Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Y4 - 61/365: It's Beginning... look...

...a lot like...


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Y4 - 60/365: 24-Hour Bug?

Last night while I was at Bingo with Emma, she mentioned she wasn't feeling too well. I didn't think any more of it until I was wide awake at just four this morning with a bad stomach. It felt as though I would be sick at any moment, so I made sure Ryan was tucked safely in bed next to me, and I quickly made my way to the bathroom where I ended up lying on the floor for the next 2 hours.

I did eventually return to bed, but was up an hour and a half later with Ryan and saying goodbye to Matt as he left for work. I felt so unbelievably sick and achy that I thought some ibuprofen might do the trick for the aches and maybe help curb the nausea.

It wasn't until I had just finished changing Ryan's morning nappy that I finally felt a watery feeling in my mouth and knew something was about to happen. So, I quickly grabbed Ryan's toy bucket and the timing couldn't have been better. I felt so bad that Ryan had to see me do it because I would have much rather had gone down to the bathroom, but there was no time.

Without going into any detail, let's just say I spent the remainder of the afternoon on the sofa in a dressing gown, trying my best to move as little as possible. I also found out that both Emma and Daz had the same episode and Daz wasn't doing too great either.

The bad feeling started to ebb away early evening, and although I did manage to finally get some food in my system, I had to force myself to eat it because I didn't actually *feel* very hungry. I still even feel a bit shaky now, but I'm so happy to be rid of the crud I seemed to have this morning.

At least Ryan was there to keep me company and give me "get well" cuddles!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Y4 - 59/365: Barnford Hill Park

Since we began taking regular walks again lately I have been scoping out on Google Earth some different routes that we can take to get to different parks in the surrounding area. I found one just over in Oldbury and it's about a 3 mile walk, but figured that would be a good trek with a break in between so Ryan could have a play.

We finally decided to check out Barnford Hill Park this morning and Ryan absolutely loved it!

I have to admit that with all the equipment and structures available, Ryan was the most entertained by the collection of leaves around the perimeter. He kept running against the fence, kicking as many leaves as he could along the way and squealing with delight!

I liked the structure for the slide especially because the park right next to us doesn't really have an easily accessible slide. This one here had wide platforms that he could climb on his own and I didn't have to worry that his legs would slip through any spaces, whereas the one by us has an arched, metal ladder with thin rungs -- that he has once bashed his mouth on and had a bit of a bloody lip from, and a very steep slope with a chain to pull himself up. I much prefer something he can navigate confidently on his own and has to use his own motor control for rather than me keep lifing him up and putting him on the slide.

I think it's clear here as well that Ryan also enjoys doing things himself. He finally reached the top!!

And down, down, down we come!

We made sure to send Daddy lots of photos from our visit to try and help him be a part of our fun, but I think it also made him a little sad that he wasn't actually there in person to enjoy Ryan's smile. So, I suggested we try coming back on the weekend, maybe a sunnier day to have a family day out.

Ryan was very enthusiastic each time he'd find a stick. He'd pick it up and exclaim, "tiiiiick," while waving it around before plunging it down and shouting, "eeeees," referring to the leaves.

After about an hour romping around the park, I decided we should head home so Ryan could have his nap. Only ten minutes into the walk home, Ryan decided he didn't want to wait for his nap and he was spark out, despite my best efforts of cheek-tickling. At this I tilted his seat back and covered him in a blanket for the remaining 35 minutes it took to get back home.

Once back inside the warmth of the house, I quickly sorted his room heater and a warm bottle of milk before stripping off his outer layers and giving him the milk and then taking him up to sleep.

I have to say today I had some great fun exploring something new with my little buddy.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Y4 - 58/365: "Ahhh! Cheese!"

I have figured a brilliant way to get Ryan to brush his teeth correctly, without Matt or myself having to step in and do it for him, thus causing him to get upset. To get the sides on the top and bottom we'd always encourage him to say, "ahh," so he would open his mouth wide. This week I have been telling him to say, "ahh," himself and showed him wear to brush while also brushing my own and showing him with my own mouth. Then I will tell him, now say 'cheese'...and he will go, "cheeeeeeee," and smile and brush the front.

It was so hard to keep a straight face when we left the bathroom and he waved to all the toothbrushes, saying, "Bye Mama, bye Dada, bye cheeeee."

