Friday, 17 February 2012

Bedtime snuggles with Jellybean

Jellybean generally gets put to bed by Daddytwo and I usually put Midget Gem down at the same time. We go through together and I give Midget Gem his milk, read him a book or sing him a song and put him down then sit and read for five minutes in the blissfully comfortable chair beside his cot, then leave because he's fast asleep.

Daddytwo takes Jellybean to his bed, climbs in with him to read him books and sing songs and talk about their days. Then Daddytwo falls fast asleep and Jellybean tucks him in, sings to him and gives me a cheerful wave when I peep into his room!

Tonight I was in a huff and filled to the brim with a need for a hot water bottle, red wine and my own body weight in chocolate. My wonderful husband trotted out to Asda to get me all of the above and took Midget Gem, who had had a late nap so was WIDE AWAKE, with him and left me snuggled up to a very sleepy Jellybean on the sofa.

He knows I'm less soft than his Daddy at bedtime and won't lie down and stay there for ages, I'm a three stories, song, music and gone kind of bed time Momma.

I read two stories then Jellybean told me he wanted to read the third one. He chose "All in one piece" (a Large Family book if you aren't sure) one of my own childhood favourites and I held it so he could 'read'. He can kind of recognise some words - our names, car, train (that's pretty much it, but hey, he isn't even three!) but he certainly can't read. Usually when he reads us a story he just remembers it and recites it - or tells us what's happening in the pictures.

I've started to trace the words with my finger as I read so that he'll learn what each word sounds like and begin to recognise more words and had done so for the first two books tonight. With this book I pointed at a word and asked if he knew what it said. He traced the words with his own finger and said "I can read this book, not you, don't you read this book, *I* am reading this book. I am the king of the castle and you are a dirty rascal!"

That cracked me up, then he made me read him the story properly, then we snuggled down for our favourite game of "What's best".

"What's best, cars or lorries?"
"Lorries of course."
"What's best, lorries or trains?"
"Trains of course!"

Then he asks me;
"What is best, faces or ceilings?"
"What is your best frave-rit, Daddy or potty?"
"What is best, butterflies or Macca Pacca?"

"Macca Pacca"
"what is your frave-rit, outside of cars or outside of cows?"

He is a most excellent boy :-),204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpg

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Listography - mugs!

Look at me, look at me, I'm joining in Kate's listography! (That isn't the same as Tara's Gallery - totally different thing! Just in case you make the mistake of thinking they're connected, like an idiot...not that I did that. Obviously.)

This week's listography is just way too exciting not to join in. It's a very special and particular kind of porn - mug porn. 

I love mugs. I apparently buy too many, and my husband tries very hard to break them as quickly as I bring them into the already vastly over crowded flat. I refuse to pay much for anything a mug and I'm, as with so many things, revoltingly proud of my thrifty skills in finding mugs of wonder, beauty and joy for bargainous prices.

I've to show you my top five mugs for this listography and it is VERY hard to do - I love all of my mugs at different times, for different reasons and, depending very heavily on how recently I purchased them, my favourite switches regularly.

This beauty (and the pink and green versions of the same) came from my local 99p shop - these are my favourite for tea and for my new incredible beverage of wonder, chai latte. They are china mugs (or at least some chalky imitation of such) and have a delightful sheen to them - I like to drink from these mugs sitting in the sunlight so I can see it glowing through my mug!

This mug was a gift years ago when I got a promotion in a previous job - the back of the mug says "Even cheeky monkeys need a break". It has a chip in the rim, it is a bugger to hold because I always burn my finger knuckles on the mug because the handle is too small.

This mug is - of course - my all time favourite, the best and greatest mug of all time, for any occasion, but particularly good for a morning coffee (it's rather small, you see, and I'm trying to cut my caffeine down again!) it's the best because Jellybean painted it for me, like the clever little angel that he is. It's very modern in design, he is a little Picasso in the making. Or something.

This is my 'two for the price of one' old lady mini-teapot and mug set. The tea pot holds enough for two full mugs - or at least it would if it didn't leak so badly when you pour from it - it slops around everywhere from the spout and splashes out all over the place from the lid, which would annoy me more if I let it but I'm determined to love this because I wanted one for years and pestered my poor husband until the January sales this year when I forced him to buy me this one. It is rubbish - I have never managed to drink from it without scalding myself and covering the table with tea - but it DOESN'T MATTER because I LOVE IT, OK!?

This was a valentines gift from my husband. He knows me so well - and what will make me happy! My car is OLD. It is old, the weather is cold, and my journey to work is only just long enough at fourty minutes to get my heaters blowing actual warmth at me. For Christmas he got me driving gloves, and now there is this - not only is it a thermal mug, which a lot of people have - no big deal - this goes one better; there is a cable, that plugs into my car's lighter, and it heats the beverage inside so if it's got a little cool as I drive I can warm it up and keep myself warm on my way to work! That's real love that is.

