We can start with this afternoon when I made an attempt at cleaning up the mess that 'Little Boss' caused. I thought maybe if I played some music (Mission Impossible theme), like they do in nurseries/reception at "tidy-up time" that in time it would be a signal for Ryan and he would know it was time to clean up.
Instead what I got was..."Cool music, Mommy! Look...it has a beat and I can DANCE to it!!"
And in news of other missions...I have been on one all week to buy Ryan a new pair of trainers for the summer, but Monday was Bingo with Em & myself, Tuesday we got home late so gave it a miss, and then last night Matt went on a "man-date" with Daz to see the new Transformers film. This only left tonight and the weekend so after Matt returned home and got changed, off to Merry Hill we went and off to Sports Direct.
We found the CUTEST pair of Adidas trainers for such a bargain!
It's a good job we went when we did as well because we had Ryan's feet measured in Clark's and he is now up from a size 3.5G from 6 months ago to a size 5G! Wow, that's fast!
Ryan has a new fascination, among many developing each day. Today's was things that started with the letter 'b' and sound /b/. From 'bee' to 'bottle' and right down to the 'bird' he was watching outside, he loves all things beginning with B...and he calls them ALL...'baa baa baa.'
Which is awesome, because it really distinguishes what is what!
Speaking of 'bees.' Mommy "forced" him into wearing his little rucksack 'bee' rain hat so she could get a photo to show someone. He wasn't for this game AT ALL!
(For funsies...a little vid I took of Mr Chatty tonight at bedtime...)
It's Monday. We're up and at 'em and eatin' some brekkie!
I usually just feed porridge TO Ryan and it's a lot faster and far less messy, but instead, today I got his sticky mat ready and even chopped him some bites of nana. He was even surprisingly clean at the end, so it appears that someones self-feeding skills are improving.
Good thing...cause I hear that's a big one when trying to pick up chicks.
If there's one thing I have learned in my near 3 years living with the British, it's that they will complain about how little sun the country receives...and then when they finally DO get some of this unheard of sun, they then complain about how hot it is and they can't handle it! (Hubby's words...not mine. Love you, British peeps!)
Not sure what the temp was exactly today...but suffice it to say it was warm enough that we lasted all of five minutes in the garden at Em & Daz's around 3 o'clock. We chose to first stay indoors, have our tea, and try again after the garden was more forgiving and the location of the sun provided us with a bit of shade.
We were met with the surprise of a super-fun bouncy castle for the kiddos! Amy had a blast and Ryan took a bit of convincing...so Aunty Emma climbed inside. Here he shouts at her from the outside.
Ryan did take some time out to smell the flowers...but carried on squawking and chasing "kee-cahs" and balls from the ball pit around the garden.
"Look what I found, Mommy!"
And here it appears he's attempting to make friends with Ash and coax him over with the promise of plastic eggs. Hmm.
It wasn't long before both kiddos had their fill and Ryan was questioning, "Why is Daddy inside the bouncy castle, Mommy?"
Weather permitting, looks like we have a good source of entertainment for the little ones next month for Miss Amy's 2nd birthday!
A bit of a late night as we're headed up to bed minus a bath...and of course we can't forget our kiss for Daddy since we'll have to skip the regular bedtime story, too.
"Now...who's coming with me?"
After a "quick" trip to Toys R Us, Ryan managed to acquire a new Ty Beanie Boo called 'Coconut.' He soon realised that Coconut MUST be related to Mr. Waddles because his little penguin companion was the first thing he grabbed when we returned home whilst also tightly clutching Coconut in his other hand.
"HOLD STILL, Mommy! I want to drive my car up your arm and onto your FACE!"
Bossy, little so-and-so he can be sometimes!
I found some interactive books by joining the Bookstart Book Club and logging on to the website. One of Ryan's favourite books, 'Honey Hill Noisy Day,' was on there with sounds that went along with the instruments the children in the story played. Ryan was very intrigued (as you can tell).
I even pulled it over to the TV screen for him to watch, and when the music came on at the end he danced and danced. His second favourite thing to reading...or a close tie?
Our tea was a lovely shepherd's pie that Matt made. Ryan scarfed his and even though he was so exhausted and even fell asleep IN his actual bowl, he would still practically feed himself in his sleep!! I tried to get a shot with my camera, but by then the drowsy-eye feeling had passed and he was awake again. Because he was so sleepy, we decided to skip a bath and 'Baby Bear' story for the night and just get him up.
Tonight's selection was 'Are You My Mother?' and again, awake going into his cot and fast asleep by the time I left.
If there is one thing that consistently stands for Ryan, it's that he LOVES his books! Some kids are happy to watch the telly or need constant stimulation and interaction with another person (and he is like this as well) but he absolutely adores sitting, or laying, down with a good book...
...even, and sometimes especially, if this means it is all on his own on the other side of the room. (I wondered why it was suddenly quiet.)
