has since he was months old, and I have totally indulged this but there has always been a little struggle with getting trousers all the way up. Well today he mastered this, for the first time ever. He was oh so pleased with himself and was even more delighted that I'd witnessed this event, too. "YAY!" he cheered himself, realising what he'd accomplished. I couldn't help myself and burst into a chorus of cheers and 'woohoo's', which very much pleased this little man. Oh how proud I am in these moments - and always.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Cheese CAMERA!


This morning Roman handed me my camera and asked me to take his picture. I wasn't very surprised in the least because lately he's been very interested in my camera and today I caught him fiddling with the settings. He watches me, that boy, he watches me even when I think he's not and he learns so, so much just from observing me.

When I had the camera in my hands he shouted out; "CHEESE! CAMERA! TAKE MAH PICTURE, MUMMY!" Ha. That boy.

P.S Today was pretty much great. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Fruit = Nectar of Toddlers.


Fruit is natures way of telling us, 'hey you guys, you don't need sugar laden diets!' but sometimes we're a little reluctant to believe that. That is until we get our chompers round our favourite fruits, of course. 

Roman's favourites are interchangeable; one week it'll be grapes, cherries or bananas and the next he'll be begging - and today, crying - for oranges. He loves oranges right now and I'm happy. They're my favourite fruit and seem to be extra juicy and tasty right now. "Mmm, lubbly orange!" Roman said as he stuffed three pieces into his mouth all at once. "Like that, Roman." 

I was just happy that he was happy. Today has been hard, so very hard. Screaming, screaming and more screaming from morning until dinner time - no, no, no has been the order of the day. I've never ever seen him so angry before, so defiant and yet so vulnerable. Once we were out, getting rained on from a great height but not caring because we were outside, everything was well. I think the problem was that he was hungry but honestly it could be anything, take your pick. I just know that if he's this upset tomorrow then I'll be spending my day peeling oranges ;).

Sunday, 22 July 2012



Somersaulting off chairs in nursery at church resulted in this bump. Apparently there were no tears or fuss made from Roman. In fact there are times when it appears he has hurt himself and he'll get up in fits of laughter and attempt to fall over/trip up/fall down again, just for the laughs.

When he cries after a fall that's when I know he's really, really hurt. And looking at this very sore bump I sincerely thought he'd have cried the whole building down but it wouldn't have surprised me if he got up and was in fits of laughter.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Husband and Child.


Two tired faces, with a little tired wave to sweeten my day. 

Whenever I see a photo of Bryan I can't quite believe how tall he is. He stands well over my 5'4 height at 6'2. I wonder what height Roman will be, if he'll tower over me the way Bryan does or if he'll be an average height (or as Bryan likes to call us average people: midgets.)

I can't help but wonder what the life of a tall person is like - maybe like living in a dolls house where everything seems mini-sized? 

Friday, 20 July 2012



On the train to Stirling this afternoon with my dear boy and lovely husband on a sunny day. It was a good trial run for the journey we're going to be taking next week to Inverness* on the train - and then in the car for several hours to Thurso - and I'm feeling a lot better about the journey we're going to take after this trial run. He's grown since the last journey we took; emotionally, as well as physically.

Roman loves to have a seat to himself. I hope our train next week won't be packed so he can have this little luxury.

*Bryan thinks if I put 'we're going on the train to Inverness' that people will rob us. Because we won't be home. I quickly reminded him that anyone who doesn't know us doesn't know where we live and those who do know where we live will be on the list of suspects. Plus; in this neighbourhood? I think he has it confused with our previous area.

Thursday, 19 July 2012



My aunt, Roman's great aunt, visited us for two days and went home yesterday. She spoils us with her time and generosity. She bought Roman the loveliest pair of rain boots (much needed in Scotland) with his favourite things, dinosaurs, on them. He loves his boots and has perfected slipping them on and off very expertly. As soon as he was dressed today he slipped these back on, after running about with a nappy and his boots on in the morning, and kept telling us he wanted to go outside.

He was very happy to be outside, with his boots on. And then to top it all off the sun was out and a train rode past when we were in the garden. 