These are my mugs Kate - these are the beverage holding items of joy that warm my innards with their innards, and I love them. I am loving perving on the mugs of all the other entrants on the listography this week - and I am revoltingly excited about the competition! 

Blogging friends, post pics that I can perv on of your mug collection and let me see by adding to the linky on Katetakes5 - you KNOW you want to!

A potty training update

Jellybean has been doing EVER so well with his potty training - I'm pretty sure we've got it down pat when we're home, he knows what he's doing, he knows how and where to do it and he knows that he'll win a sticker when he hits the target. 
Out and about still needs some work and he has pull ups for night time - but I'm (touch wood) relatively confident that accidents will be minimal during the day from this point onwards. 


I would like to thank my friend Sarah for her generous gift of "Easy Potty Training" by Lora Jensen. It really was! Easy I mean - once I'd read the book and actually bit the bullet to do it!

I'm also hugely grateful for ERIC and all of their tips and advice - the combination of those two sources gave me the confidence to just go for it properly - we'd been trying letting him have bare bum time after a bath with a potty in the room - and there were even occasions on which he managed to pee IN the potty, not on the carpet beside it!

This week though I had three days off work (Midget Gem's birthday was on Tuesday so I took advantage of some holiday days that needed using up and made a loooooooong weekend of the event!) and we knew that Jellybean was ready, so prepped ourselves for the big event.

Jellybean and Mummy went on a trip to the shop - we bought THIS potty in Asda.

It plays music when he sits on it, it tells him what a clever boy he is and sings a congratulatory song when he pees or poos in it, and he dispenses a sticker when he's 'flushed' his business away! 

He is very good at washing his hands afterwards too - phew! SUCH an important lesson! There are people at work who trot right out of the bathroom without washing their hands on a loo break - VOMIT. Just revolting.

He pops his sticker on his chart and tells me what number he is on - and when he gets to 10 he gets a big prize! The prizes so far have been a magazine, a Spongebob Square Pants colouring book, a toy garbage truck and a new book. I think we're going to have to scale down the number ten prizes or we'll be broke...
(is it just me, or does Spongebob look like he needs to pee too?!)

As part of the process I was advised to let him see me using the toilet (sigh - as if I've been able to do that alone in the last couple of years?!) and we had a good chat about the whole process. As he peered curiously at me a strange expression crossed his face (I wondered if it was live action mental and emotional scarring and whether it would come up in later therapy sessions during his midlife crisis) and then he burst into hysterical laughter. 
He laughed so hard that he actually fell over, lying on the bathroom floor beside me clutching his belly. 

"Jellybean what on earth is so funny?!"
"Oh Mummy, you have SUCH a TINY winkle - it is SO TINY that it is HIDING in that blanket!" 


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A year

When you're young people tell you that time speeds up the older you get. I always dismissed that, thinking it was nonsense, one of those tired old cliches that you hear from old folk that mean nothing.

Then I got older, and time sped up, and I learned that cliches are only cliches because they're so true they get repeated until they seem meaningless!

A year has passed since Midget Gem joined our family on the outside of my uterus. For 8 months before that he'd heard a watery, echoing version of our lives happening around him and all we knew of him was kicks, wriggles and hiccups.

February 14th is a special day for a lot of couples - but it's worth huge celebration in this home because it's the celebration of welcoming this scrunched up, grumpy baby into our lives.

That tiny, perfect little baby turned in the blink of an eye into this huge big clever boy, made of smiles and joy and wonder.

I absolutely cannot believe it's been a full year, the time has passed terribly quickly - I feel like I've barely had time to breathe. 

A huge amount has changed in the past 12 months and it looks like the next 12 months will be just as exciting, and just as action packed - I'm excited to see what the next year will bring, and who Midget Gem will become in that time.

I am so, so happy that I have this family, that these are the babies I was given, and that this is my life. It isn't perfect, but it's a very good start. 

Here's to another smashing year!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

#dosomethingyummy - Link Up - Week 1

I saw a post last week on I Am Typecast which I really wanted to get involved with - it's taken me longer than I'd hoped to post, but it's been on my mind the entire intervening time. I posted already about the cause here but this post - and the others linked over on Nikki's blog - adds to the project and raising awareness. 
I hope that other bloggers seeing this for the first time join in and spread the word - it's so important that we support CLIC Sargent and help children, and their families, suffering with cancer. 

The post that Nikki wrote on I Am Typecast gave a writing prompt - "What do your children mean to you?" and gave three options - I chose option one, the personal post. 

"Why did you have children? How did they change your life?"

This is my story in response to that prompt.