After his nap, and before Daddy got home, we took a walk through the park. I used his rucksack with the lead -- but not to "walk" him. I'm trying to get him used to walking and holding onto the pushchair on his own or holding someone's hand. The lead is purely there to keep him from getting too far should he decide to make a break for it. It came in handy when a punk teenager decided the walking path was a good place to whizz past us on his crappy moped.
When we got back, Matt decided on omelets for dinner. Ryan didn't agree and chose to wipe his, grease and all, through his hair. So, instead he got a chicken sandwich so he wasn't going to bed on an empty stomach.
I did the new routine in his bedroom again and tonight's story was 'Put Me In The Zoo' by Dr Seuss. After last night's episode with lying flat to have his bottle, I decided to carry on allowing him to have his bottle in my arms -- after all, he's only this small for so long and I want to cherish the time. Plus, now that I am no longer breastfeeding (we stopped Sunday, at 18 months), it's a good transition so he can still feel close to Mommy.
When he finished his bottle he was still awake but drowsy so I gave him a kiss and put him in his cot with his sheep. He rolled over and faced the wall with his back toward me. I finished the story and when I peeked in to tuck him in, he was spark out!
After individually saying "nigh-nigh" by waving to all the animals in his bedtime story, a bit of a change was implemented with the bedtime routine...the main part being it will ALL now take place in Ryan's room rather than making a switch from feeding in our room to carrying him, asleep, to his cot in his room.
I had managed to have him lying down in his cot and eyes beginning to droop before he had a change of heart and stood up for one last Mommy-cuddle (or "cuggle" as he calls it). The moment he stood up he rapid-fire projectile vomited FOUR times and it landed all down his vest and sleep sack, all over the floor, on my legs and feet, and down the bars of his cot. Matt had not long been out to pop round to a friend, so I immediately requested his quick return.
Thankfully it wasn't long and I tried my best to keep Ryan in 'sleep-mode' even though I could see, from the corner of my eye, that he was wide awake. So we went and grabbed his sheep and I layed him on a pillow on our bed to see if I could get him to nod off. I lay next to him with my arm around his waist, waiting for his eyes to droop...but instead, I hear Matt trapsing back and forth across the landing as he was between the bedroom and bathroom cleaning up the sick and Ryan points toward the door and mumbles (in Ryan-speak) "What's that," before he gently put an arm around his sheep and shut his eyes!
He's just TOO sweet! It was a shame to disturb him.
After almost a full week of work (for me), we're taking a bit of a breather now on this sunny, Saturday morning. This was all by Ryan's suggestion, of course, as he lay down next to his favourite, furry "kee-kah."
I could tell he was even still a bit sleepy when I watched as he leaned casually on against the settee...and apparently made quite a convincing look for a baby underwear ad.
We even took a bit of time to stop and smell...the playdough?
I had a long trip to Yardley Wood Rail Station today to teach Year 2. It was a mile and a half walk to the school and surprisingly not bad. The children were well-behaved for the most part with a few small squabbles, but nothing unexpected for a supply post. I made certain to tell them what a lovely day I had with them and they actually THANKED me at the end of the day for teaching them!
How polite!! Schools in Birmingham don't often house children with this degree of kindness. It was refreshing.
Matt decided it would be a pizza night and he took off for a bit to Daz's leaving me and the little guy to handle bedtime without him for the night. He's getting better at brushing his teeth properly and even likes to check in the mirror that he's getting them right. It's sweet.
When it was story time I did my part and then he immediately chanted "Daddy, dada" wondering where Matt was to take his turn with Baby Bear, Baby Bear What Do You See? However, tonight Ryan had to go straight to picking up his sheep, flipping his light switch to 'off,' and getting zipped up into his sleep-sack before a milky nightcap.
Matt pointed out a double-rainbow tonight. The second one is only faint, but definitely there.
I had a Year 1 class this morning. They were reviewing how to add two-digit numbers by partitioning. This is something that isn't usually touched on until Year 2, which explains why so many of the children just didn't get it. We spent two and a half lessons going over it and it felt like they finally began to get it and actually enjoy it a bit just before they left for dinner.
In the staff room at dinner I met another supply teacher who has a daughter with the same birthday as Ryan! We chatted the whole break about our kids and how much they make us laugh. If only I would have gotten her name...
My afternoon was simple. I was in Nursery making Father's Day Cards with the little ones and playing with some play-dough with small groups.
It always makes me miss Ryan when I'm with the little ones.
I ended my post this afternoon with a Reception class so thankfully there wasn't any marking to be done and the teacher returned to the room before home time, which meant I got to go ahead and take off. In turn, I got the "early" train home, took it a stop further to Cradley Heath, and then walked from Cradley Heath, uphill through Quarry Bank, and over a couple sets of lights to David & Josie's to surprise Ryan. However, since Ryan was expecting Daddy and not Mommy, it took him a few moments to take in the fact that I was there.
As soon as we got home, all I heard was "cah-cah-cah" so I told him to get his car and he quickly shuffled back to the centre of his room with his little colour changer car.
Clever little man!
