Archive for May, 2010

My Fantastic Son – random thoughts about Twink


This post is going to be all about my boy. He’s fantastic.

His eyes are just so beautiful. I still get comments from everyone about how unusual his eyes are with the dark ring around the iris.

Who me?

Who me?

The problem is of course when he wants something & turns those puppy dog eyes on me! He’s just recently started telling me off when I’ve told him ‘no’. He points his finger, his voice sounds very strict but with those innocent eyes the effect is just so funny!…I’m assuming he’s learnt that from someone at nursery…I don’t think I’ve ever wagged my finger at him like that!!

Squishy, look at all these animals.

He is so loving with his little sister. To say he adores her is an understatement. I have never seen him show any sort of jealousy towards her, even when he has had to wait his turn for mummy milk (although he does get impatient with me!). He insists on giving her kisses first thing in the morning, and whenever he sees her again after a break (like when I pick him up from nursery). He is just as generous with his kisses and cuddles with me and Hubby, although he doesn’t like it when people he doesn’t know well try to kiss him…it has to be on his terms. So if you get a kiss or a cuddle from him – you know it means something.

One Year Old

One Year Old

I love how much he loves books. I’m a bookaholic myself, so I’m pleased that he loves them too. This is the pile he usually takes to bed with him:

As you can see, sometimes his Colordoodle joins in. He usually cuddles a book to sleep…usually a Doctor Who one, obviously! Tonight he is cuddling one of my birthday cards…a Doctor Who one that screams ‘It is your birthday. You must celebrate or you will be EXTERMINATED. EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!!’. Wherever we go, as long as they have books he will be happy to sit and flick through them…giving them back before we leave can sometimes be challenging though!

He makes me laugh every day.

He does things his own way, and I hope he always will.

He snores like a trooper!

He has an unerring ability to spot biscuits from a mile off, but always asks me before taking one…and then shouts if I don’t allow him a second…or a third ;-) He also likes proper, grown up, dark chocolate…although he’s partial to the odd milk chocolate button too.

He was a cosleeping, (now tandem) breastfeeding, baby led weaning, (still) sling riding, (still) cloth nappy wearing happy little boy.

He is TWO already.

He has changed my life completely, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He has shown us the way right from the start – we coslept from 3 days old because otherwise no one slept. People told us we’d never get him out without leaving him to cry, but he moved into his own bed, in his own room, in his own time…and started sleeping through at about 11 months. Obviously he stopped shortly afterwards (blasted teeth!), but now he sleeps through more often than not, and as of Tuesday night, he falls asleep without anyone in his bedroom. I’m so proud of him!

My baby boy is growing up.

My Birthday Trip


I had a whole day off. Twenty four whole, child free hours. I have the best best friend EVER! And the best husband of course ;-)

Twink woke some time after 9 on Saturday, and Hubby started trying to get me out of bed. He kept saying we were going to Starbucks for breakfast, but was being really urgent about it. It takes time to nurse two children, get them both dressed and in the car, but we were at the babysitters by 11…yep, the babysitters, not Starbucks! We were on a train to London with the hour.

A wander round Covent Garden shops and the food market, ended in a quick trip into Fred Perry resulting in these fab new shoes

and then we finally made it to Starbucks for Hubby’s first coffee of the day (he’s an addict!). Hubby then suggested Bond Street…where we happened to bump into Yo! Sushi. Convenient that ;-) We love love LOVE sushi. Completely stuffed we then continued with the shopping challenge – find me an outfit that I don’t feel hideous in (not easy since I put 3 stone on during a stressful time pre-children and obviously having 2 children hasn’t helped). We went in lots of ridiculously expensive shops pretending we could afford to buy things when they had clearly put the decimal point in the wrong place!

Shopping was starting to get stressful (see point above re. 3 additional stone!), but Hubby saved the day by spotting this lovely  shop where I found two tops and a dress which were almost flattering (okay, so I may have a slightly negative view of myself…or an honest one, depending on your point of view!).

