Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Y3 - 61/365: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Yes, I know. I realise we have 25 days yet until Christmas (just 19 until Ryan's first birthday), but there's nothing like a first proper snowfall to get one in the mood. Heck, I even blasted some Christmas music this afternoon and danced around with Ryan singing 'Jingle Bells.'

It was kind of sweet that I caught glimpses of him staring out the large bay window at the falling flakes. I even bundled him up at one point just to walk outside the gate to check the mail.

Now the only thing I am wondering is how long it will take these silly apples to give up their fight? The birds don't seem to mind.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Y3 - 60/365: Camera One, Camera Two...

Camera One

Camera Two

Although I love, love, LOVE my Samsung Galaxy S...that love does not include the camera feature. The photos look nice and bright on my back lit screen...and then I upload them to the PC and no amount of Photo-shopping can improve them like it can from my Kodak.

We put up the tree last night after much persuasion on my behalf. I had to educate my dear husband on the way of my people and our need to kick off the Christmas season nearly immediately after leftovers on Thanksgiving. He agreed we could put it up, but still didn't understand why so soon.

After we got it out of the box and plugged it in we noticed nearly all the bottom half had really dim or non-functioning LED snowflakes and this did not impress either of us. We had packed the tree up carefully the last time so there was no reason why they shouldn't be working properly. Now we're stuck over whether to just string some regular lights through and try removing the snowflakes or get another tree -- and we really cannot afford that option.

Ryan was the foreman as we assembled everything and he got to have a peek before bed, as well as another inspection first thing this morning. I'm quite proud that he is handling this intruder well. It takes up half his play area in the bay window! He has stroked the branches a few times today and tried having a conversation with one of the snowflakes...in fact, he even started calling the tree, "Dada!"

I suppose I can see the resemblance.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Y3 - 59/365: National Geographic - Domestic Edition

Note as the crafty, yet not so graceful, Ryan sneaks up on the unsuspecting Amy baby...he will pounce and screech any moment now...

Sunday dinner done at ours this week. Mmm, chicken.

And no weekend is complete without the kidlets.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Y3 - 58/365: Worth A Thousand Words

Several things could be said about this photo. When I look at it myself, I wonder what story I should tell...

Do I tell about why there's a big bruise in the middle of his forehead?

I could go there. It wasn't on him last night which only means that it happened today. So that raises the question, how did I, his mother, miss that he had a bruise in the middle of his forehead? Well, that's easy...when doesn't he have a bruise somewhere on his face. This boy takes quite a few tumbles in the course of a day and it's hard to say if that particular bruise is the result of a floor, a wall, a door or the wooden bit on the sofa...heck, it could have been my knee.

I don't get HOW he gets bruised as nearly the entire front room is covered in flipping pillows! But somehow he manages.

Such is the life of a toddling child.

Do I tell about why he isn't wearing a bib despite eating a messy pasta dish?

For any other child this may not be an issue, but Ryan has a bit of a fetish for feeling his food. Even though Daddy places the bite INSIDE his mouth, Ryan's fingers must chase in after it and get the full effect of the texture by using both his tongue AND fingers!

I don't think Matt anticipated he would then rub his fingers onto himself creating even more of a mess than was on his face.

He must have been going for the Oompa-Loompa look.

Do I tell about his begging habits?

He's worse than a dog or cat when it comes to begging. We walk into a room with food and he first follows us with his eyes before waddling over. We get a gentle touch on our knee whilst he looks up at us with his little eyes and makes a smacking sound with his lips.

Anyone would think we don't feed the boy!

In this photo you can clearly see that DADDY CAVED. Lucky for Ryan that he is his only heir because I don't recall Matt being so willing to give up a tasty mushroom for anybody before.

Even when Matt is down to the dregs of his pasta bake, Ryan still expects a payout.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Y3 - 57/365: MOOOooOoOoo

Ryan's Little Tykes cow torch, affectionately named "Moo," is on his last "moo." You press a trigger to open him up and shine the flashlight and he moos, but clearly the batteries have seen their better days because the more you do it, the lower, longer and more off-key his moo becomes.

