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.