Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Y3 - 335/365: The West Wing

Renovations are underway, but Daddy promises to bring home even BIGGER boxes!! Wahoooo!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Y3 - 334/365: King Ryan...

...complete with cardboard crown and castle (in progress).

Monday, 29 August 2011

Y3 - 333/365: Personal Shopper?

Oh look...boy hates shopping for jeans just as much as Mommy!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Y3 - 332/365: The Parent Trap?

Well played, toddlers. Well played.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Y3 - 331/365: Grandad's New Chair

Just havin' a quick read and keepin' the seat warm.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Y3 - 330/365: We Built This Castle

"Welcome to my humble abode. Please, do come in. Take your shoes off at the door."

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Y3 - 329/365: Pillow Fight!

Our poor, poor cat. I don't know how much longer Myst can take the screaching and abuse.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Y3 - 328/365: Daaaaaaad!

They cannot be left alone for even the smallest of seconds!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Y3 - 327/365: Buckeye In Motion

He never stops.


Monday, 22 August 2011

Y3 - 326/365: We Have a Winner!

"Pet the kitty, GENTLY. GENtle, Ryan. Gentle."

I wish this phrase earned me money for the amount of times I have to use it in a day.

THIS earned me some dosh though!! The prize in the pot was £25, but I had to share with another player who also got a bingo. Then Em and I split winnings as per our "rule" so we each went home with £6.25 and considered our game for the night nearly free!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Y3 - 325/365: New Tricks

Confirmed. He is 98% the reason for all the latest gray hairs.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Y3 - 324/365: Pretty Baby...I Have Been Saving Smiles For You

We're thinking this may be the year to enter Ryan into the Sunbeams Baby Contest! He's already won our hearts!!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Y3 - 323/365: I Wanna Rock With You

This is his new favourite spot to "rock" and watch telly.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Y3 - 322/365: Marco......Polo?

This morning I had to nip out of the room to prepare Ryan's breakfast and when I returned not 90 seconds later I couldn't see or hear him! The gate was shut so I had NO clue where he disappeared to. As soon as that thought crossed my mind, he reappeared from behind the curtain...sitting inside the back of his "dump truck" trailer.

Then cheeky as ever, he decided today that teddy needed a nappy and he wanted to lie down to watch Waybuloo.

Alrighty, then.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Y3 - 321/365: Face Strain

This isn't what it may look like...the look on his face anyway.

I got some gel pens for Ryan to use on his notebook to "kuh-woh" and he struggles a bit to get the cap off. I usually do it for him but today he started insisting on doing it himself.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Y3 - 320/365: My Little Buckeye!

Check him out! His first ever Ohio State Buckeyes article of clothing!!

My friend and fellow Ohioan/American Expat, Nicole, sent a parcel with some tops and PJs from her son who has outgrown them. It arrived early this morning and after I tried a couple of tops on him, Ryan decided he wanted to stay in this one a bit.

Good man!!

Oh, and the look you see on his face...this is his, "Get out of my way Mommy...Iconicles is on" look.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Y3 - 319/365: Early Start

Someone is still a bit sleepy this morning after only having just woken up.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Y3 - 318/365: Places...Places, Please!

The children have assumed their positions...seats up front for all to watch a bit of Peppa Pig!

Oh look, Ryan found a button.  ::distracted::

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Y3 - 317/365: Go Go Go!

"Go, go, go," is what we hear now when Ryan wants to go outside. So tonight after we returned home from Em & Daz's, he grabbed his rucksack and handed it to me before making his request. While Matt made him some scrambled eggs for dinner, we went and took a little walk around the garden.

He really takes things in now when we get out there and he squeals in pure delight because you can tell he doesn't want it to end.

Last week we switched his swing from the 'infant' seat to the regular one. The other seat was a bit awkward and sat up really high. I don't think he was enjoying it as much so I suggested to Matt that we try the "big boy" seat -- hoping that bit by bit his confidence would grow.

He doesn't stay on for very long, but you can tell when he IS on that he loves every second!

After dinner, things were much better with bedtime. I made sure not to rub his back for too long because I didn't want him to think anything in the routine had changed. Instead, after I tucked him in and raised the side of the cot, I lingered for a bit in the doorway waiting for him to get up again.

He didn't. So for now I'll class last night as a one-off and all being well he's back to his regular routine again.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Y3 - 316/365: I Miss When You're Not There

I think Ryan was a bit bored and stir-crazy today. He had his morning of 100% Daddy-time, then his usual 2-hour nap, and then Mommy collected him from his nap.