This makes Ryan laugh.

Here in the photo he is examining "Moo" (furrowed brow and all) to see if he can assess the situation himself.


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Y3 - 56/365: Thanksgiving Greetings From Screeches-Like-Monkey

Oh hush...Ryan will thank me for this one day -- at least that's what I keep telling myself. At least I didn't go with my first instinct, which was to shoot pics of him with the headdress and just his nappy.

We didn't do any special Thanksgiving feast this year (again) and instead just had some jacket spuds and beans. Third year in a row I haven't had a proper Thanksgiving, but Matt and I agreed this will be the last. We both want Ryan to grow up having this tradition.

However, we still got to share in a special Thanksgiving surprise...

Ryan met his Great-Grandma, Nanny!!! Albeit via web cam, we bridged the Atlantic with the help of Skype and the World Wide Web!

My Aunt Lisa has Thanksgiving at hers each year now and I suggested a few weeks back that we could connect via web cam and everyone could say hello to Ryan. Sure enough, we saw her and my Uncle Tracey, along with my Aunt Kristine, Uncle Kyle, Uncle Jeff and Nanny. We also got to see my cousins Katey, Kameron, and Keaton...and his wife Jeanie. Ryan was so tickled to see people on the computer screen and he even gave them a little show with his walking/running skills as well as babbled "Dadadadadada" all over the place.

As much as I'd love to go back to America soon and see them all in person, we just can't afford it at the moment. For the time being though, this will work quite nicely, I think.

It was so nice to see everyone...and made a lovely surprise for my Nan!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!! xxx

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Y3 - 55/365: Little Bug

Kitted out for bedtime...yet so far from sleepy.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Y3 - 54/365: The Budding Artist

Yesterday during our stop at the Asda Walmart Supercentre, we happened upon some artsy crafty supplies. If by 'happened upon' I mean that I directed Matt which aisle by which to find said artsy crafty supplies.

I was looking for finger paints and Matt first noticed some £1 tubs of Crayola Beginnings Dough, with a '12M+' on the label, meaning 'pretty much okay for Ryan.' Without me even having to ask, he reached up and grabbed a green tub and dropped it in the trolley. We then found the finger paint just one shelf down and helped ourselves to one set of those as well.

This morning I thought I would start Ryan's artsy crafty day with a little exploration of the dough. He poked it a few times (poking being his newest skill) before scraping up a small portion and trying to lift it into his mouth. Of course I intercepted this transaction and we carried on another five minutes repeating the same process.

Mommy places dough in front of Ryan.

Ryan pokes dough whilst looking at it inquisitively.

Ryan scrapes dough and quickly tries to eat it.

Mommy intercepts...Ryan cries.

My next thought was that after his mid-day nap, I would give him his dinner of jam sandwiches so that he wouldn't be hungry just before trying out his new finger paints.

It started out pretty well. I put down a large bed sheet in the area by the bay window and stripped Ryan down to his nappy.

I started off with a few squirts of blue and he jumped right in! Stuck out his little, pokey finger and touched the paint!!


Then I gave him a bit of red. He was loving it. In fact, maybe too much because before I could stop him...into his gob went his little pokey finger. He looked at me with this disgusted look and made a spitty-gaggy noise.

Ladies and gentlemen, for the FIRST time in HISTORY, Ryan DISLIKED something that went into his mouth!!

He carried on creating his art...slapping the paint on the paper, on his body...

...and on the wall (it's washable - it came right off). He even stood up and stepped in it with his feet! I really think he had a blast!

Behold...the finished masterpiece!

He may not be a Michelangelo or a Pablo Picasso (yet), but I can see myself seeing an equal calibre of beauty to any famous artist in anything he wishes to create, however big or small. I feel so lucky to be his mommy!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Y3 - 53/365: Bogey-Nose

Just what you were hoping to see, right? All the bats in Ryan's caves? Yeah...you're welcome. I do what I can.

I went to bed last night with a nasty headache and low-grade fever despite having two doses of paracetamol within 5 hours of one another. I felt awful still when I woke up and immediately rang the doctor's surgery at half-eight to get an appointment. I decided that although I usually attribute Ryan's ear-tugging to teething, it would be best to have the pair of us looked over as my ears had a burning sensation inside and I wanted to rule out any infection.

