Wednesday 21 December 2011

Silent night...

A silent night. It's something all parents wish for!! It's something we all wish for really, but parents who are used to being woken up doubly so!

Ethan is nearly two and a half now and even on a normal happy healthy week there are usually one or two disturbed nights. However, with the colds and various illnesses we've had over the six weeks or so I think there have probably been only a handful of nights he's slept through. Some nights I've been up with him 6 or more times.. there have even been a few nights where he's been awake for 6 hours straight.. NOT FUN!! When you get pregnant, you are warned about newborns needing regular attention, feeds and nappy changes throughout the night. No one really tells you that you may still be regularly getting up with a two or three year old! If they did, I think it's possible many of us would reconsider children!! (well, perhaps not, but it is quite a deterrent for some!). Of course, the reasons Ethan wakes in the night now are not the same as a newborn, he doesn't want a feed or a clean nappy. These days it's usually a nightmare, worries or just finding himself awake and getting wound up not being able to get back to sleep.

However, after these weeks of bad nights, Ethan has started to sleep through again over the last couple of nights. Hurrah!! Yes! Deep, deep joy! We, on the other hand, have not. On Monday night my poor hubby had had just enough of my incessant coughing and ended up stomping down the stairs to hide away on the sofa at some God forsaken hour. I didn't realise I'd been coughing of course. Poor Pete, he's about to get a stomach ulcer from the stress of being woken every night!! Me, I'm just resolved to sleeping sitting up at the moment in an attempt to curb the coughs!!

So, last night I got myself settled in bed, pillows plumped and sat up.. Eventually I drop off (it's not really the most comfortable position to fall asleep in really!) and off I go, into a blissful sleep....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...........BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!! WTF? WHAT IS THAT BLOODY NOISE? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? WHY IS MY BEDSIDE TABLE VIBRATING?!!!?! Eventually I get my brain together enough to realise what has dragged me from my dreams. My flipping electric toothbrush. A few days ago it started misbehaving, the battery running out and randomly turning itself on at odd times. I'd decided it was for the chop, but didn't want it to turn on in the bathroom in the night and start vibrating around in there.. so I decided (oh, so sensible) to put it in my bedside table. And of course it turned on!!! I pulled it from the draw, turned it off and chucked it under the bed. Pete grunted beside me. Of back to sleep we go..........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!! Oh God!! NOT AGAIN!!! Dancing all over the bedroom floor, the bloody brush is buzzing away like an insistent vibrator. This time Pete leaps out of the bed, almost roaring with anger and being woken again, not by poor Ethan, or my coughing but MY BLOODY TOOTHBRUSH. He grabs it, runs into the spare room, roots around in the draw and then I can hear him bashing and knocking around with it for what seems like half an hour. When he comes back to bed, I ask him "What did you do with it?" "I killed it" he growls, thumping back into bed.


This is what I found in the morning:

Just as well I bought myself a manual brush at Boots the other day then...

All I want for Christmas is my.. toothbrush!!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Painted pine cones!

Remember those pine cones Ethan collected in Autumn? And my idea of spray painting them and using them as Christmas decorations? I finally got around to it!! I've not bothered with sticking ribbons on them because I think they'll be more versatile this way, I can use them on the Christmas tree, in flower arrangements, as stand alone decorations around the house etc... For this year though, I've just placed them on the tree :)

Here we go! A few photos. My apologies that the photography is pretty dire today...

It was all very easy peasy... Just spray painted them in the garage and then sprinkled with glitter..

Let me know if you're going to have a go!!

Sunday 18 December 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Duplo

It's a classic, isn't it. Sunday afternoon, chilling with the family and playing with Duplo.. (whilst recovering from our horrible 2 week long colds...)

Happy one week 'til Christmas!

PS, we decided that the strange "car" we'd made looked like a Recogniser from Tron:

Sunday 11 December 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Christingle

Fairly short and sweet tonight. Went to a Christingle Service with Ethan and my parents today. He behaved very well though did keep loudly demanding "more singing" in between carols. Reminds me so very much of my childhood Christmases.

Here is our Christingle!

Friday 9 December 2011

Scary Christmas!

I'm posting and running because I really should be in bed... I AM TIRED!! I swear!

I've just been over at Lise's blog ( reading all about the decoration Rory has recently chosen for this Christmas... and it made me think of a decoration we have!

Look! He opens his freaky mouth up and nashes it up and down!!!

Does anyone else have one of these Nutcrackesque soliders among the ranks of their Christmas Decorations? Or any other scary/weird decorations that come out every year?