At bedtime, we've been reading Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?(which he loves now) and then he picks up his sheep from his Great Nanny and holds onto him as we take him in our bedroom, get him snuggled up in his sleep sack, and give him time to nurse. Tonight was especially sweet because whereas he will normally feed until he falls asleep (or sign for 'more milk') with eyes wide open...he didn't do either. Instead, he unlatched on his own, dabbed the corner of his mouth with the sheep's ear, wrapped his arm around him and closed his eyes to sleep!
I nearly teared up because our baby boy is growing up so fast!
Forget Jillian Michaels...at least that is what Ryan intends for me to do. In a pretty assertive way he decided to show me his version of push-ups!
Seriously, I'm at a loss for what to do. I can't do it while he's napping because hopping all around downstairs shakes the unstable floorboards. Matt suggests to simply do it when he's awake and in the room with me...yeah right! I doubt Matt has endured jumping-jacks with a 23 lb toddler hanging from the bottom of his t-shirt, nor has he had to fight said toddler off his 5 lb weights when doing squats. Most importantly...push-ups are hard enough on a pair of already weak wrists without extra "luggage" on one's back.
I guess my little guy just wants me to feel the burn...and boy, did I!
After debating with myself (yes, I did this) for months over whether or not to get Ryan one of these Amber Teething Necklaces, I consulted with Dear Husband over the recent 'bout with toothy peg numbers 8 and 9 and we decided to give it a go. Then when I checked the post this afternoon I discovered a small, brown padded envelope and knew right then it had arrived!
They don't actually chew on the necklace, but rather wear it (preferably against bare skin, under clothes). When it warms against the skin it releases soothing oils that are absorbed into the bloodstream and it provides a calming and relaxing effect to aid during times of sickness or teething. It's a natural remedy as opposed to dosing up with medication -- which quite frankly hasn't worked too well with Ryan.
We will have to see in a few days' time if the necklace has had any effect or made much of a difference in our son's temperament.
Today has been one of "those days" where nothing seems to make little man happy for very long. He didn't sleep well last night, waking at 4am and taking over an hour to go back down. Then I had to get to school so I was away all day. By the time we were all back home, he was sleepy and just wanted to be held. At one point he practically begged me, "Maaaa! Maaaa! Maaaa!" to put on my own Ohio University, zip-up hoodie. I put it on him, he smiles really big and I think he's in a better mood and then seconds later bursts into tears!
We took a trip to Merry Hill today on the bus and Ryan found a cute set of Happyland racing cars that he just couldn't live without! So, Mommy rang Daddy to see if she could splurge £8 since they were marked down and he agreed!
Look at that happy ickle face! (He was saying "cah-cah-cah" from the time we got home.)
Even when he's doing something he shouldn't...like pulling the gliding footstool away from the wall and climbing on top...I can't help but smile because he's so proud of himself for his little achievement in that moment.
The New Blackheath Library opened on the High Street in Blackheath last Monday, but I was working so I wasn't able to take Ryan down to check it out. During our trip today we picked up a book about tractors (which is a new word that Ryan recognises -- he doesn't say it, but recognises it thanks to his own John Deere tractor sent from Nanny). We also got a book about Noisy Farm Animals and the story Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
Ryan picked each of these off the shelf, along with some paperbacks that I promptly returned to their rightful place. I decided that 3 was a sufficient number for the moment for him to check out (on Mommy's card, of course).
We also signed up for the Bookstart Book Crawl where he only has to make 3 more visits to the library by mid-July and he will receive a prize!
He certainly wasted no time when we returned home. Straight into his books, he was...turning page after page while Mommy read 'The Sheep says Baa!' and 'The cow goes moo!'
Despite the sporadic, light rain today, we made the trip up to Trentham to check out The Monkey Forest with our own little monkeys! Ryan watched and pointed from his pushchair and I'm sure he thought they were just big cats or something.
This is the first "close up" one I spotted and he or she was about 10 feet from us as we walked along the path! Yep...just chillin and munching on some grass. Not a care in the world!
We stayed in one area to watch a little presentation and feeding talk by one of the park workers there. You could see some of the "older" babies, one of which (centre) was hitching a ride on its mommy's back. Ryan even burst out into laughter after two of the males were seen chasing after one another playfully.
They're so used to humans just walking around and snapping photos that it doesn't even phase them at all. We even saw one walk right up to a man who was sitting down along the path and reach out to touch his leg before a park worker shoo'ed it off.
It would have been a bit better if it hadn't been so gloomy and wet, but it didn't keep us from seeing our fair share of monkeys! I definitely want to try to go back when the weather prediction is a bit more accurate.
On the way home we stopped in at The Round Oak Pub near Merry Hill to have a nice roast dinner. Ryan ate his like a champ and proceeded to play with my mobile when he was finished. I was quite proud for this being his first time out to eat at a restaurant!
He likes holding it to his ear and mumbling something close to "hello" only sounding more like "huh-whoa."
Since we skipped afters at the pub, we made sure he got his yummy treat of yogurt when he returned home.
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!