As luck would have it, within an hour of the appointment I began to feel better and by the time we both went, my fever had gone completely. Go figure. So it wasn't a big surprise to get the sound medical advice to take paracetamol for pain and fever and drink plenty of fluids.

I must admit, although I had another low-grade temperature earlier this evening again, it has since gone over the past few hours and now as I type this (just before midnight) I feel much better compared to last night.

Even so, I'm not taking any chances...so I'm off to bed.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Y3 - 52/365: Shh...It's a Surprise!

I must say, two of the BEST bits about doing a bit of Christmas shopping with a child this age is that you a) can take your little one WITH you while you shop (because they won't remember), and b) you can "try" before you buy if the place has things on display.

First, I should say how elated Ryan was to walk on his own around the toy section of Mothercare. Of course, Matt and I were close behind to make sure he didn't run into people or get into something he shouldn't. He seemed to be so over-stimulated by all the things around him it was a joy to watch! He'd walk in one direction, play with an activity table, then something else would catch his eye and he would walk in that direction only to change his mind halfway there and walk in the opposite direction. He couldn't be stopped! Plus, there were all the other babies and small children walking about which made him squawk like a parrot -- he was in absolute heaven!

We're having to be sensible this year so we have a small list of things we'd like to get him for Christmas and a list of things for his first birthday (conveniently 6 days before Christmas). We settled today on a Leap Frog Learn & Groove Musical Table which was marked down to £23.99. I'd like to also get him a sand & water table for his birthday, but then other than that, those will be the most expensive items on our lists.

I can't wait to see our little man opening his pressies under the tree for the first time!!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Y3 - 51/365: Early to Bed...

We've been EVERYWHERE today...or rather, a whole slew of places since 11am that have made it seem like a lot.

First was Merry Hill as we were on the hunt for some properly fitting PJs for Little Man. He was really pushing it in his remaining 3-6 monthers as they topped out at an 17/18 lb weight limit and Ryan is now pushing 20 -- not to mention he is finally stretching out a bit as well. Asda had a bit of a crap selection (as ALWAYS for boys) and I wasn't keen on the regular sleep suits from Matalan, so we ventured into the 'toddler' section and found some proper 2-piece PJs. After all, he is growing up ::tear:: and footless PJs will make it easier now that he's properly walking.

After the mall, we then went on to Josie & David's so Ryan could get his Nan & Grandad fix. Matt and I were able to get a peek at his Christmas pressies and it makes me SO excited for him that this will be his first proper Christmas!

Em & Daz came to us then tonight with Amy which was a nice change of pace since we had been out all morning and we knew Ryan would be knackered. Luckily he napped before they arrived and was then well-rested to enjoy a play with his cousin before devouring a portion of pasta mess.

When everyone left around six, we took some time to wind-down in the front room with CBeebies Bedtime Hour and Daddy even managed a brief cuddle off Ryan as well.

After his bath, I so badly wanted to get a photo of Ryan in his new "big boy" jim-jams but he wasn't having it. Each time I'd set him down and step back to take a photo, he'd immediately start whinging and run/stumble after me. So, I figured it was probably best to nurse him and take him up to bed.

He wriggled a bit once he was in his cot, but Scout's 10 minutes of bedtime music and the soothing sounds of his sleep sheep (to mask the dripping sound from the overflow tank in his ceiling) soon had him in dreamland.

When I returned downstairs from putting him to bed, I glanced at the clock and nearly fell over from the shock of seeing the time...

It was ONLY 7:15! Nearly an HOUR before he usually goes down!! (Let's hope this doesn't backfire on me tonight.)

Friday, 19 November 2010

Y3 - 50/365: Last Call...

Is this a foreshadowing of the trouble we're headed for when dear son reaches the legal drinking age?

Thankfully he's just 11 months old (TODAY...YAY!) and we still have a while yet...even before he's sneaking some underage. Still...where is the time going?! This time last year I was about a week away from my last day of work...wow!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Y3 - 49/365: Pee-po! Found You!

