Friday, 27 May 2011

Growing up!

There is great celebration in the Mommatwo household tonight - GREAT celebration. 

Roman did a wee wee on the potty! 

To people without kids this isn't a big deal - but to those of you who have children will know why I'm so excited about it; my little boy did a wee, like a big boy, on his potty! 

Approaching his second birthday I had just had Jasper and was looking at the baskets full of cloth nappies (and the drawer with the disposables in - shame on hippy me!) and totally overwhelmed wondering how and when potty training could begin - he just seemed so totally unaware, and miles and miles away from ever BEING aware. Just yesterday I was telling my health visitor that Roman was still giving no signs that he was ready. 

Despite thinking he wasn't ready I'd been reading up on it (on the ERIC thinking about potty training page) and we had a potty so we just started, around his bath, having it around - he'd sit on it as we ran the bath and read a story or do some colouring in. After the bath more of the same whilst we told stories and got his PJs ready. He seemed to enjoy playing with it/on it but generally did nothing (or peed on the floor at the far side of the room having got up and run away!) but tonight there was a breakthrough - we always say the potty is for wee wees but he's never put it all together - until now. 

He was running around naked and kept sitting on the potty then running away like every night - then he stopped and looked down at his winkle-tinkle (I know, I know, but that's just what we call it - apart from when we call it his prawn!) and then he waddled to his potty, crouched over it (so he could watch) and weed into the potty! Cue HUGE celebrations, whooping, chearing, clapping - much excitement - then the ceremonial emptying into the loo and washing of potty and hands (with special disney cars liquid soap - never has there been such excitement - Cars, AND it smells of bananas!) 

So now that it's happened once I can see that he knows what to do and I'm PRETTY sure it's only a short while until he's totally trained! We'll go tomorrow and pick some big boy pants and over the next couple of weeks we'll slowly take him from full time nappies to hopefully daytime dry - wish us luck! 

Rather splendidly this has co-incided incredibly well with my being sponsored to go to the Cybermummy conference by ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving childhood Continence) and their new campaign that launches on June 1st - which is more than lucky really! 

I am a VERY proud Mummy 

Exciting news!

It might not be exciting for everyone - but it's CERTAINLY exciting for me! 

So - if you're a blogger, in a Mummy kind of way, you know there's a big event coming up soon - namely Cybermummy - THE place to be if you're one of the cool kids, with cool kids. I heard about it late in the game and by the time I looked into it they were booked up and I couldn't get a ticket - nor could I have afforded one even if there were any left - gutted! 

This week, however - miracles occured! 

My friend Lena - another Mummy blogger, blogging at A Mum on a Mission (which has just had a revamp and is well worth a read) and a colleague on Brew Drinking Thinkings had a sponsor to go to Cybermummy - but had to drop out - and asked if anyone was available to go in her place. I think I almost dismembered her snatching the ticket out of her hand! 

The sponsor - ERIC - is a charity that I already knew of and was already a fan of - they are "Education and Resources for Improving childhood Continence" - I was on their website just days before I got this offer reading up on their potty training advice for Roman; a funny coincidence and a huge piece of luck for us! Not only do I get to go to Cybermummy but I get to go for free because ERIC are sponsoring me and it's a charity I really like and who I can genuinely promote in return because they do something I really think is worthwhile - and they provide information I'm going to be utilising so can and will happily shout about all over the place! Lucky for me, and hopefully helpful for them! 

Please check out their website, they really are super - and cheer for me heading off to Cybermummy at the end of June, and pop over and have a read of Lena's super duper blog and tell her what a cherub she is! 

A proper real conference - how jolly wobbles exciting is that! 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I love this blog.

I really, seriously love this blog. I didn't expect for so many people to read it, to comment on it or to email me/tweet me because of it - but it's opened up a whole world of friends and understanding that I didn't expect - and I love it. 

Thank you to everyone who reads, who thinks of us, who comments, who gets in touch to share their own stories or pictures or journey. 

Being a full time Mum can get lonely at times - but thanks to this blog I feel like I have friends everywhere that I can turn to any time - it's made a real difference.

I've also found that being able to write it here when I'm having a bad day or when things feel overwhelming is much easier than trying to actually talk to someone face to face but helps me, and it seems to have helped other people to see me saying things about PND, anxiety or just grump to be ok with their own problems - I've had a surprising number of people get in touch to share their own story and tell me that they've felt the same as I do about so many things - and it's helped me to feel like a better person, a better wife and a better mother - so thank you all.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

More things that make home home!

I posted the first of this blog a couple of days ago and this is a continuation of that first post - more little glimpses of the tiny things that don't matter to anyone else that make my home my home. 