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Y4 - 57/365: Expat Thanksgiving

We got together At Erin's place tonight for a West Midlands Expat Thanksgiving get-together. It was Matt's first time meeting some of the people I have had the chance to chat with over the last few months on some Facebook expat groups.

There was loads of yummy food and cakes and Ryan enjoyed some from Mommy and Daddy's plate.

Then, he went back to playing cars with his new friends, Rylee and Nicholas.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Y4 - 56/365: Stuff to Do

This is the snuggle-bug I woke up next to this morning. I had to hurry and get him dressed and ready to go to the childminder, Julie's, so that I could get dressed and ready for an interview just a few hours later in Stourbridge.

I haven't been getting much supply work, so I've decided to try signing on with another agency that deals with schools that are more local to me and pays weekly. I doubt I will get anything sorted with them this side of Christmas, but I have to do what I can to get any work I can.

Also when I was in Stourbridge, before my interview, I popped in to Waitrose to pick up some Libby's tinned pumpkin to make pumpkin rolls for the Expat Thanksgiving at Erin's tomorrow.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Y4 - 55/365: All Bundled Up

I had to catch a photo of Ryan all bundled up with the dropping temperatures outside since we've been on regular walks all week long. This is him in an under-vest, long-sleeved top, knitted jumper with fur-lined hood, fleece-lined knit hat and fleece-lined Thomas coat with mittens.

Ready, steady, go!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Y4 - 54/365: Missing Mitten...FOUND!

Earlier in the week I took Ryan on a nice 3 mile walk and he managed to lose a mitten along the way. I wasn't too bothered as the 2 sets of mittens together only cost a whopping £1.50. However, when we passed the same route on our walk today, we happened to come across our lost mitten by chance! Nearly a week on, and I imagine it's exactly where it had fallen that night.

With that it went straight in the basket and home to be washed right away.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Y4 - 53/365: Sussed

After many, many attempts...he finally figured out how to get his Thomas "choo-choo" to roll the entire length of the bay window.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Y4 - 52/365: ...Bingo, Bingo, Win!

Tonight I was a Mecca Winner! Woot!

I was trying to watch my spending on the cashline games, but when the first number was called on the buy-one-get-one-free, I decided last minute to give it a go and "coined in." As a result, I won £69 and split it with Em.

This will pay for pumpkin roll ingredients, nicely!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Y4 - 51/365: Bubble Pop

Auntie Emma got out the bubbles tonight! Curly-mop loves bubbles.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Y4 - 50/365: Bingo, Bingo, Bingo...

Yay for an extra, albeit unsuccessful, bingo night with Em! Gotta love when the offers are on and it's a cheapie night!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Y4 - 49/365: Get Well Soon

Matt returned home from physio this afternoon and headed straight for the sofa. Although he is attending sessions to make his back better and help the pain lessen, the immediate result after said session is that he's in the most pain at the moment because they've twisted him all about.

Ryan was offering a comforting hand.

And even a cuddle as long as he could still see the telly, of course.

Emma and I are off to see Breaking Dawn later tonight, so Daddy and Ryan will have loads more bonding time.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Y4 - 48/365: Wild Thing

Every so often his cardboard crown re-emerges and I catch a glimpse of him and think about the character Max in the story, Where the Wild Things Are.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Y4 - 47/365: Best Seat in the House

Daddy built Ryan a telly-watchin' seat! Ryan immediately put in use.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Y4 - 46/365: Monkey in the Middle?

Always in the middle of the track! So proud though...he built this one (snapped all the pieces in place) all by himself!!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Y4 - 45/365: Pyjama Day

Over the weekend I prepared some playdough again since the weather hasn't been very pleasant for some time outdoors. After Ryan was up from his nap this afternoon and had some lunch, we got the dough out along with our new cookie cutters and rolling pin. He absolutely LOVED making the shapes and saying some of the colours...namely 'bwuuuuu' and 'wehwohw.'

I caught him having a few cheeky tastes of the dough, but I'm confident the saltiness put him off trying to shove any more in his gob. Although, he would look at me and say, "Mmm," after each one!

He and I both stayed in our pyjamas all day since it was so crummy outside...that is until it was time for Daddy to come home from work. That was when he went up for an early bath, and into a new, clean set of PJs and I got dressed for some time at the Taj M'Bingo.

This is what was happening shortly before I left the house -- Daddy and Ryan playing 'trains.' He enjoys sitting in the middle of the track and putting a finger in the way to stop the trains until Daddy tells him, "GO," and he lets them go.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Y4 - 44/365: Zzziiiiiiiiiiiiiiip!