Looks like he isn't going to let a temperature, snotty nose and a night's broken sleep keep him from being his same cheeky self. Here he is cleverly emerging from down the side of the sofa where he has managed access to the radiator -- that is off at the moment, thankfully. We need to find something to put in that corner that our little "Baby Hulk" cannot move.

His latest fascination is the laundry basket. Once I bring in a load from the dryer, I have discovered I can create a distraction from him "helping" me fold the contents if I simply turn the basket upside down. It then becomes the epitome of excitement for our little ankle-biter as he does his pensioner-shuffle pushing it round the front room.

All this movement and activity points to one thing for the coming night (I hope)...SLEEP.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Y3 - 48/365: Downhill

8 o'clock this morning and he was happy as ever...then by half-past-six this evening he had a temperature of 102.2 that nearly spiked to 103 before he was given some Calprofen and a nice bath. From there he was PJ'd and nursed and is now sleeping peacefully in his cot...hopefully for the 3rd night in a tow.

I won't hold my breath though...just in case.

Now my throat is a bit scratchy and it doesn't feel too great when I swallow.

Not good.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Y3 - 47/365: This Little Baby

I will be so happy when I can afford stupid lithium batteries again so I can use my actual camera to snap photos. Several times today I tried to capture a shot of Ryan dancing (it's his latest thing) but all I get is a blob of baby blur.

Here he has recently discovered that if he blows into this block he can make a whistling sound. The block is part of a shape sorter and they have a tiny hole just in the top. When he inhales and exhales he makes a whistle and he does it over and over and over...and over..........and over...

There are actually a few new things he is starting to do now...as I said first, he dances. When Boogie Beebies comes on or Chuggington...or Get Squiggling...he gets a'shakin and bobs his little baby bum up and down. It's honestly the cutest thing I have ever seen! The poor boy has NO rhythm whatsoever, but he's making such an effort and it makes him so happy.

The second thing he started is he will (sometimes) go get an item by request. For example, if I point at something he will go to it, most of the time. Well today we started working on the sign for book and I asked him to get a book. Then I realised it was too general, so I said, "Ryan, go get Monkey and Me for Mommy." Sure enough, he walked over to where the books are and looked for the Monkey and Me book. Granted, he didn't bring it back, but he still opened it and touched it...so he knew what I was on about.

Clever boy!

The third thing he's doing, and I think he may have picked up on this from his cousin, Amy...but he has started to give himself a kiss in the mirror. There is a book they now both have called 'This Little Baby.' It talks about all the different things babies do, and in the back there is a mirror and it says 'This little baby is the one I love BEST!' So, Dr. Smooth-Ryan leans in to snog himself when you get to this page. In fact, once he realised he got a reaction out of me he thought it best to kiss ALL the babies in the book!

Such a charmer he is!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Y3 - 46/365: Definitely Indefinite

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodbye...to United Kingdom Border Agency and immigration control!!

I was heading down the drive today, running a bit late for Ryan's appointment for his 12-month development check when I noticed the postman as he passed us. He then turned and asked my address. When I told him he said, "Oh, I have something for you then..." and he reached into his red Royal Mail messenger bag.

Ask me how difficult it was to not open it the entire way as I power walked to the Sure Start centre where Ryan's appointment was being held. In fact, as soon as I got there I ripped the envelope open to reveal my snazzy new Residence Permit with a valid date of 'INDEFINITE!'

This means I can come and go as I please now (essentially) and I don't have to keep record of proof that Matt and I still haven't killed one another (in the same home) and that we haven't been sponging off the government.

Now on to the final FINAL stage...citizenship!

Roll on, 2011!!!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Y3 - 45/365: The 11th Hour

This is the result when you:

A) Forget to take a photo for most of the day...


B) Don't have any batteries in the regular camera forcing you to use the camera on your phone with grainy resolution and a fraction of the mega pixels.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Y3 - 44/365: Subliminal Messages?

At Auntie Emma & Uncle Daz's tonight, Ryan watched the Backyardigans...