I got this picture in the 99p shop. That's a bit of a theme in my home - I don't have much cash, but I do like little things that add colour. It's a bit naff - but I love it. I would use it as the inspiration for decorating the whole kitchen if I could. I love the colours and the cherries. 

This was a gift from my friend Kathryn of the thursday column - she brought it over from Kuala Lumpur for me when she was living there. It is also in my kitchen and it gives me the grins whenever I look at it - it's so ridiculous and I like sparkly ridiculous. 

This is the cupboard where I keep the cups and glasses. I blue tack all kinds of things to it - on top is my spider plant; Alex and I pilfered a tiny spider plant baby from a garden centre when we first met and this is one of three big plants we got from that one baby - Alex has thrown the others away - he thinks I haven't realised that he did it (he hates spider plants) but he saved this one, which was my favourite and is the original baby - the others were the baby's babies. I like this because it hangs down over the sink and is the only plant in the kitchen. On the cupboard are postcards from Cumbria - home - with recipes on (I've yet to make any of them but shh!). The photo of the little boy is Alex when he was little. The other photo is me and Anna, one of my bestestest friends, when we were at school (it makes me laugh, actual laugh, because we look so ridiculous - I LOVED that hat and absolutely lived in it) the two little cards are the most recent from my Mum, who sends cards at least once a month just because. The little butterfly was on our wedding cake and the bracelet hanging from the handle is little glass chilli peppers - we bought it on honeymoon. 
By the kitchen door I've stuck up Roman's latest art work - we ran out of surfaces so I stuck it there to dry when he'd painted. They aren't great paintings - we only have two colours and he doesn't get the concept of painting, he just smooshes the paints together until we just have brown sludge but it's fun. Beside them is the poster of all England's Kings and Queens that was in the Sunday Times the week before the Royal Wedding - which we really got into. I left it up because I think it's really interesting and since I dropped history at GCSE and did Geography instead I like actually learning something about our past from it. On the table is Peppa Pig's playhouse - hours of fun (Roman takes it all out and throws the pieces, I pick them up and organise it, and so on)

We never bought toys specifically for the bath but Roman tends to bring new ones in every night - I always have a clear out at weekends but on Sunday evening he brought these ones back in - every time I have a bath I have to take toys out of the bath and it always makes me smile.

Here I have a little corner of ME on a shelf. The pig was my Christmas present from my brother - who knows me horribly well! Every day Alex gets home from work and empties his pockets onto the kitchen surface. I steal all his coins and put them in my pig. Then he has no money for parking, but I have lots! My glass jewellery box was the last present my Grandmother got me for Christmas before we lost her - it has an 'E' engraved on top with little flowers and vines. I love it so, so much and feel like a proper grown up (even if the jewellery inside is all costume stuff) for owning it. Behind is Roman's birthday card from my Dad. 

This is the door into the living room - which we never close. There are no picture hooks in the walls and we don't think we're allowed to put any up - but I wanted our pictures up so I've stuck them to the doors. Here are two bird paintings my other bestestest friend Molly painted, a flower that my Grandmother bought me, Roman's footprint from when he was a baby (the blue one) and Jasper's from the same age tucked in underneath (the red one - as you can see he's a much bigger baby than Roman was!)

Blue tacked to the wall beside the living room door is a photo of my Grandparents, Nanny and PB - they look after us.

More 99p shop finds - this is the door to Roman's room - how very exciting (and boy!)

That's it for now - I hope it wasn't too dull! Show me your things :-)

Monday, 23 May 2011

Cupboard space.

My child is ridiculous.


As Jasper is getting bigger and more interested in the things happening around him, and beginning to play with his toys, it's an absolute joy to watch Roman playing with him. Roman loves to join in wherever Jasper is and show him how to play with his toys properly. Jasper always grins madly when he sees his big brother too. For both of them, if they're fractious, a cuddle with their brother works wonders, calming them both and putting smiles on their faces. 

I can't imagine life without the pair of them, and I can't really remember what it was like to just have one child - and it seems that Roman feels the same; he adores his baby brother and prefers to be near him when he can rather than be alone. 

Seeing them together makes me feel like I could just burst with love and pride.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

What makes a house a home?

It's the little things, isn't it - the little things that nobody else sees, that you pick up and tidy away, that you iron and fold, that you wipe or clean or vacuum. The things that make your house your own, your home, are the touches of colour and comfort and mess. 

This weekend Alex picked up some furniture that had belonged to his Nana - a dining table and chairs, and a dresser. 