I love when he's gone a long stretch of time where he hasn't seen me and that first reaction he has where he does a long, drawn-out gasp before sighing, "Ma-maaa," and holds his arms out for a cuddle. He even leaned in for kisses without me having to beg! I thought I'd won the lottery!

While I dressed him upstairs, Matt prepared his lunch and had it ready in the front room. I sat him in his Bumbo and rolled up his sleeves before he tucked right in to his PB&J. He had another thin slice of carrot cake to follow and devoured it much like that of a hoover...finishing by licking bits of icing from his fingers.

We had wanted to go visit the park today at Haden Hill but the rain kept us indoors and I think this led to Ryan's cabin fever. He was ready to climb the walls, I think.

After dinner, Matt popped down to Daz's leaving Ryan and I to do bedtime on our own.

Everything went as normal with bath, lotion and bottle, but when I put Ryan in his cot and left the room he was immediately up and crying. This hasn't happened in a long time for him so I went back in and asked if he wanted more cuddles. He said "yes," and stood up with Baa. We had about 3 minutes of cuddling and rocking and then I tucked him back in and told him Mommy would stay until he was asleep.

I covered him again, tucked him in and then rubbed his back for about five minutes before listening carefully to his breathing, which became more shallow and changed into a bit of a snore. Again, on my tip-toes I very quietly left the room but as soon as the door shut he was wide awake again and this time screaming for Daddy.

I could see this was going to happen over and over so I went in, scooped him up, and brought him into our bed. I rested him on Daddy's pillow while he clutched tightly to Baa and Safari and we snuggled under the duvet. He didn't try to leave nor did he think it was play time, but his little eyes were fighting their need to close so he could sleep.

Forty minutes later, between long "blinks" myself, I could hear him snoring heavily, my arm still around his waist, and his grip had released on his plushies. I carefully carried him back into his room and tucked him in his cot. This time he was spark out and I escaped successfully.

I rang Matt to let him know and explained how I suspected it might have been a bit of separation anxiety from having all of this sudden extra Daddy-time and all of a sudden Daddy wasn't there for bedtime. Who knows though.

Roll on, weekend!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Y3 - 315/365: Day With Daddy

Since Matt is off this week for his birthday (yesterday) he agreed to take Ryan down in the morning today and tomorrow to give me a bit of a break, which was nice. I could hear the pair of them off and on this morning and Ryan was giggling and running all around. He loves his Daddy so much and loves the time he gets when Matt isn't working. In fact, when Ryan was awake from his nap, he asked to watch some Raa Raa and proceeded to climb onto Daddy to watch his programme. I love witnessing the bond they share.

It was a bit of a "lazy" day today so Ryan was dressed after eating his lunch of turkey & cheese sandwiches with baby carrots. Then he got to share in some of Daddy's birthday carrot cake that we made yesterday. He ate his piece in no time and was pure cheek from then on.

He did stop briefly to watch his Waybuloo...

...but before long was back to attempting things he shouldn't, such as climbing the entertainment centre or trying to get up to the computer. He always gets this look on his face when he *knows* what he is doing is not okay.

Little stinker.

In other news, things seemed to have quieted down in the West Midlands -- namely Birmingham. It rained last night and there was a candle light vigil in Winson Green where 3 men were killed in a hit-and-run. No news of any major disturbances. Then today a few minor things, but nothing again tonight.

In fact, tonight I was impressed as I was shown how Greater Manchester Police are dealing with the situation. They are publicly "naming and shaming" those involved in any of the incidents from Monday forward and that have also been processed through the court system already and convicted. One man got 10 weeks for swearing at an officer!

Some people are really upset by this saying it violates data protection, etc...blah, blah, blah...but in fairness, they're only releasing the same information that would be printed in a newspaper. The way I see it is that they were brazen enough to loot shops and set fires to cars and buildings and they didn't give a toss when they left people who have worked hard for their businesses with therefore, this is part of their punishment. They didn't seem to care about their faces being on CCTV and were even coward enough to attempt to cover them. Sorry then, this is the consequence. People need to understand that THEY are responsible for their actions and disrespect cannot and will not be tolerated at any level!

I just hope that West Midlands Police and other forces around the country follow suit and do the same!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Y3 - 314/365: Easy As 1-2-3

It's Daddy's birthday today! He is...OLDer than Mommy. :-) Ryan wanted to make Daddy a cake so we bought the ingredients and got to work...

Step 1: Combine eggs, oil, water and cake mix and whisk thoroughly.

Step 2: Check consistency, and glance Mommy's direction to see if she's looking so you can attempt a cheeky taste.