...and was apparently the victim of subliminal messages???

Friday, 12 November 2010

Y3 - 43/365: Oh Happy Day

What else is there to say? I just have one happy kid. Well, happy when we have a decent day like today. He had a 2 1/2 hour nap this morning and then a brief 45-minute nap this afternoon on our way back from scoping out where the local Sure Start centre is. Ryan's 12-month development check is on Monday and the Health Visitor called to confirm we'd be coming. When she explained where the centre was located, she added that it was "quite a ways away," which turned out to be exactly ONE mile.


Although I will admit there is a small bit on the way where the pavement ends that makes you cross one of the roads at a weird angle, so on the return trip I discovered that I could just cut through the car park at The Cock Inn Pub and cross at a pelican crossing with the help of a friendly lollipop lady (crossing guard).

Since it is only a mile away, it also means it will only take me just under 20 minutes to get there, so even if it rains, it won't be an awful trip -- if only I could avoid those hills.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Y3 - 42/365: Tinybeard

We noticed tonight whilst eating our tea that Ryan is getting so much better at keeping his face clean...well, the upper half anyway. Normally with mash he smears it all over and it's in his eyes and hair, but this time he managed to keep it at "beard" level.

Then we also decided this was the first time in ages we were having tea by 6 o'clock. Hmm, interesting considering Ryan was in the bath then by half-seven and asleep next to me by 8! This led us to believe that all those other times he was giving himself a mashed potato facial because he was tired! And here we just thought it was exploration...ha!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Y3 - 41/365: A Whole New World!

As if by magic the park has transformed into a new and fantastical place all because Ryan can navigate solo! It was so much fun to watch him practically run from the roundabout to the swings and then over to the slide -- which, I might add, he even went down a couple of times with my help! Wheeeeee!

I'm so happy the weather cooperated and we had a good run-around outdoors. It was still quite nippy, which is why we broke out the fluffy hat and mitts (not pictured as I had to remove them so he could grab onto things). A couple times he even whinged in protest when I picked him up, but by the time 4 o'clock rolled around I had no choice because we had to get back to the house to get the chicken on for tea.

I nursed him right after I got the chicken into the oven and since I knew he would only stay asleep ON me (due to his extra-clinginess today) I sorted him out in the Moby wrap and got on with peeling and chopping the veg.

After we ate we let Ryan have a run around the room before his bath and a captured a photo of a really cute thing he has been doing lately.

Matt placed a pillow on the floor to cover up a metal bar at the bottom of the gliding footstool and every time I would coo "Awwwwe," Ryan would drop to the floor and lie his head on the pillow. He probably did it about 10-15 times while Matt and I watched and cackled -- it was so sweet and so funny!

Bath-time came and went and a final feed just past nine sent him off to sleepy-land where he is currently up in his cot dreaming away. Hopefully the good dose of fresh air today will help tonight.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Y3 - 40/365: These Shoes Were Made for Walkin'

Here sits my little champ in his brand new, size 3G cruiser shoes he got tonight from Clarks!

Initially when I was looking at the selection online, I wanted to get him these, with the buckle...

But they didn't have them in his size (BOO!) so we ended up walking out with these instead...

There was a similar version in an olive green/khaki, but Matt said I'm obsessed with green, so we went with his pick. This style was my runner-up though if we couldn't have the tan dino ones.

I must admit that as excited as I was to get Ryan his first proper pair of shoes, the whole thing felt a little anti-climactic considering how few customers they had in the store. A little enthusiasm for dear son and his new shoes would have been nice.

We walked into the store and weren't greeted by anyone until they saw us looking through the selection of cruisers on display. Because I had done my homework, I was expecting to show them how Ryan walks (by having him cooperatively demonstrate) -- the sales-kid was satisfied just asking how he walked. We must have thrown him off when we said flat out that we just wanted cruisers as he hadn't been walking long and wasn't steady enough for the walkers yet. It's as if we jumped 4 pages in his sales-pitch and he didn't know how to respond! Also, he didn't really interact with Ryan, and I'm sorry, but to me when you work in a position where you are dealing with young children all day long...HUMOUR HIM, okay? Crack a smile...interact...SOMETHING!!