Oh no...we've discovered the zipper. This brings a whole new challenge in getting ready to leave the house.

I should also mention when he zips his zipper, he feels the need to say, "Zzziiiiiiiiiiiiiip," over and over as he zips or unzips.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Y4 - 43/365: Housekeeping

SOMEone thought it would be funny to purposely spill the milk from his sippy onto the window ledge this morning. But try again, hotshot...Mommy has your number! He was immediately called over and given a wipe and told to clean it up.

To my own surprise...he did.

And let that be a lesson, hmm.

He even handed me back the wipe when he was finished and said, "Ta, mama." Bless him.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Y4 - 42/365: Before Our Very Eyes

The first thing Ryan wanted to do tonight on his return from the childminder was grab his 'choo-choos' and catch up on today's episode of Raa Raa!

I had to message the childminder this morning and ask that she keep an eye out for any unkind behaviours like kicking and pushing. He's been doing this a bit with the cat and his cousin, and while we know he really isn't doing it to be spiteful and mean (he thinks he's playing), we still don't want to allow him to think it's acceptable behaviour. He's had a few time-outs off us and although he may not understand what remorse is, we thought it would be better to set ground rules and be consistent with our expectations from now so we won't have a struggle when he gets older.

I was over the moon when I read the following in his purple book:

  • Ryan appeared really glad to see all his friends today and couldn't stop smiling in the car this morning.
  • He has played lovely with Taylor this morning with the trains and has really been kind to the baby Thomas giving him the baby toys.
  • Ryan has not displayed any pushing or spiteful behaviour at all.
Everything else indicated he had a good day overall, playing with the toys at the children's centre, and being his otherwise happy/joyful self. This led Matt and I to wonder if it's maybe just the familiarity of our cat and his cousin, but still, we plan to carry on teaching him that his actions are unkind and not how we're meant to treat other people and animals.

We've also implemented a change in the bedtime routine. Starting tonight, Ryan will no longer get a bottle of milk just before bed. Instead, he will get milk in his sippy during dinner and will go to bed just after brushing his teeth or having a bath, but without the bottle. The reason for this is that we want to disassociate having a bottle of milk with sleeping and he will go to bed with clean teeth and not milk coating them. This way, when it comes time to wean him off the bottle entirely (something we're hoping to do sometime between 2.5-3 years) he will transition easily.

He did sign for milk when we went into his room (and I had a bottle in the fridge in case he wasn't having any of this new change) but he seemed content enough when I said simply, "You had your milk with dinner tonight." His response was, "Okay." After some cuddles...a little bit longer than usual...he was fast asleep in his bed. He did wake once just before midnight, but went back down without a problem, so while it may take a bit to get used to, it is for the best and all part of our little man growing up.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Y4 - 41/365: Mr. Indecisive

Any other time I try to put this hat on his head to keep his dear bonce warm, he throws an absolute fit. Now I have just sat here and watched him collect the hat from his rucksack and put it on by himself...then he proceeded to wear it for the next 20 minutes of whatever he was doing. I couldn't help but giggle that he had it on a bit crooked, which is naturally why I ran for the Kodak.

Little man just can't make up his mind, can he?

He's getting better with his colours now. He can say blue, yellow and red and has roughly a 25% success rate on getting the colour right. Most of the time though, everything is blue.

Then there are his numbers. He made a breakthrough today because whereas he used to count "one, one, one," today he realised "two" came after "one" when we were counting the fluffy chicks in his 'happy baby 123' book. His cousin, who is only 5 months older, can count effortlessly to 10 and even knows some numbers to 16 as well! I know some children in Year 1 who have difficulty with 1 to 6, so I'm already impressed by these two special tiny humans in my life!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Y4 - 40/365: Demolition Day

Not even 10 days after deciding on the "butler entrance," Ryan has changed his mind on the entire structure of his castle. This afternoon he climbed onto the "roof" of the dungeon until it collapsed... I suppose he wanted a rooftop entrance as well?

"New" and improved? Beauty is in the eye -- nah, it's ****ed. Literally in ruins.

Good thing Matt is coming home with new boxes from work tonight!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Y4 - 39/365: Bedtime, Everybody!