Oh... I just thought.. If you really want to see scary/weird/traditional then you need to see this. I made this little beauty when I was about 2 or 3 I think, so it must be at least 26 years old. And yet, somehow it still exists and I found it hanging around in one of my boxes of Christmas decorations so I've got it out and photographed it just for you to enjoy! Behold, loo roll Santa!

He's quite old now so his cotton wool beard has disappeared... Poor sod. I guess that's what too many Christmas sherries will do to you! I like the fact there is also a Gateway sticker/label attached to his feet... that supermarket doesn't even exist any more!!!

Ho ho ho and happy weekend to you all. I'm off to sit in the bath water my son peed in and got out of over 5 hours ago. I may add some hot water. See how indulgent I feel.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Hands off those matches and stop break-dancing whilst you're at it!

In the run up to Christmas, like many of us I suspect, I start to feel run down and ready for a break. Though I love the groups we go to (lets face it, we all need a reason to get out and about, a chance to chat to other parents and to let our children play with their friends) there comes a point where I just want to stay at home, have a quieter morning... not have to rush out of the door as soon as breakfast is done.

We have a busy week - on Monday Ethan has Tearless and Fearless at the local sports centre at 9:30am. Straight after that he goes in the creche and I go to the gym. After that we walk home via the supermarket to do the weekly shop... home, unpack, lunch... by that point it's about 2pm!! Tuesday is playgroup, Wednesday is creche/exercise class and then a group meet up in the afternoon... Thursday we normally see my parents and are out of the house by 9:30am... Friday we usually end up with something planned in, swimming or the local soft play.. Either way, buy this time of year I think we are both feeling a little ragged! Throw in the usual winter bugs and all I want to do is crawl under a blanket with a pint of mulled wine (Ethan still has the energy to demand the endless playing of cars).

Anyway, the groups are beginning to wind down for the year Thank God... but that does mean that nativities and Christmas parties are starting to pop up... and that means dressing up! I'm afraid that though I may be crafty I've not yet turned my hand to nedlework and as such would be pretty rubbish at making Ethan a costume.. Thankfully we had a new Asda open recently and they do very well priced nativity costumes!! Would you like to see Ethan modeling a sheep costume? Of course you would!

My apologies for the fact he appears to be about to make a call on a Barbie phone!

So, dressed as a sheep we head to playgroup this week to attend a reading of the Christmas Story by the Vicar in the church... Can you imagine this? A large group of 0-3 year olds crammed into a corner in the church with a Vicar trying desperately to grab their attentions with knitted nativity characters (they were very cute actually, but "riding" a woollen donkey over some boy's back whilst he tries to climb onto your shoulders in an attempt to smash a stained glass window probably wasn't the best way to attempt to keep children's attention!). Ethan had long since escaped from my grasps when all of a sudden I heard him yelp "Oooo, FIRE!!" and then someone else yelling "Vicar! He's got hold of your matches!". Yup, it was Ethan. He'd managed to get behind the Vicar whilst he was occupied with this other child and grabbed the matches he'd hidden behind his back (for the lighting the advent candle).. Sigh. That was embarrassing.. I doubt his £8 nylon sheep-ish wonder from Asda would have faired well against flames....

The week didn't much improve when we attending story time at the library again.. this always goes well for us. Ethan got told off by the librarian reading the stories because he kept break-dancing in front of her, distracting the other children. He was close to kicking other children in the face but I was too tired to care much by that point and was trying to nap behind a bookshelf (OK, OK, I obviously wouldn't let him kick other children but you know what it's like when you've spent the whole day nagging at them!).

That reminds me of earlier in the week when we were checking out at the local garden centre and Ethan decided to hump his glo-worms face into the floor much to the distaste of the other customers... What is it with boys and their willies? Come to think of it, what is it with toddlers in general? They just can't help but embarrass you in public!

It's not all been bad this week.. we skived off crèche/gym and made Christmas cookies instead.. Ethan actually wanted to join in with the baking this time, mixing and breaking eggs. I was impressed, he did well and didn't make too much mess! So, here's a few smug pictures of said biscuits and their creation!


I'm sure this is supposed to be added now!

Time for a break with a sit down on the sofa and a wheat bag (called stink bags in our house actually!) for my aches and pains! Oh, what have I created?!

Oh! Look! Yummy! Smug photo alert!

Just to redress the balance, during his bath tonight, whilst playing with foam letters Ethan said that these two were for me and stuck them on my tummy:

Proper Crim-buggy!

I've always put fairy lights on Ethan's buggy for him at Christmas time... why not?! I mean surely that's what those small strings of battery operated LED fairy lights are for?