The kid went back to get the shoes after sizing Ryan's little Barney Rubbles and returned with everything BUT the original one we asked for (with the dinosaur on it). In fact, he even had a crawling shoe with him which we had to point out...but I don't think he got it.

He tried to get the shoes on Ryan but as he often does, he curled up his toes and it took Daddy having to pry them straight again and get the shoes on. We put him down and it took him a minute to get used to the sensation, but then he was off! He wanted to check out the whole store!

The kid asked if this was our first time getting Ryan shoes there (apparently he didn't listen when we told him this upon our arrival), then he mumbled something about a photo of Ryan and height chart (which he referred to as 'thing that measures how many centimeters he is').

After Matt paid I couldn't wait to get out of there! I may be a bit dramatic for saying this, but I'm honestly tempted to write in a letter about the lackluster service we received. And I don't think this was typical Clarks' service...I think it was the sales-kid, who reeked of B.O., by the way...EW!

Anyway...here's our loot!

And here's Ryan...

...busy NOT being tired and instead wanting to play Daddy's new Call of Duty  - Black Ops game he got off Em & Daz as an early Christmas gift. Meanwhile, Mommy was joining a Call of Duty widows' support group Facebook...tee hee hee!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Y3 - 39/365: So Many Books!

We fully intended on checking out the "Under 5s" Story Time at the local library today, but just as I was about to get Ryan's jacket on he promptly decorated down the front of his shirt and that included my left arm.


So we "missed" story time, however, as we soon discovered upon entering only 10 minutes after the start time, it didn't really look like much as no one else had turned up either. This only further drives home how anxious I am for the new library to be finished and opened in Blackheath Town Centre. Sure it won't be just down the road anymore, but it's not too much further and a new library certainly must be incentive enough for more people to visit.

I hope.

Ryan carefully perused the selection of board books but there didn't seem to be any touchy-feely ones that he likes. (The photo was taken with my Samsung Galaxy S because my 14 megapixel Kodak drained the life out of the last lithium battery.) So, we came home with What Do Kangaroos Do?, What Do Penguins Do?, Peekaboo Baby and Dot and Dash Go To Bed (again -- they didn't go to bed 'again'...we've just had it before). They may not have the tactile bits, but they had shiny bits that grabbed his attention.

Still, it's funny to watch him when I read because he doesn't understand it's not touchy-feely so he pets every page just in case!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Y3 - 38/365: Gente Feliz

We had our usual Sunday dinner at Em & Daz's today, but this time we also had an additional two guests at the dinner table. My wonderful in-laws, Josie & David, just returned from their holiday in Spain and look what they brought back for the kiddies!! Personal TVs! (I remember having these at my Nan's as a kid.)

All the "big" kids were brought some bags of nougat...and I had to share with dear husband they said. Boo, hiss. (Only kidding.)

This is how Ryan was by the time we arrived home at half past seven! He was in bed even before 8 o'clock!!

Sadly, fireworks were still going off nearby and he was awake again by half-nine...

So we let him have a little run around the front room (almost quite literally) and then a snuggle with Daddy before Mommy fed him again and took him back up.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Y3 - 37/365: All in Perspective

The sunset over the hills today brought out the most beautiful shades of pink and bluish-purple and made me so happy to have the fantastic view that we do. I love it!

This is what Ryan thinks of it...

bnh nj                       bjhn bymn ,m iiiiiiiii  gggggg m jm c c    k.mn              gbdtht5yrth

Hmm...well put. Surprisingly it's not far off from how he really sounds.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Y3 - 36/365: Remember, Remember, the 5th of November...

Here in the UK it is Guy Fawkes Night (aka Bonfire Night). Today's celebrations mark the anniversary of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, where a group of English Catholics failed in their conspiracy to bomb the Houses of Parliament in an attempt to assassinate the (then) Protestant King James and replace him with a Catholic Head of State. Guy Fawkes was the man in charge of the gunpowder that was located under the House of Lords and he was discovered and arrested. From that point the 5th of November was a celebration of King James' survival.