Our last dining table and chairs were items of which we were obscenely proud. It felt horribly grown up to own a table and chairs. We bought them for three pounds from the dump. You know, like you do. The table was a big, fold out oval on legs that were in your way no matter where you sat because of their strange diagonal design. They often fell off for no reason. The chairs were massively uncomfortable, covered in brown carpet instead of fabric on the seats, and the backs pinged out unexpectedly when you were sitting on them. I loved the whole set up - I tried to make them prettier, I painted the chairs blue and white and covered the carpet with blue gingham. They looked very twee, but the table legs still fell off and the chair backs still fell out, no matter what I did. When we were offered the set from Alex's Nana we knew we needed them and we're very grateful now to have them - proper grown up furniture, fancy expensive and pretty - as well as sturdy with legs that stay on and seats that you can lean back in. I'm in love with them - but I'm going to really miss those old ones. 

This picture looked better quality on my mobile, but it's late, and dark, and I'm tired - see my beautiful new table of joy, with chairs, with backs, and comfortable seats - see behind our wonderous dresser, made of gorgeous, ooooh I hear you say, what beauty indeed - oh yes. (Yes, there is a packet of wet wipes and a children's book on the table, and a nappy bin in the corner - those are partly the things that make this home too!) 

Looking at this picture after I'd taken it, intending merely to post a blog about having a grown up table with legs that stay on and chairs that don't pitch you onto the floor in an undignified manner, the story book and nappy bin made me smile. Those are the things that make up our home. My babies and their bits and bobs. Our lives happening in this home. 

So I took some more photos (and woke Alex up tripping over the stair gate we had up to stop Roman climbing into the dresser as we were putting the glass fronted top on) to show you all our home. Not all of it - most of it is too messy to show the general public, but here are the parts that make me smile every single day. 

First of all, our new dresser now has many of my favourite things in, displayed more nicely than the pile on the kitchen surfaces that we've been used to. On top are my cerial tupperware things. I love them. I love them more than a person should love tupperwear. I love being that twee person who decants weetabix into a plastic tub and I love pouring my muesli from one in the mornings (I love mixing my own muesli too, mine has candied peel in it, ha!) you can also see the glass jars I keep pasta and rice in on the top shelf, the spotty cake tins Alex's Mum got me for our first Christmas together (oh how I love them) and various other items of happiness. Everything in this cabinet is special. 
These glass jars were £1.50 each in wilkos - that's a very little amount of money for the happy they give me every day. Every morning I make a pot of coffee with proper ground coffee - sometimes it's posh coffee, sometimes it's economy from the supermarket, it doesn't really matter which - opening that glass jar, and spooning it out with a medicine spoon (because it fit inside the jar) makes me smile. So does caffiene, but hey! 
These are the two tea pots we kept from our wedding - we had a 'high tea' reception with scones and tea pots and lots of different kinds of tea - it was so magical, and these are my favourite tea pots. The bigger one is spotty, you can't see the little flecks in the picture. Behind is my favourite wedding present - a flowery cat shaped tea cosy. Every weekend we make a pot of tea, pop the tea cosy on and have a  long, lazy family breakfast. 
This is our living room window - it's a big bay window (that could do with a clean, the windows haven't been cleaned for at least 5 years - we've yet to find a window cleaner who'll agree to do them because they're all apparently hard to get at - I'm not allowed to climb onto the 6" ledge outside and do them myself apparently!) 
When we moved in there were some massive, ugly cream curtains over the side windows that wouldn't open or close - they're on a cheap plastic curtain rail and wouldn't slide - so the two side windows were blocked and the middle was uncovered. We hated them, so pulled them down and replaced them with these fabric panels. I love them, I love how they look a bit like flags and how they look from outside and they make the room look bright and pretty. There you can also see Alex's lemon tree, our three year old ponsettia plant and my favourite chair. 

A close up of the elephant mobile in the bay window - my Mum got us this when she was down and the boys love it jangling and it makes me smile. 

Next to the ponsettia is a little wooden bird - there are two, but Roman is keen on them and the other is in his bedroom at the moment. 
I've taken a dozen or so other pictures to show the things that make our flat feel like home - but this is already a very long blog post and I have lots of other things to do tonight before I can go to bed, and my computer keeps turning itself off - this post has taken an hour and a half to do and I'm still trying to convince my laptop that my copy of word IS installed AND legally mine so that I can finish some freelance work and my articles for Brew Drinking Thinkings (which you should totally all read, by the way, it is superb) so I'll post the rest tomorrow - along with pictures of our visit to Peppa Pig world last week! Oh yes! 

I'd love to see everyone else's "home" by the way - a couple of pictures and a little explination about why that item or picture or bit of mess feels like home. I love seeing how people fill their spaces. Post on your own blogs and link below if you have something that always makes you feel like you're home.