The lights we've used for the last two Christmases were broken so yesterday Ethan chose himself some new ones, clear white stars. Last night I sewed them into the sunshade/cover part of his buggy. He was so excited today about getting into his buggy and having the lights on!!! During a walk around our town we got quite a few stares and comments... I think the best reaction was an elderly woman waving her hands around shouting "Glory be! You are ready for Christmas! Clever Mummy!" and bursting into Christmas carols... When we were waiting in a huge queue at the Post Office people were laughing away at Ethan and his lights, at which point he started singing "Walking in the air"... It was so bloody funny!

Anyway, if you want something that will guarantee you a load of attention where-ever you go and put a smile on your little one's face, this is all you have to do!

Sunday 4 December 2011

Sunday Snapshots - Decorations are up!

Ho ho ho! We took Ethan to see Father Christmas and he loved it, wasn't scared at all.. though he did tell an Elf that the Reindeer would eat Father Christmas... hmmm!

I was going to pick one photo for this blog post, but decided that it just wouldn't be enough.. so, let me present to you our house, all dolled up for the Festive season!

From the outside:

A nice colourful lavender bush out the front!

Even the bedroom is joining in! Festive duvet cover!

Ethan is entranced by all of the lights..

Living room..

Ethan is calling these "light balls"..

Bunting! I must have SO MUCH BUNTING!

Tree... I'm biased but I do love it (Ethan has decreed that choosing a tree is boring and he is scared of this one... I think he'll warm to it).

Window pretties..

Woodland festive moose type creature!

Snowman :)

Well, tomorrow the card writing and frenzied wrapping begins!

Thursday 1 December 2011

Christmas is coming, this goose is getting lazy...

It's only just December! I love Christmas... I'm really excited about it. This is Ethan's third Christmas and he's going to understand much more about it this time.. The tree will be bought on Saturday and then all the decorations will be going up. We've been listening to the Christmas music for ages... Ethan's favorate songs are now Jingle Bells, Walking in the air and Silent Night.

All that aside though, it's hard to keep the momentum going. I made such a good start with making the Christmas cards, but I've made 12 and feeling like that's enough.. I might be able to make a few more but I'm so worn out come the evenings that I just don't feel like being crafty. Perhaps it'll be easier when Ethan is a bit older and not so full on in the daytime.

He's back to not napping so much now so the days are very long and demanding. Lovely, but demanding. I have so little "head space" that when the day is over and Ethan is in bed it's all I can do to drag my sorry arse onto the sofa and faff around on facebook and ebay for a few hours before collapsing in bed.

Hopefully it's just a bit of winter lazy-itus. I hope so, because it means my blog suffers. After all, if I don't feel up to doing anything I have very little to blog about!

I did a little Christmas shopping today. My parents had Ethan for a bit so I snuck off into Bristol to peruse the shops on Park Street (if you've never been there and you visit Bristol, do go because there are loads of independent shops). I discovered these babies!
Fuzzy felt!! On the fridge! Oh yeah... we are going to have fun with these... Also popped into Cath Kidston and got some Christmas tea towels because, well, why not?! They had 15% off in store today as well which was handy (just a happy coincidence, I had no idea).

Any-hoo, I am getting there with all the Christmas shopping, bit by bit.. and like I said, it's only just the beginning of December. So perhaps I'm justified in lazing on the sofa.. Pass me the Christmas Ale!!

Actually, before I go, look what I noticed Christmas Cliff doing in his video for The Saviours Day - leaning on a child's head!?! I mean honestly, the cheek of the man!

Sunday 27 November 2011

Awkward moments and other embarrassing things...

I'm the kind of person who regularly experiences awkward moments and embarrassing situations. I suppose many of us are. I have no doubt that becoming a parent increases the regularity of these occasions..

Children are so honest, aren't they? As we grow up, we (generally!) learn to be polite and to save peoples feelings. Children, they just tell it as it is. Take, for example, a recent visit to a friends house. We'd popped in for a quick visit so she and I could have a natter and Ethan and her little boy could play (I mean wrestle, throw toys and force feed each other apple slices). My friend took us into her son's bedroom as they'd recently finished decorating and all of his toys were now stored in there. As we walked in, Ethan looked around and said "Lovely! Lovely room. Very nice! Nice door, nice sofa". Awww, I was so proud! My friend was suitably chuffed. It was indeed very lovely. I was very proud at Ethan being a) adorable and b) applying his language so well!