Roman waving bye bye to the train as it passed.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012



Roman has a great-gran, who is my gran and my mother's mother. She is 81 years young on Sunday and although she told me, when I was 9, that you shouldn't ask a lady her age I'm marking this record for Roman. I also think it's something to celebrate; old age is a gift and something not a lot of people reach either through poor health or circumstance. 

As Roman signed (or drew all over) his great grans card (pictured below) I told him that he was fortunate to have a great gran in his life. My own great gran was killed a month before I was born and I've always felt like it would have been a great thing to meet and know her - to tell people, 'I have a great gran!' and to take pride in this fact. I know that you're only 2 years old, Roman, but I think it's wonderful to have a living legacy and I hope you appreciate this as you grow. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Paint Eating Artist.


I've heard of starving artists, but never an artist that eats paint ;). 

So let me tell you about painting in the living room. You have to be pretty relaxed about mess if you allow this. You'll also need a plastic cover/sheet to protect your carpet from the worst of the spills and to let your child go half naked or wear an old top they've outgrown; it's going to get messy.

Roman successfully managed to cover himself in blue paint, make a right royal mess and work out some frustrations through painting. When he started to get annoyed with his toys, I decided it might be the time to let him paint this morning. Well, it worked out very well. As soon as the easel and paints were out his frustration cloud disappeared, replaced with this big smile. I was a very happy mum at this sight, very happy indeed.

The fact that the mess left in his trail was strenuous to clean up and a bath required to wash down the boy I didn't mind and I surprised myself with the ease of how much of a damn I didn't give about cleaning up the mess. Not that I'll be in much of a hurry to paint in the living room like this again, but I'm okay with mess - I suppose I have to be and that there will be a time in my life where I can have breakables below eye level and walls without paint on them...but I know when that day comes I will be wishing for these days; days where paint was consumed, days when I painted my hand blue and splatted it onto a clean piece of paper and Roman (and Bryan) followed suit, days where I spent a while scrubbing blue marks out of our landlord's carpet ;) and days where impromptu painting put this smile on Roman's face. 

Monday, 16 July 2012



Well today was another 'learning experience' I suppose. I'll file it under 'truly awful days', build a bridge and get over it but let me tell you child-free people that when parents say that parenting is no picnic and no walk in the park that they are spot on. Today I had a moment of 'I have no idea what I'm doing, but I hope this works' towards everything I did. 

Roman has perfected his spitting technique. Just today he was biting large chunks of his roll and then spitting them out in front of the mirror, laughing uncontrollably as he went. He quickly finished up his drink and began spitting into the fresh drink. He then tried to spit on me in the bed. "Don't do that, it's really dirty. It's very unhygienic to spit," I told him and he gave me a look of 'yeah, whatever you say, lady.'

I also had some difficulty with him at bed time - maybe the worst struggle I've had with him, ever. I can take a child who wakes up in the middle of the night, I can take a teething 10 month old and give me a sick baby any day of the week but the one thing I don't get is the child that fights sleep, when they're so obviously tired. He'd been begging to go to bed, as well as missing a nap, and I thought my ship had well and truly come in. Bryan was out, there was a good programme coming on TV (Big Bang Theory, if you must know) and I'd been feeling queasy all day so I was looking forward to a hassle free bed time. Think again.

He kept trying to climb out of bed - don't think I ever want to move to a single bed, ever, ever - and when I'd had enough of his shenanigans I simply walked out of the room. He put up a good protest for an hour; full on screaming at first, then gentle singing and then full on tears. When the tears came I checked him. He still wouldn't settle and opted for grabbing fistfuls of my hair and pulling out chunks of it - my head still hurts where he grabbed it. I got very annoyed at this point and felt my anger surfacing, so left his room feeling very guilty and sore. All hell broke loose in his room then he suddenly went quiet the minute Bryan stepped in the door and has been quiet ever since. I've felt bad about the way I left things but I could feel the struggle building into one angry crescendo and ultimately I made the bigger and better choice by walking away...yet it doesn't feel that way at all. 

I hope that I don't have a challenge like that again, yet I know I will. I just hope it happens in the very, very distant future. Until then I will make a record of it and move on.