Step 3: After Mommy completes the dangerous task of baking the cake and letting it cool, apply buttercream icing carefully.

We didn't get to eat it tonight because Ryan was in bed when Matt returned home from Daz's, so we'll have to give the success verdict tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Y3 - 313/365: Loss for Words

I was a little at a loss for photos as well as words since being up all night with my eyes glued to the news. It seems a peaceful protest in London over a man's death (shot by police) has turned into absolute bedlam across the country. The incidents that started in London have now spread to other places like Birmingham, which isn't far from us...maybe 7-8 miles.

People have been setting fire to cars and shops, throwing petrol bombs, and generally looting anywhere they can get in a broken shop window.

It's complete anarchy! They're challenging police and showing no respect for authority whatsoever!

There is word that it's supposed to continue tonight, so after a small trip to the grocery in Oldbury, we're in for the night. Gate locked...door locked...the works.

I'm ashamed of the behaviour of the young people involved in this mess in the country!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Y3 - 312/365: Unsure of Sure Start

There was a cooking session at our local Sure Start today for 1-5's so I decided to take Ryan and see what was on. It turned out to be bits of fruit that we could cut up and put on a skewer to dip in a chocolate fountain. Hmm...that's not 'cooking.'

Another option was to mash a biscuit into a cup and add plain yoghurt and fruit.

Ryan was more interested in eating the sliced fruit before it even got to the skewer, and then wanted nothing to do with it once we dipped it in chocolate. Plus, he tried some of his yoghurt with the GIANT spoon they provided and after two bites he just wasn't interested.

We moved on to the pancakes. Pre-packaged...hmm. And the only option there...yep...fruit, yoghurt, chocolate. He had a couple mouthfuls and then just wanted to go play -- but he wasn't allowed because it wasn't a play session, so everything was put away. It didn't stop other children from going off to do as they pleased...nor did it stop the other mom's from ignoring them while they had a nice chin-wag with one another. The Sure Start workers were clearly agitated from having to shoo the children away from the dress-up area over and over again.


Really healthy "cooking" session, Sure Start.

I think we will be skipping the next one and for now stick to our own "cooking" at home.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Y3 - 311/365: A (Traumatic) Experience Shared!

Last Wednesday the Harry Jones Fun Fair rolled into town and set up down at Britannia Park. Since the park is practically our back garden, we decided this would be the perfect time to check out what was going on and see how Ryan took to it.

We invited Em, Daz & Amy to join us yesterday, but a bit of late-afternoon rain made us change plans and go today instead. So, bumblebee and ladybird (Amy) rucksack-reins in-check, off we went!

There wasn't much to this little fair...some bumper cars, a couple merry-go-rounds, a big inflatable slide and a few other smaller rides. We decided on one of the only toddler-friendly rides, which was the car track, as they seemed to be the only ones that had "seat belts." (And I'll get to that in a minute.)

The yellow car at the back was selected as both Amy and Ryan could sit together. There was a steering wheel on BOTH sides and Ryan went straight to work "steering" the stationary vehicle...using both his AND Amy's steering wheels.

Amy seemed quite tickled as well and Ryan even managed to get a little comfy. The main concern is that one of them would stand up...and if you look close enough to Ryan's "belt" you will see that his had to be tied as a piece was broken off. Still, he was secure and stimulated enough by his surroundings to bother messing with it.

Then the ride started!

I was certain Ryan was going to crap his pants simply by the petrified look on his face! He held onto his steering wheel for dear life for the entire 90 seconds of the ride! Amy, likewise, clutched Ryan's arm in a death-grip and I worried at one point that it may scare them both to tears -- so I was fully prepared as mama bear to run up the platform and rescue our tiny loves if need be.

So, did they enjoy the ride, you wonder? See for yourself...

As soon as the ride came to a stop I was up on the platform to snap a reaction-photo. Amy's eyes were closed, but judging from the smile on her face, she LOVED it!

Ryan enjoyed it as well as he exclaimed, "Yaaaaay," when I plucked him from the seat.

Both children then realised the ride was over and they were back on solid ground...and then came the sobs...

They wanted to go BACK and do it again!!

So, like any parent that wants to see a repeat of that same smile, we walked to the next child-friendly looking ride, the merry-go-round, but as soon as the woman who was operating heard their ages, the kids were given a no-go as she said the ride went too fast for them.

Boo, ride lady!

Instead, the daddies bought some candy floss for us and back home we all went!