To the un-trained eye, this may look like a matchbox car accident, but believe me when I say it's not. Actually, this is Ryan's doing. I've posted a similar photo on my Facebook the week or so before last where Ryan had "put his cars to bed" by turning them over. I didn't see him do it at the time, but I heard him from the other side of the room.

Tonight, after we announced to Ryan that it was bedtime, Matt and I watched as Ryan delicately lifted each car to his lips for a kiss and then promptly propped it on his shoulder for a brief cuddle before placing it (wheels up) on the floor. If he thought he didn't do it right he would kiss and cuddle the car over just to be sure. Then he proceeded to tap each one gently and say "nigh nigh, car car," as Matt and I carried on watching in silence and stealing the occasional glance between ourselves, knowing it couldn't be any sweeter.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Y4 - 38/365: Want to Play?

"Where go?"


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Y4 - 37/365: Be One With the Shape

He's amazing to watch now. It used to be that he would need me to turn the shape ball for him to find the correct hole to put the shape into. He was able to put most shapes in but also needed help with others. Now, he's quite content to be given the ball and shapes and suss it out all by himself!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Y4 - 36/365: Remember, Remember -- Your Neighbours Have Children!!!

Ryan has a bit of an obsession with "smelling" things, so when I caught him smelling his crayons this morning, I immediately grabbed my camera and captured this gem!

Such a comedian and he doesn't even know yet!

We popped out to Worcester late this afternoon to visit Matt's friend, Kev, and his girlfriend, Mel. She loves Ryan and as soon as she came into the room and saw him, she snatched him up for a cuddle and happilly allowed him to hold her hand and walk around to explore a bit.

He was so excited to see their dog, Buster, at first...until Buster excitedly plowed into him to give him doggy-kisses all over his face. After that, Ryan was quite content to wave at him from a'far whilst Buster was safely locked behind a gate. He is a very friendly dog, but for once Ryan didn't have the "upper hand" like he does with our cat, Myst.

We left Kev's shortly after dark and headed back North on the M5 to go home. Matt then left to go visit Daz and Ryan and I stayed behind to have dinner and maybe watch some of the 'Bonfire Night' fireworks. I took him upstairs and we watched for a bit towards Clent and across Stourbridge from the bedroom window. He really enjoyed all the colours!

It is now 11pm and he is currently asleep on the small sofa behind me. We attempted bedtime at 9, however, the nearby neighbours had some pretty loud fireworks they were setting off and the booms were startling him. Rather than run back and forth up and down the steps all night each time he woke from a loud boom, I brought him and a couple of his cuddly toys down to camp on the settee until things dies down outside.

Too bad some of them aren't considerate for those of us with small children who need to be sleeping.

It makes me laugh a bit that the British celebrate their Houses of Parliament NOT getting blown up by playing with none other than...explosives! Just a thought anyway.

With that in sounds pretty quiet outside now, so I think we may have a go and transporting tiny sleeper to his own bed.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Y4 - 35/365: Hello Kitty

If only human-animal communication were so easy, right?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Y4 - 34/365: Cheesy Grin

We had another late-afternoon walk through the park and Ryan wanted to sit on every bench. The problem was, it had only just rained not long before, so they were all wet all over. I didn't realise this before I took the photo and then only to see a big wet patch on his bum.

It didn't seem to "dampen" his spirits though as he giggled like crazy, posed for the camera and said, "cheese," at the top of his lungs!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Y4 - 33/365: Big Kid...Big Help

"You mean you're gonna let me go down the 'big kid' slide today?!"

We didn't even get to the park today until about half-three, but despite the colder weather, I thought it was important that with the lack of sunlight recently and the earlier sunsets, it would be a good idea for Ryan to get a bit of fresh air to possibly help him sleep. Plus, it gets us out of the house for a bit and he gets to have an explore.

In fact...he gave the 'big kid' slide a go today!

It's kind of silly because the smaller playground (just next to this one) the slide has a curvy 'bar' ladder to the platform of the slide. Ryan finds this to be a challenge because his limbs are so short and the last time he tried to manoeuvre it, he smacked his lip on the bar causing it to bleed a little. The bigger slide, however, has steps. Although they're spaced farther apart, he is still able to make his way up...with very close supervision from Mommy.

Speaking of supervision...with one of his Tommie Tippee toddler butter knives tonight, Ryan also managed to help "chop" some "mushies" (mushrooms) for our pasta mess! Look at him concentrating!! Little chef, he is!