Over the years there have been various diet trends - some really stupid, some very obvious - that really annoy me. I think the biggest one I had a problem with was the Atkins diet. Why? Well because a lot of anorexics/bulimics love Dr Atkins. Why? Well because of all the weight you lose, so rapidly, so obviously and so effortlessly. Anorexics and bulimics are used to starving themselves so the Atkins diet is perfect. Except they modify the diet to extremes average people wouldn't. And yes, it's true that if the Atkins diet wasn't in existence then there'd be something else and that there is always something else for groups of people to latch onto.

On top of this diet being the diet of choice for a large number of people with eating disorders (and no, I have no official numbers/studies to show this. I'm not calling it evidence, I'm calling it my opinion from years of personal eating disorder research on forums and getting to know individuals with these problems) the diet itself is just plain stupid to me. Why? I feel that the diet relies on a lot of quackery/pseudo science. Thank goodness that it has died down since 2002. 

Buttt...of course there always has to be more. Instead of eating sensibly and exercising society has decided, you know what, it's actually okay to be over weight. As long as you're happy, right? And without turning this into a lactivist post - where have I heard that before? Yep, people justifying their use of formula rather than being honest about their choices and just owning them. If you want to use formula, please do, I won't stop you and it's your child and your choice but I would ask one thing: please be honest about why you're making those choices, don't just opt for the 'happy mummy, happy baby' line everyone uses. Be honest. Because in your honesty those who choose/want to choose to breastfeed will get the help and education they need. And since we're living in 2012 women should be able to be honest about why they opted for formula, instead of hiding behind a screen of shame about it all. 

And with that said, how many times do you read someone saying something along the lines of: 'it doesn't matter what you weigh, as long as you are happy' either online or in your 'real life'? I can't count the times. This 'as long as you're happy' line is one of justification, of not owning the fact that you made some food choices that led you to being overweight, that you don't like exercise...whatever it is that is holding someone back from being a healthy or averagely healthy weight. At the end of the day people shouldn't be hiding behind 'don't worry, be happy' smoke screens about their weight. They should be honest, open and willing to change. 

 I think you'd be happier if your average/healthy weight gave you a better chance of a healthier life, less joint ache in your old age, didn't tire you out every 5 mins and all the other 'fun' risks that come with being over weight. The above mantra is also a slap in the face to those who are working their buns off NOT to be overweight. After all if it's 'okay' to be overweight, as long as you're happy as a clam, then no one need work out, eat well or say no to sugary foods. No one need have will power or muscles to exercise. 

And if you're thinking 'what does this skinny bitch know?' then you obviously don't know me in real life ;). I'm not a skinny bitch, never have been and don't plan on ever being one - I plan on being an average/healthy weight but I won't make any attempts at being 'skinny' - but last year I faced down the barrel of being told I was overweight by my doctor. I was annoyed that he focused on this so much, seemed obsessed with it in fact, but the reality is that being fat/overweight/chunky isn't good, for anyone. When I got home I was so incensed with the doctor that I checked my height/weight (BMI) and realised he was right. I didn't really need a doctor to tell me I was over weight, nor did I need to check my BMI I knew I was overweight, I just didn't realise the effort I'd have to put in to change that. I thought I was okay because, after all, I was happy and I loved my food so I shrugged my shoulders and didn't look for a way out.

I think we should focus on health, rather than looks, but unfortunately it is NOT healthy to be overweight - that's life. I won't turn down a friendship, a chance to connect with someone or judge someone for their weight but I won't buy into the falsehood that being overweight is healthy. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Cheeky Cheek.


This is Roman's 'cheese' face. I would take a photo and he'd say 'do it again! CHEESE!' and pull this pose. He's always been a fan of being in front of the camera, but it's becoming increasingly evident that he enjoys being a model these days ;). 

Saturday, 14 July 2012



Our style of parenting is very much 'show him how it's done and then let him get on with it himself' but he seems obsessed with us drawing on his magnetic board, drawing a copy (his version) of whatever we've drawn and then erasing the whole thing to start the process over. It can get frustrating, let me tell you!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Pockets Are Made For This...