So...not very "fun" for a first fun fair...but walking away having only spent a fiver isn't a lot to moan about, I suppose. Bring on Peppa Pig World!!!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Y3 - 310/365: I Just Want You Close...

Yesterday was a bit of an "off" day for Ryan so imagine my delight when he woke up this morning chirping, "Mama...mamama! Dada, Mama, Kee-kah...mama!" Not a single tear was shed all morning and he was giggly, happy and playful!

We spent the morning cuddling and watching lots of RaaRaa (of course), eating porridge, playing puzzles, cars, stacking and the lot! He was so cheerful and full of energy and it made me so happy considering how it went yesterday for him -- so out of character.

He went down for his nap a bit later since he slept later and he was up in time to get some boy-to-man bonding in with Daddy and Uncle Daz.

He loves being close to Matt anyway, but for some reason as the afternoon progressed...he ONLY wanted Daddy. I think not seeing him very much throughout the week (because Matt works) kind of catches up with him, much like lack of sleep catches up with us.

He waves out the window for Daddy all day while Matt is at work and he calls "Dada!" as soon as he walks through the door (minus the times that RaaRaa is on). Of course if Daddy *dares* to ask for a kiss or cuddle, Ryan will promptly tell him, "No," but he still loves to be around his Dad.

Lucky for him, tomorrow is Mommy's he will have Daddy ALL to himself!!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Y3 - 309/365: At the End of the Day...

Our little mite has been OFF THE WALL today -- more so that his typical "off-the-wall" self. It seemed every little thing frustrated him and usually a little viewing of RaaRaa gets his mind off why he was upset...but not today. Distraction was not his kryptonite this time. So Mommy did a lot of talking and a lot of attempts to soothe and calm him. Most of it worked, but it took a lot longer than it usually does. I'm thinking some recent late nights, last night in particular, have attributed to this.

He was a bit better after his nap, but as the hours went on his patience was fading. When he came to me and grabbed my hand at one point, I thought 'I'll run with this and see where he wants to take me.'

He walked me to the gate, so I opened it. Then, he walked me to the front door, so I asked him, "Outside?" He smiled and replied, "Yes," with the little lisp I've noticed. So I opened the door and he was leading me down the steps when I realised we were both in bare feet -- crap! HUGE meltdown as I took him back in and tried to explain that we needed shoes...SILLY MOMMY!

Thankfully I was able to distract him once again by counting the stripes and Velcro straps on his Adidas trainers as we booted him up and I grabbed my trusty Old Navy flip flops. He pointed to his quad on the way out the door and even though the battery was drained, I didn't want another fit so I brought it along.

We weren't down in the garden long before I heard a car pull across the gravel and stop at our gate -- Daddy was home! I suggested to Ryan that we go "look" to see who was here and once again we joined hands and walked up the path toward the gate.

Sure enough, there was Daddy, but no longer in the tiny car from my mother-in-law. Instead he was in a much roomier, 4-door car that is graciously being sold to us by my father-in-law. He picked up his new car near Oxford yesterday and knowing how we've had issues with cars and finding a new one, he is allowing us to purchase his. He's had it about 8 years, according to Matt, and it *ONLY* has just over 20,000 miles on it! We figured we wouldn't get a better deal than that. Plus, we know he has taken care of it, so that is reassuring.

Immediately Ryan wanted to hop onto Daddy's lap and take him for a spin. So, Daddy obliged enough to let him steer and play with the wipers. Thankfully my face only got a little wet from the spray.

After dinner Matt said he was popping out to see Daz so I was on my own for bedtime. This was also about the time that all the tears and tantrums from the day seemed to ebb and fade as my little guy did a series of sweet, reduce-Mommy-to-tears, things.

It began when Matt gave him a kiss and walked out the door...Ryan ran to the window and stood there for at least two minutes waving and saying goodbye, "Buuuuuuuuh, daaaaa....buuuhhh buhhhhh daadaa." Then, I told Ryan we needed to go upstairs and to say night-night to his toys. One-by-one, cars included, he walked around gently patting his toys and said "buhhh-buhhh" (bye bye) to all of them. He even put his teddy, duck, Elmo, and Yojojo inside the Peeka Pod and put a "blanket" (tea towel) over them, once again patting them gently.

Isn't that precious?! (I know other mama's will understand this.)

Finally, after his bath we retreated to his room where he pointed and asked me to put on his fan. We dried his hair and read a little of Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? when he picked up Peekaboo Baby! and opened some flaps as I improvised while still drying and dressing him. When he got to the end, there is a flap that opens to show a baby asleep in her cot and it reads 'Puppy and his friends are sleepy. Are you sleepy too?' Then you open the flap and it says 'Shhh. You are sleepy too. Goodnight.'