By this point it had been about ten hours since I fed Squishy and I was getting a little uncomfortable (although thankfully no leaking – I’m lucky as I never leak), and trying on clothes was slightly amusing with the Dolly Parton chest! So we decided to head home rather than find somewhere for dinner in London. I think we got home a bit 9.00 and stopped by KFC (classy, huh!). When we called the babysitter to check everything was okay (and to ask if we had time to eat our junk food), she said Squishy had been absolutely fine, had no problems taking a bottle (unlike Twink who refused point blank and would wait, fairly, patiently) even holding it herself!! Little traitor ;-) She also said she was happy to keep them both overnight! Result!

So I had a lovely long lie in on my birthday, followed by breakfast in Starbucks (there’s a theme here…Hubby is trying to turn me into an addict too!). We spent the day pottering in the garden, with the paddling pool out and a BBQ to finish the day.

And now we are thirty.

Pre-birthday jitters


All this week I have been meaning to do some proper writing on my book. Well, all this year to be honest…hmm…and all the previous five…

Sigh…okay, this is me being slightly irrational (no change there then!), but I really, really wanted to get organised with my book before that big birthday thing I’m having on Sunday…

You know…that day when I’ll be turning (sh…whisper it…) 30.

I haven’t written any book related stuff for months and as you know, I want to give myself a kick up the arse and get started properly…and even though it’s a bit daft, I really wanted to be able to say that I’d done that while I was still in my twenties. Not sure why, but I now have just over 24 hours left to do something. Even if I just write one more sentence, I am determined to get something done tomorrow.

Of course, there is always the chance that Hubby will be whisking me away somewhere fabulous for the weekend so I won’t have a chance to write…

…somewhere fabulous that is also suitable for a toddler…

….and a 3 month old….


No…probably not, eh?!

Ah well, fingers crossed that I can give you a nice shiny birthday post about how inspiration struck and I wrote a whole chapter….

….or about how I’m weekending in New York ;-)

The 12th Doctor?


Before I had children I had heard how they have their little obsessions and I was prepared for Thomas the Tank Engine, buses or cars (or whatever) to be played with morning till night. My son had other ideas for his first obsession. Doctor Who. Yep, really. There are those who don’t really believe that my son hasn’t been encouraged heavily in this direction (something about me thinking David Tennant is totally scrummy…I’m saying nothing!), but he really hasn’t. And I’m sure he can’t be the only child with an unusual obsession.

How did this happen? I’ve quite often had the TV on while feeding Twink, with reruns of Buffy, Ghost Whisperer, Charmed, Friends…and Doctor Who. I do love Doctor Who, but I am also a HUGE Buffy fan. Hubby always has car programmes on – Top Gear, Fifth Gear & lots of random Discovery channel type shows. Despite this huge selection of inappropriate, non-cbeebies TV programmes…my son chose Doctor Who. The first we knew of it was when he suddenly got terribly excited when the credits ran; pointing at the TV screen and doing a little dance of joy!

Then he found my Doctor Who Annual. I’m not really an annual type of person, but for Twink’s first christmas, he bought me a Doctor Who Annual (& Hubby a Top Gear annual…clever boy!). This annual became his new best friend. He’d sit down to flick through it’s pages, pointing out all the characters. It started being the book he chose to cuddle to sleep (chosen from a huge stack that had to accompany him to bed).

The bedtime book stack

Next he started to ask us to put Doctor Who on TV. We should probably have put a stop to it at this point, but I much prefer watching Doctor Who to Cbeebies, and as I have a 3 month who needs feeding quite often, it’s useful to have something to keep Twink occupied if he’s in a bit of a grump. He doesn’t actually watch the whole episode unless it’s a new one – he just potters around the living room and gets excited when he sees the blue box, a dalek or the credit sequence.

I’m really impressed with the brand recognition abilities of a two year old. He can spot the Doctor Who logo on a single book sitting high up on a bookshelf with hundreds of other books on it. No matter what anyone else thinks, Twink loves Doctor Who.