After the "els" (Elders/missionaries) had gone home Roman was a little bit wired from extra faces being around him. He promptly bounced on the couch a million times, fake-cried, pretended to put toys away and then there was a little moment where wooden letters were being crammed into his pocket. I have no idea what he planned on doing with these letters, but he so enjoyed himself stuffing them into his pocket.

Thursday, 12 July 2012



I didn't mean to shy away from the camera - there was the issue of my toddler pulling my hair in front of my face, for a start - but it made me think about how uncomfortable I am when a camera is pointed in my direction and how I don't want to pass this onto Roman. I want him to be completely at ease with his beautiful self.

I spent the day very sick - I woke up through the night with shivers and body aches all over - and out of my surprise I asked Bryan to photograph me and Roman together, despite me not looking my best or least dis-shelved. Every time I asked Roman to kiss my tummy better he would scream "NO!" rather loudly and run away ;).  

Bryan brought me through a packet of dried fruit that I didn't manage to eat one piece of. Instead? Roman managed to get the packet open and quite happily munch on them once his nap was done. "Mummy's froot (fruit)," he told me. "Mmm!" and all I could do was laugh, to appreciate that he isn't ill and I just pray things stay that way - there's nothing worse than a sick child when you're sick yourself.

P.S: I nearly gave up on this project yesterday. Today I'm glad I didn't. I couldn't face lifting my camera yesterday and so I just decided that was that...the end of this photo a day project. When I used my camera today I felt so much lighter, so much more free because I wanted to use it. I'm glad I'm still going strong, I think I'd feel awful if I just gave up when we're so near to the end of it all.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Tears And Smiles.


I love and hate this photo. Hate because it's not up to my standards and I love it for obvious reasons.

Today was awful. One of the worst days I've had in years. I felt lonely, overweight, ugly and generally not worth the air that I breathe. That's probably not something I ever imagined myself sharing...it seems 'too much' and too private to share but I feel that way, it's life, it happens and sometimes it's not a beautiful world. I've struggled for a long time to be okay with myself, to re-think my old patterns, to re-learn bad eating habits and I've sincerely done my best to be healthy. It never seems enough on days like today and it bothered me. I expressed this through crying for an hour or so.

I think I've always been taught that there needs to be a reason for tears, for crying...and yet when people laugh they need have no reason, you're allowed to be happy but must have a very, very, very good 'excuse' or reason to cry, to express feeling sad. When I was younger my parents would always say things like, "stop crying" or "you have no reason to cry!" and while I'm sure no harm was meant I think it does inadvertently cause harm. The message is that crying is not okay or you need a reason to be sad. I recently found out that tears are good, that the body excretes stress hormones and it was my eureka moment. We're designed for it to be okay to cry. 

In my unusual (very unusual, I still have a problem with crying) hour of tears Roman was very comforting. He offered me numerous cuddles and even wiped my tears away - I was astonished by his very grown up behaviour but I felt so grateful. I've paved the way for it to be okay for him to cry and while today was beyond awful I'm so happy for that knowledge, it comforts me.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Restless Summer.


This summer weather is more like October weather; drizzly rain that doesn't quit, grey skies that threaten to shower me every time I leave the house with a half-decent hair style and there's the temperatures; one minute cloyingly humid, the next chilling my very marrow and requiring heating, socks and even blankets.

I wish I could drive or that public transport was less of an expense so that we could see new things every day, instead of the same old same old (not that I'm complaining at all, I don't mind the same old same old...a change of scenery would be nice.) Going to Stirling by train isn't really an option I like to take - there is the issue of getting his buggy up and over the stairs and while there have been willing public volunteers in the past, I can't always bank on that possibility. I feel very itchy to take an adventure but then confined by circumstance and house mess.