My little 19-month-old clever cookie...pointed at the WORD 'shhh,' held up a finger to his lips (without any prompting) and said, "Sssssssss," like the most darling little snake and I felt a single tear well up in my left eye and slip down my cheek! I kissed him so sweetly on his forehead and told him, "You are SUCH a clever boy and Mommy and Daddy love you so, SO much!"

I didn't want to leave his room after this. I wanted to crawl in that cot with him (if I knew I wouldn't break it into splinters) and snuggle up next to that darling little boy, who drove me a bit batty today, but who is allowed to do it because I still love him endlessly and beyond words, at the end of the day.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Y3 - 308/365: All in a Day's Work

Matt rang this afternoon to tell me there was a change in a previous plan to take his Dad to get his new car, near Oxford. Originally it was going to happen this Saturday and Ryan and I were going to go with him to make a day-trip out of it and find somewhere to visit on the way home. Instead, they were going tonight after Matt was off work, so dear hubby asked if I would try to keep Ryan up so he could see him before he was off to bed.

So, after CBeebies Bedtime Hour was over and he was no longer entertained by Humf, I opened up a window with KneeBouncers and let him go to town...waking the monkey and popping the bubbles. He loved it! Plus, it meant that if I had to leave the room I didn't have to worry about him opening random files on the PC...or getting into the pot of Sudocreme (again).

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Y3 - 307/365: Our Little Nut

We've started having Ryan participate in things like dressing and undressing himself. He is much better at undressing, however, particularly sock-removal (and nappy removal, if he's not wearing a vest with press-studs).

So, tonight when I asked him to "sit down" and "take off socks" he ripped them both off his feet, shoved them in his mouth, and ran towards the gate hoping to get up the stairs before me. I quickly grabbed my camera...because that's what I do. Fortunately, the gate was still shut, so he whipped around and flashed the cheeky grin you see pictured (above).

No DNA test required here...he's ours.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Y3 - 306/365: Photo Op!

Oh look, it's ANOTHER photo of Ryan! Yes, I know...I take LOADS of photos of my child. I've been teased a bit how I ALWAYS have a camera in my hand or I'm always taking a photo "for my blog" but in all honesty, I'm going to look back years from now and be SO happy that I have so many lovely memories captured on camera.

My mom LOATHED having her photo taken. To this day, many of the photos I have of her are with her hand up (probably mumbling "get that camera out of my face") or simply shielding herself. I'm quite particular on *how* I like my photo taken, in fairness. If I am tagged in what I deem to be a "hideous" photo of myself on Facebook, I'll untag myself (so, friends...please don't take offence). However, all in all, I like the idea that I will have things to show my child(ren) when he (or they) are older, and maybe grandchildren, even.

For's things like this (above) that make me happy I was able to freeze-frame that moment in time. Ryan was so happy to see smiling people on the telly that he began to smile sweetly as well. A real, genuine, little man smile!

Then there are these moments. We're working on a special project right now. My Nan just had knee-replacement surgery yesterday and has to spend a bit of time in a residential home during her recovery so she has people that can help look after her and help her with physical therapy.

I thought it would be a nice idea if Ryan made her some colourful artwork so we've traced an outline of his body (so she can see how tall he is right now) and Ryan has added his own "Ryan-graffitti" to make it that extra bit special. He absolutely LOVES to "kuh-woh" at the moment, so this is a great outlet for him as well!

Of course what good is a camera without capturing milestones and achievements, right? This little slope down into the lower garden has been a real challenge for our young lad. Although he's never been put-off trying anything on his own, he used to only be able to navigate up and down this slope by holding someone's hand. Lately, however, he slowly calculates his steps up and down, stepping sideways if need be or lowering his centre of gravity, until he makes it to the top or bottom.

Today he blew me away when he was trotting up and down AND pulling along his musical shape-sorting car! Now I can just imagine the increase of gray hairs when he learns to do his first forward roll in the same location! Lord, help me! But hey...I'll have that camera ready when he does!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Y3 - 305/365: Bowling...Sort Of...

I tried to introduce a new game to Ryan today. I've noticed he loves knocking things over and out of the window, so I thought maybe setting up his coloured water bottles and demonstrating how to roll his football to knock them down might spark his interest and help his large motor skills.

The good news is he loved our new game! first his version involved standing next to the bottles and holding the ball and shoving it into the bottles.

Hmm, almost.

He did finally get it in the end.