Every year on this night there are bonfires set up and fireworks displays in parks and at stately homes, usually with a small admissions fee. We decided that the weather was too crap to go see any fireworks tonight...plus, being on one of the highest points in the area we had a decent view of all the surrounding areas and their displays (apart from the rain and light to moderate fog). Still, I wanted for us to have a bit of our own celebration for Ryan so Matt picked up some sparklers on the way home from work.

We quickly threw some socks on the boy and his jacket and brought him out for his own personal "show." I don't know if he was more unimpressed or only had on his mind the hot pizzas that had just been delivered and were now sitting just inside waiting for him to devour the crusts.

At least we know pumpkins make good sparkler-holders!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Y3 - 35/365: Tell Me a Story

Believe it or not, every now and then Ryan wanders off (across the room) on his own and things suddenly get quiet. My ears naturally perk up and I will turn to see what he's into. Is he pulling clean laundry out of the basket? Did he find a 3-day-old rogue Cheerio? Or worse...did he find one of Myst's "kittens" (i.e. loose kitty fur)?

Today he was quiet simply because he found a book. I looked up and he was quietly looking at 'Once Upon an Ocean.'

Another favourite that he loves to have read to him is one called 'Monkey and Me.' It's very repetitive (good for pre-readers/early readers) and goes through a series of animals that a little girl and her sock monkey go to see...like kangaroos, elephants, and...yep, monkeys! I love reading to him because the older he gets I can really tell he enjoys it (not every baby does). He looks at the pictures, watches my mouth move as I read, and he tries to grab the words on the page as I point to them and feel the pictures themselves to see if it's a touchy-feely book.

Matt and I both really enjoy reading ourselves, so we really hope this is something Ryan will love growing up as well.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Y3 - 34/365: So, About That Bubble Wrap...?

It has been exceptionally damp and windy today outside, which meant we were caged indoors...again. I see this being the theme for the next 5 or so months so I decided a nice, warm bowl of tomato soup with some lightly buttered bread to dip in would taste quite nice...and so did Ryan. If there is anything I have learned it's that I am under unwritten baby-contract to provide him with something to eat while I am eating as well -- otherwise he stares at me with guilt-inducing eyes until I cave. This means that since we often share a meal or he eats a small portion of my own, I end up eating better in the long run.


We're advancing a bit in our Baby-Led Weaning journey as he now takes calculated small bites of things and properly chews/noms them before swallowing and going on to take another bite. Then, when he's thirsty he will reach for his sippy, grab the handles, put it to his mouth and tip it back for a sip -- or gulp. Matt and I are very pleased that he shows great initiative to do things like this on his own and we believe it's mostly due to giving him the opportunity and just allowing him to get on with things.

You may notice in the photo (above) a "nice" purplish bruise above the tiny terror's left eye -- ah, the joys of learning to walk, right seasoned parents?

The good news is that he can now walk from the bay window on one side of the room and baby/stagger-step his way all the way to the telly on the other end!! The bad news? Sometimes avoiding a collision when he tumbles is inevitable. This bruise was the result of hitting the bottom wooden bit on the end of the sofa, and I was even standing right there -- which meant I felt awful.

He started to lose balance and I just wasn't quick enough. He cried immediately, but only for a short while and moaned his newest phrase "mumumumum." Then as soon as he lifted his teary head from my shoulder I could see a small goose egg that was pink and quickly turning purple. I got a cold glass of water and a flannel to hold against it to keep the swelling down while I nursed him a bit to calm him.

He fell asleep straight away, which worried me because I always understood that you weren't to let a child sleep right after bumping their head in case they had a concussion. I consulted Dr. Google and the NHS website and learned that on the contrary (for infants/toddlers at least) that if the fall was no more than the height of the child (i.e. not off a bed or caused by a car accident) it was best to allow them to sleep for a bit and to just keep an eye on their behaviour for the next 48 hours.

Sure enough, he was awake an hour and a half later and back to toddling around the room and being his usual squeaky self. In fact...

...once Daddy was home to play, the swelling had gone down completely and the bruise had already started to fade!

Until next time...