Roman's sleeping isn't any better these days; if he naps during the day, he won't sleep very well at night. I've been thinking we should cut naps but I'm not ready to lose them, either. Even if he naps for an hour or so he won't sleep at night. Instead he much prefers to take 5 or 10 minute rests with a blanket in the middle of the floor, just like the picture above. As I write this he's happily munching into apple-sized strawberries from Fife, a jam bagel cut in two pieces and a home made ice lolly right next to me, in his high chair. If anyone wants to know how anything gets done in a home with a toddler, the answer is always food and a high chair (with supervision, I felt that went without saying but that I should say it anyway.)

Monday, 9 July 2012

Granpa Work.


It's no secret that my dad is someone who works hard - it's so well known that even Roman, a 28 month old, knows this. He knows it so well that my dad earned the name 'Granpa Work.'

Sunday, 8 July 2012



Someone really likes cake.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

So Thankful.


Oh my boy (wrapped in a carpet; he loves this...don't ask me why!)

I can't even begin to tell you, truly, how great it is to be this boy's mother. That he has reached 28 months old; no event of serious illness or threat to his life. 

I spent my whole pregnancy waiting, waiting and waiting for something to go wrong - a miscarriage; it was the obvious first choice in the list of 'things that can and will go wrong in my life.' It seemed destined, written and totally unavoidable. Then his birth; I believed I would die in child birth, that life would go on for everyone else and I'd be dead and buried. When none of that happened, it seemed unequal and so I waited for the scales to balance; I counted out the days, weeks and then eventual months in which we'd been blessed to have no serious events.

 A year passed and then I began to breathe easy...and when I did he got sick. So sick that he couldn't lift his head or properly respond. There was a spotty rash. I kept telling myself it would be fine but I packed a hospital bag as Bryan took Roman to the doctors, just in case. Then the phone call where you know what's happening but respond as though you don't; we had to go to hospital and then I cracked. Tears, panic and anxiety. Bryan laughed at me, told me to get a grip and I don't know what I did but I was glad there was a phone line separating us at that moment ;). You see these tears were tears I'd been holding inside for years; knowing that something awful lay in wait to claim his life. He'll be fine, he won't die, I told myself this over and over but I don't know if I believed it.

My brother (Roman's uncle) had meningitis, you see. He got infected when he was around the same age as Roman was last summer. One doctor told my mum she was being over anxious, that he was fine, it would pass. He got progressively worse. I don't remember his sickness, but I remember the recovery my brother had; strawberry milkshakes, long bus rides to hospital, the children's ward seeming like both a sad and happy place to be and the times where people were nice to me, the healthy one. 

Before his recovery there was a grim period where he was hanging onto his life by a thread; where his remaining life was broken down into a prognosis of hours left. I can't imagine a life without him now, but it was a possibility then and I don't know what my life would be without my brother, Roman's uncle, in it. And likewise I didn't know how to handle Roman's illness when it hit us, I didn't know how to be with a child in hospital - it was all new and terrifying to me. I didn't know whether to tell my parents, because of what happened with my brother, but I knew if I didn't tell my mum she'd be upset. "Everything's fine, but," I opened with this line because it would hopefully stave off any worries they might have. "Roman's in hospital. They've found a rash, he has a temperature and they're doing some tests." My dad answered the call that night, my mum was working and wasn't even in. I saw this as a blessing in disguise. 

Roman began to get worse; more tired, confused, upset and he seemed in pain. He wouldn't nurse or eat anything - he'd just cry if I tried him on the breast and would cry if we gave him food. His nappies were dry, yet his skin was clammy and warm. They gave him medicine, in a little syringe, which he had no problems taking. He slept. They took blood. He slept again and when the doctor arrived to tell us we could head home - and the tests had revealed no serious cause for concern - Roman was laughing for the first time in days. We were told to call the hospital if things got worse at home, given a card with the number of the ward on it for that very purpose and then soon after we were leaving. I was relieved, grateful and about ten times lighter that night.

I never take life, this one life we all have, for granted. I might procrastinate or have lazy days but I never go to bed dreading the next day. I never lie down in bed and question why I had Roman, because I always know the answer. He's meant for our family. I chose to have him. Through his life, I've learned so much. Not all of it extreme exquisite  joy, but most of it has been wonderful. Sometimes it's been hard, a lot of the time I've had anxiety that somewhere, somehow, something will go wrong but I'm happy to be proven wrong, I'm happy to know that he'll reach old age. I'm so thankful, and hold him a little tighter, to have him living and breathing and in my arms (when he allows it) every single day.