I was one of those angsty, self obsessed young people. (Some might argue I'm still self obsessed but trust me when I say I'm much improved!) I generally thought that the world was against me and had a giant chip on my shoulder, convinced that the entire universe was trying to RUIN MY LIFE.

It turns out that thinking like that is what ruins your life - and once you grow up a bit and realise that the world ISN'T against you, in fact the world kind of doesn't give a rats ass about you, because you're such an insignificant part of it, things get much easier.

About the time that I was realising this and turning into a human being I met Daddytwo. He was just the most phenomenal human I'd ever happened across and he fascinated me - so I upped sticks and moved in with him and we began our plans for the future.

Though I had grown much as a person at that point I was very nervous about this new relationship, and about being good enough to keep him, and good enough to make him happy - my self esteem was about as low as it could get and I was totally in awe of him. I desperately wanted to be special enough for this wonderful man and, though he went out of his way to show me that he thought I was, part of me thought it was a trick and that he would get sick of me, and I'd lose him. It was cripplingly terrifying and it took a toll on our early relationship.

Amongst all that I had been told, after many years of gynaecological problems, that I was very unlikely to be able to have children without medical assistance to conceive. Daddytwo was very open about his hopes for children in the not-too-distant future ("Definitely before I'm 30" he said - he was 26 at this point) and I thought that urge would mean he'd leave me for someone 'better' who could give him his dream family, because there was a chance I couldn't.

It turns out that the doctors were very wrong though - five months after we met I fell pregnant naturally. 

Well, that was a bit of a shock! 

Did that reassure me that I was good enough to keep him? Did it whack - it convinced me instead that he was just staying with me now because he was 'stuck' with me! 

Through the pregnancy I was a nightmare - I was hormonal, panicked, angsty, just a nightmare for the first six or seven months. Every day he calmed me and reassured me and was patient and good and kind and loving. 

Eventually, towards the end of the pregnancy, I began to believe him, and began to feel comfortable in our relationship and to feel comfortable as a person - I wasn't sure where I intended to take my life career wise, or where I wanted to live, or what I wanted to do - but I DID know that I had the right father for my child and that things were going to be ok - and I knew that I wanted to be the best person I could to be a good Mummy for that baby.

I began to work on my relationships with family - who I had all but abandoned in my angsty years because I was so convinced they didn't love me. Turns out they did, rather a lot actually, but I didn't see it because I was so stubbornly furious. 

I got to know them all properly, as actual people - and they got to know me, underneath all that neurosis - and we all get on well now - they're lovely people, and I'm lucky to have them! 

By the time my baby arrived I was in a much better state, and had been seeing a councillor to talk through the other issues and worries I'd had. This is something I wonder if I ought to be ashamed about - but it's a true and big part of how I went from there to here and I'm proud of the journey I've made, and of the person I am now compared to the dark place I was in and the dark person I could have been. 

I could have thrown it all away - but meeting Daddytwo and getting pregnant with the miracle that turned into Jellybean made me realise what was important - and it sure as hell wasn't me.

What is important is being as good a you as you can be, and making an effort to make other people's lives easier, and nicer, in as many ways as you can. You're allowed to make mistakes, as long as you can look people in the face and say that you're sorry when you do. Nobody is perfect, I'm a bloody long way from it - but I do try to be as good as I can, and feel bad when I cock it up - and try to take responsibility when I do.

Having children made me realise how insignificant I am, and how much a single word or look can impact on someone else. It made me realise how important one person can be in different ways to different people, and it made me realise how important it is to work well within your groups, and to surround yourself with the right people who treat you with respect, and to treat them with the same.

You get what you give out in life - if I was receiving poison at one point it's because that was what I was emitting - and the love and happiness and good luck I receive at the moment is because I put a hell of a lot of work into being a better human being for the sake of the people that are important to me.

My children made me want to set a good example, to work on conquering my low self esteem, to improve my attitude, to focus on what matters. They made me want to be better (mentally, educationally, career wise, lifestyle wise, in friendships and relationships and just as a woman) so that they had a strong, hard working example to follow.

I don't always hit my own targets, and I'm my own harshest critic when I don't,  but in general I hope that I'm raising my children in a positive household with a positive outlook on life. That will take them a very long way. The only thing that holds you back in life is yourself, and your fears and self restriction.

When I doubt myself, I take a deep breath, I look at those babies and I know that I'm not just letting myself down, I'm letting THEM down - and that is NOT acceptable. The harder I push myself the better I am. So I'll keep pushing.

THAT is how being a Mummy has changed me. I don't back down any more. I don't quit when it gets hard. I don't walk away. I fight, I work, I try. And when I get it wrong, I say I'm sorry. (Not always graciously - but I do!) 

If you've forgotten how this started, this post is a link up to to the I Am Typecast prompt - click over and check it out.