So we’ve gone with it.  For his birthday we bought him a book of Doctor Who stories we can read to him, a dalek filled with bubble bath (as someone who was scared of daleks as a child, that seems a little soft and fluffy for a dalek!) and some Doctor Who sheets for his bed. A genius friend also bought him a sonic screwdriver! The screwdriver is taken everywhere, and every conceivable object is sonicked. His reaction to seeing the Doctor Who sheets on his bed? Well, obviously he whipped out his sonic screwdriver and zapped them!

That’s right…he’s giving a dalek a quick cuddle…

Obviously there was also a tardis cake

…it’s disappearing…that’s what tardises do!

Twink has previously not slept under a blanket since he moved out of our bed at 11 months. Thanks to the Doctor Who sheets he now insists on sleeping underneath his covers. And since he’s been sleeping under them he’s slept at least 12 hours a night…in fact we’ve had to wake him for nursery. The one morning we could let him sleep in, he slept for 13 & a half hours. No, he’s not ill! I am LOVING the extra sleep. Obviously it will only last until I get used to it, but until then I am going to enjoy every minute!

What will he do next? Is this obsession here to stay? Probably not, but until then he’s busy playing at being the 12th Doctor!

The Pre-Verbal Child


Twink is two, and he doesn’t talk  yet.


There, I’ve said it. I’m not overly worried as I know a few children who started talking even later, and he does have the odd word (although they’re generally pronounced differently every time). These are the words I’ve heard him say:

  • hello
  • bye
  • mummy
  • daddy
  • Ishy (= his sister)
  • yeh
  • no
  • fra (= car)
  • woo (= Doctor Who)
  • oof oof (= woof woof = dog)
  • moow (= more or mummy milk…not sure why it’s for both)
  • mahmy (= marmite)
  • boo (= book)
  • aw duh (= all done)
  • dah or didah (= water)

They aren’t always clear, and he doesn’t always use them. For example, tonight at bedtime he was moaning for ages with me guessing repeatedly what he might want. He finally said ‘boo’ and I realised he wanted his book to cuddle. It would have saved so much time if he just said ‘boo’ to start with!

He jabbers and babbles away all day long, and sometimes is extremely insistent about what he is saying, but no matter how much I try, I can’t turn most of it into an English word. We’ve been joking for ages that he is probably creating a whole new language instead of learning English…

I understand him most of the time, but more and more there are moments in the day when we both get frustrated with playing twenty questions (do you want x, do you want y, do you want z…). He tries so hard to tell me things sometimes, and I can see it really frustrates him that he knows what he wants but can’t communicate it to me. It must be really isolating to be a pre-verbal child, particularly when you understand most of what you hear. To be trapped in your own head in that way must be quite lonely.

Moody Twink

I try to find other ways to communicate with him – communication isn’t just about words. So we’re very tactile with each other and I try to encourage him to use visual clues to tell me what he wants or is thinking and feeling. Sometimes that’s sign language (which he’s started using again more frequently so I’m trying to learn a few more), sometimes it’s a hug while we work out what he is trying to say, and sometimes it’s as simple as getting him to show me what he wants (so he can go to the fridge and grab the milk if he wants some milk!).

It’s basically quite frustrating for all of us, and I think most of his tantrums are caused by not being able to communicate. So imagine how I felt when I picked him up from nursery and found out he’d been ‘chatting all day’ and he is ‘getting really clear now’….grrrr….when is he going to share that with me??!!

Birthday party


As I mentioned before, Twink turned 2 over a week ago. His actual birthday was a quiet family sort of day, and we had a big bouncy party a couple of days ago. A few more photos from his birthday (including the inflatable car bought by our lovely neighbour):

Am I really 2?!

I was getting a bit worried about his birthday – half the people I invited couldn’t come (or changed their minds at the last minute!) so I was worried there would be too many adults & not enough children for Twink to play with. Anyway, we ordered a bouncy castle (just because we could)

and we bought a lot of food to burn on the BBQ, and ordered a cake. Twink spent the night at his Auntie’s & arrived back at 11.30 to find balloons, & banners, & presents, & a bouncy castle! He was VERY excited! This is the first time he’s really understood the whole concept of presents. At christmas we had to encourage him to open anything, and he wanted to put things back in the paper after he had opened them! This time he needed no encouragement at all!