Friday, 6 July 2012



Today was one whoops after the other. I can't wait to go to bed and forget it all.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Blue Eyed Angel In A Bath.


There is something angelic about this photo; something holy, innocent and pure about it. Maybe it's the white bath and matching tiles, maybe it's the innocence of Roman - and that heavenly smile. Then the eye is drawn to the black eye and it makes me so sad that even toddlers have to suffer with hay fever. He was rubbing his eye so hard that it got all red, puffy and eventually this shiner appeared :(.

Making Decisions.

Over the past few days I've made some decisions about where I want my life 'to go.' Last night as I sat watching a programme about old people in poverty in the UK (yes, it happens) there was one old lady in particular who local residents in her community despised. The famous person staying with her made the comment that 'if you don't like people, people generally don't like you.' I think that's very true and can be applied to a lot of areas of our lives. If you lack the wherewithal then you probably won't find it sitting at home staring into a blank space waiting for something to happen.  

I grew up with daily, weekly and monthly mantras/affirmations that always made me want to have more in my life...but the problem is that I am one of these average people in life. I won't change the world (not with that attitude, right? But it's true and I'm happy with this knowledge), I won't be recorded in history books, I won't create a movement that inspires, encourages or initiates change in a nation. I'd say I have average intelligence; I'm not an idiot, but I'm no Issac Newton. I won't be anything I want to be. I won't quit my life, but I won't massively succeed in the way the world wants me too, either. I don't know if I'll ever see the day beyond living below a line that tells me we're living in poverty...Western poverty (we don't starve, but we struggle), but apparently it's still poverty all the same. It appears that unless you hit a certain class/income bracket you'll never dig yourself out of that one; history and anthropology says so and it's only a small clutch of individuals with a lot of luck and a great idea that do make it out.

I lack the talent, ability, intelligence and everything in between to be anything more than I am. And for the first time in 26 years, I'm okay with that. In fact there's a few lyrics to go with how I feel about it all:

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses

I deal my own deck

Sometimes the aces sometimes the deuces
It's one life and there's no return and no deposit
One life so it's time to open up your closet
Life's not worth a dam till you can shout out
I am what I am

I will tell Roman that he can give things a shot, but if he's not any good at it - it's okay! I'll say that some things are impossible and that the world is a terrifying place to be a part of. But I will also remind him that he can either live life laughing or crying through it all. I'm real. I'm not a positive person at all and this doesn't make me awful, despite a life time of feeling like it. Being realistic is better than giving yourself false hope and a handful of pipe dreams. 

So I'll work hard on finding a way to make a second income, I'll work hard in my life, my work, my parenting and in my church callings but there is one thing: I won't expect the world and I'll not be let down when I don't get it. If none of the above works out there is one lesson I'll have learned and that's that I gave something a fighting shot, but if it doesn't work out - that's okay!

So no more mantras, no more affirmations, no more belief in something that is impossible to reach - I am what I am. And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012



I've been very careful not to overload Roman with 'boys' toys - I cringe when I see little boys  being discouraged to play with dolls, hand bags, skirts and with this in mind I wanted Roman to be free to explore the things he enjoys around him without being a major influence on his personality. And despite the things people will rudely say it doesn't mean I think he's a girl. He's a boy, there's no mistaking it, but who says boys and girls must play with (and for that matter wear) certain items? Pigeon holing someone so young based on gender is ridiculous. 

So here's a photo of my little boy who owns a grand total of two cars - both of them given by other people - wearing rocket footy pajamas and playing with a truck. My teenage self would slap my adult self, no doubt, and be totally appalled by my back pedaling. But the truth is that Roman does enjoy these toys - and increasingly is becoming very curious with trains, vans, fire engines and 'mans' (police cars) - and cutting them completely from his childhood isn't the answer, either. A little here and there won't harm his developing personality. 

He really, really enjoyed playing with this truck that was given to us - you know in case his growing pile of stuff wasn't already increasing ;). I haven't seen him so enamored with something in a long time - maybe the time a kind lady from church gave him a bunch of dinosaurs. This really wasn't the way I wanted to mother a boy, a man, a male...but it's okay, too, this truck doesn't signal the end of my morals or viewpoints on these matters. This truck is a toy, to be enjoyed by my little boy and perhaps, one day, a little girl if she should join our family.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Boys Who Bake...


I come from a family who bake, this means that Roman does too. It's in our genes, in our blood and to get it out of our systems we must bake something yummy every week...or at least me and this boy do. I normally bake with him on a Friday morning and then we spend the afternoon swimming, you know to work off those calories ;).

This morning it was a well rehearsed baking session as I've become so practiced in the art of distraction and removing items I don't want a little mouth venturing near - I failed on this when I turned my back to wash the spoon from the icing...Roman was drinking the 'last bits' of the icing. 

The photo is when I handed him the whisk, after I'd used it, and let him have at it. Not adding eggs to the ingredients brings me back to my childhood; before people knew all the ins and outs of salmonella poisoning and children licked the bowl/spoon/whisk very happily. That is the one joy of cooking egg-free.

It's still a bit of a task to bake stuff in the time frame I'd like to - for instance it took us 20 minutes or so to get these from the packet to the oven because of so much stopping and starting, but we're getting there. It's getting easier as we practice, it's getting easier as I let him be more involved (that's hard, I have my compulsions, rituals and I am a perfectionist to top it all off) and the emotional outbursts from both sides seem to be less and less. Today I even enjoyed baking with him, it didn't end in tears, shouting or hair pulling (Roman.) Nope instead it ended with me laughing at the boy who was drinking the 'last bits' of icing very greedily from the bowl.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Nappying It.


When I see him like this it reminds me of the many baby photos we have; chubby, inquisitive and still in nappies.

I can't say I've worked too hard to get him out of nappies - but we have tried. I would love to launch into a cold-turkey style of taking away the nappies (and I'm positive he'd cope better than me or Bryan with this) and letting him free range it. I'd simply offer him the potty or toilet, and he knows both are there, throughout the day and when more control and confidence was there I'd start taking him out with underpants on. If he suddenly forgot he wasn't wearing a nappy and couldn't just 'go' in pants and got wet...no biggie, I'd soon change him. It's only pee. 

But with a marriage comes two viewpoints and Bryan is reluctant to try this method, which is frustrating on my part. I want to do things a certain way and I can't because I have to respect that he gets a say, too. This is fairly new in our society as women used to have the complete say so over child rearing matters not too long ago - maybe even a generation ago - and men just didn't get involved at all, which is obviously not the best thing. It's better that Bryan is involved, it's better that men of our generation get their hands dirty with child rearing and it's better that a fathers viewpoint counts, that it matters and he cares about how his children are raised. And this is the overwhelming feeling over everything, no matter how frustrating it can be to want to do it 'my way' a lot of the time. 

Then there's Roman's way - and his time table. He's waiting for us to be ready, I can tell, because he's got no hang-ups about using either the potty or toilet. In fact he's quite practiced in it and I can't help but think we should just go for it. 

Either way, the plan is that by the end of this year: he'll be out of nappies full time, during the day and night. And however we do it, it will be done!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Awkward Family Photos.

This is my favourite photo, maybe ever. And doesn't qualify as an 'awkward family photo.'
A while ago I discovered the awesome website Awkward Family Photos. With each photo I cried tears through fits of laughter; these photos were priceless, but not from a sentimental or quality point of view, nope...as the website suggests these photos were awkward - and incredibly funny with it.

So when I spied these photos in my camera, it put me in mind of the AFP website ;). From Bryan looking like a serial killer to the awkward smile and then the awkward squint I could very well see these photos featured on the AFP website ;). 

Side note: yes, they're lovely. Even the photos that were 'out takes' so to speak are lovely to me because that's my family and despite all of these awkward family photos they make for some lovely (and funny) memories. I will enjoy adding these to my family records.



Straight in from church for a refreshing drink of left over home made lemonade.