Wrapping paper be gone!

After we finally convinced him to get dressed, loads of people arrived, bringing with them lots of children and Twink had a great time. Then there was cake (the cake was my cake too as I have a big birthday coming up next week)

I'll just take this bit of icing...

Yep, it’s a tardis cake (not the best photo…)! How cool is that?! More on my son’s Doctor Who obsession in another post…anyway, he loved it, & the icing turned everyone’s teeth blue! The amount of sugar in it also helpfully turned a slightly ratty, nap missing boy into an energetic, happy birthday boy!

I had thought the dalek bubble bath would be the favourite present (& it was certainly appreciated…it spent most of the party guarding the back door!), but it was trumped by a…SONIC SCREWDRIVER!!! I don’t think Twink has let go of it since he unwrapped it…I can’t see the batteries lasting long…

The weather was absolutely fantastic. Despite rain being forecast, we had an amazingly hot, sunny day. Twink took a moment out to chill with an ice lolly and his new screwdriver.

Shortly after everyone left, Twink asked for a milk feed and promptly fell asleep. He had missed his nap, so going to sleep for the night at 5.30pm isn’t so unusual…but not waking up until 10.40am the next day is COMPLETELY unheard of! 17 hours and 10 minutes sleep…I guess all the fun wore him out!

And Now We Are Two


Twink turned 2 on Saturday. I am no longer the mother of 2 under 2! Strangely it doesn’t feel as momentous as I thought it would. Turning one was a huge event – my first child’s first birthday – and I was full of memories of giving birth to him the year before and how different life is with him. Now we’ve known him for two years I can’t quite remember life before him, so there’s less comparisons to be made between now and then.

He had a quiet birthday as his party will be next Saturday. I bought him a ginormous balloon (seriously, it’s bigger than he is!), we gave him some cards from friends and family that had been delivered during the week (including one from me & Hubby and one from Squishy) and made rice crispie cakes.

I'll just eat some of these rice crispies

Nom Nom Nom

You try some, Mummy!

We had a long, lazy lunch at our favourite pub (Twink ignored his lunch, ate my chips and flirted with the waitresses), then a friend came round with some presents for Twink (although I have a hunch he mainly bought duplo so that he could play with it himself!). Hubby & I have only just ordered his big birthday present…does that make me a bad mummy? Twink had a lovely relaxed day, but still has no real understanding that it was his birthday. However, he has definitely got the hang of opening cards and presents!! We will be wrapping up a few little things to give to him on Saturday, including this:

Exterminate! Exterminate!

It’s bubble bath! Not sure if I’ve mentioned my son’s obsession with Doctor Who, but he LOVES it. His favourite book is a Doctor Who annual which he frequently goes to bed cuddling (yes, really…he usually goes to bed with a few books, but has yet to take any interest in a teddy bear). He is going to go nuts when he sees this…& as for his birthday cake…watch this space!

I managed to make my gift for the party on Friday…

…not bad for my first attempt at freezer paper stencilling! I would have preferred to do another coat of paint, but ran out of time.

Project of this week has been a crocheted matinee jacket for Squishy. At this point it was going well:

Now it is not. I have made the skirt part (which is the bit in the picture) & am half way through the jacket body (next will come sleeves, then collar), however it is already obvious that all is not well. When you attach the jacket body to the skirt part, you are supposed to gather the skirt to make it fit…in my case it would require the jacket body to be gathered as somehow the skirt is the smaller of the two. I have no idea how that is even possible as I have definitely made the right number of stitches on both pieces (counted several times) and although the pieces use different stitches I can’t imagine that my tension changed quite so much…somehow I will have to bodge it to fit, as I really don’t want to start again…and I do feel the skirt could benefit with lots of edging on one end ;-)

Gratuitous picture of my daughter with her pretty blouse on for her brother’s birthday lunch!

The Shortness of Life


I’ve just had some news which has made me thankful for everything I have…and realise it could all disappear in the blink of an eye. My neighbour’s wife has just died from some kind of cancer. She wasn’t ill for long – she was only diagnosed last week. It’s brought all sorts of memories back to me – my mum died just over four years ago from Pancreatic Cancer. Everything my neighbour was saying about the hospital reminded me of what we went through with Mum. All those memories I’d stored away in a mental box marked ‘do not open’…all the unpleasant, hospital/hospice moments we battled through. In comparison with my neighbour I suppose she was lucky – Mum had three & a half months from diagnosis. The worst few months of my life.

I can imagine what my neighbour’s children are going through….the unreality of it all, right next to the brutal fact that she’s not there any more. Just horrible. The ground falling away under your feet.

So I will be cuddling my little Squishy closer tonight, & trying to be more patient with Twink tomorrow. My thoughts are with my neighbour and his family, as well as anyone else going through a nightmare time because of illness or grief.  And as always, my mum will also be in my thoughts.

Sorry for the slushy post, but that’s just how I’m feeling.

Present Thoughts


We haven’t been having a particularly fun week. Twink has been working on getting his whining to the perfect pitch to make Mummy’s head explode, and Squishy is having her 12 week growth spurt. Fun and games! This has led to me having a bit of birthday blindness. We have 2 birthday parties this weekend, 3 birthdays and only 1 present.

Twink's first birthday

The first party is on Friday and is for a 2 year old boy who I have seen maybe 3 times in the last year. What is the protocol here? I’d feel rude turning up to a party with nothing, but equally wouldn’t expect everyone to bring someone just because I’d invited them to a party. I’m thinking I’ll use some blank t-shirts I have and try some freezer paper stencilling. I’ve never done it before, but how hard can it be?!

Twink's Birthday Card

Saturday is looking like it’ll be a difficult day. We have a 2 year old’s (we’ll call him J) party to go to at 2pm, but it is also Twink’s second birthday and we’d like to do something as a family. But we don’t know what! So whatever we do, it’ll be a busy sort of day. Twink’s party is the following week as he’ll be sharing the party with me because my (sh….30th) birthday is the week after and May is already so full of parties we didn’t feel we needed one each.

Twink & his cake

J is the lucky one – I already have a present for him as Twink was given an outfit by the MIL at Christmas which I’d never put him in, so I’m recycling it for J who it’ll suit perfectly! Just for completeness, if you remember my best mate (of baby-catching fame), her sister is J’s mum. So J is part of our extended adopted family.


As for my own son…still no present! I’m planning to get him a balance bike, but somehow we haven’t ordered it yet, so I think I’ll pick up some arty stuff just so that he’s got something to unwrap on the day. Wrapping paper, a box of some kind, some bubbles and a balloon will be enough to make him happy. Would it be wrong to get him to make his own birthday card?! He loves an excuse to get the paints out!

Sigh…I just don’t seem to be able to get in the birthday mood, which is highly irritating as May is full of birthdays and celebrations. Somehow a second birthday doesn’t seem as exciting as a first birthday, but he’s still not as aware of what a birthday is as he will be next year. It’s stuck in between, and as I’m still in the new baby, sleep deprived haze, I can’t get into it.

Oh well…on to the next present I need to find…

It’s my wedding anniversary next Wednesday! We’ll have been married 3 whole years, which apparently means we have to buy some leather…seems a bit kinky to me, but who am I to argue with wikipedia? I have no idea what to get though – we have leather sofas, DH has a leather strap on his watch and already has nice leather shoes…maybe it’d be enough if we go to a restaurant and eat steak…it’s the same animal after all!

Twink's birthday presents!

After all that brainstorming, all I’ve decided is that I need to freezer stencil a t-shirt tomorrow…but what design to use?!

Hope you liked the photos from Twink’s first birthday. Seems so long ago…and how young does Twink look?!!

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