So, the boys had a play in there and we had a good chatter... it was all going so well. Until they wanted a snack of sliced apple. Off we all trooped to the kitchen.. This is where it all went a bit wrong. We get there and Ethan takes a good look around and then goes right up to my friend and says (very loudly) "Messy! Very messy kitchen!". Ugh.. So embarrassing!!! It's my fault really. Her kitchen is nothing more than a normal kitchen for someone who's been at home with an extremely active toddler all day. The trouble is that Ethan lives with me, OCD Tidy Freak Mum. I apologised for his honestly, explained that he was going through a "very honest phase". What else can you do? She didn't mind thankfully!!! This is a child who walked into our kitchen the other day as I was washing up and saw a peice of cheese on the breadboard that was hardly visible, picked it up and said "ugh, yuck! Dirty!" and put it in the bin. Save me now...

Still, though Ethan may be a little too honest at times (really, I'm sure my fellow shoppers in Tesco do not need to know that "Mummy's pee-pee is hairy!" or that "I have a purple dinkle!") I feel that he is at least learning how to behave and what is right and wrong. He is a toddler and is allowed to make mistakes... I'm not sure the same could be said for some of the strange things we see adults in our town doing out and about in public!

Take for example this recent lovely experience! Ethan and I were on our way back from the leisure centre. This walk takes us along one of the main roads in Clevedon (and it is a very big main road with a lot of traffic and pedestrians - in other words it is very well used!). As I was pushing the buggy we were overtaken by a middle-aged lady dressed in fluorescent pink (so highly visible!!) who was jogging. Nothing outrageous there. Until she stopped a little way in front of us... At first I could not believe my eyes. She had stopped and what was that I could see? Surely not?! I had to blink a few times (wearing contact lenses, needed to make sure my vision wasn't blurring!). No, I wasn't seeing things. IT WAS HER ASS!!! She had stopped on the grass verge, had pulled down her trousers and knickers and was taking (I hope!) a wee in public. Broad daylight. Midday. Not in the depth of the night on the way home from a pub hidden from view. She was 100% visible. I only hope it was a wee and not a poo... God knows I didn't look close enough to check for brown lumps. All I know is I got a bloody good look at her butt (not that I wanted to!). The bit that totally astounded me was that whilst we were passing I noticed her checking her sports watch, presumably checking her running times WHILST HER PANTS AND TROUSERS WERE STILL DOWN AROUND HER ANKLES!! I just couldn't believe it! Am I a prude? Is it now totally acceptable for a lady to pee in public? I know it's just a bum and a fanny, but all joking aside, it's just not appropriate is it?

I do realise there could be some mental illnesses that might lead someone to do this, or not to realise that this was not appropriate but this lady looked like she was in control of herself to me... Who knows I suppose!! Perhaps she is an exhibitionist?! She was literally 30 seconds from a pub which at midday would have been open and which I know has loos. She was also about 2 mins (running time) from a supermarket which also has loos.

I really truly could not believe I'd seen it! What do you think? Perhaps after the Paula Radcliffe wee-ing during a marathon thing it's now normal practice? I highly doubt this lady was on a solo marathon though.. and I still think she could have dashed into the pub or at least the underpass which was also right next to her!!

Sunday Snapshot - a walk at the lakegrounds

Man gives birth to toddler!

Wait a minute? That's not a corn-dog!?!

Monday 21 November 2011

The Great Big Toy debate (xrated!)

The great big toy debate.. do you know to what I refer? It's the wood V plastic debate basically (or taste V tack as I see it quite often!).

I think many mums have this idea when they are pregnant, that they will only have a selected few tasteful wooden toys in their house for their child. The reality is that even before you've given birth people start dumping bits of all singing all dancing VTack on you. What do you mean you don't want a plastic singing bus? How could you not want that in your house? You mean you don't want to trip over it in the night making it sing "let's go to the zoo, la la la la laaaaaaaa" very VERY LOUDLY waking up a dog 10 miles away.. Let alone your baby...

I have been very strict with the amount of plastic tacky toys Ethan has and even we have a few! It's not at all easy. I try not to buy Ethan plasticy stuff if I can avoid it. We've done pretty well. We have the bus I mentioned above and all of his bath toys are plastic (though they are limited to the bathroom ;-D ). He has a lot of my old toys from the 80s which are plastic but I don't mind them so much because they aren't as tacky somehow and they are being re-used (I love the fact he plays with my old toys!).

In my experience, and in the experience of most the parents I know, for a long time, all children are really interested in (apart from their parents attention and love) are cardboard boxes, wooden spoons, saucepans and your car keys.

I honestly don't think children need all the toys the adverts would have you (and them most importantly!) believe. Ethan doesn't have that many toys compared to some and most of them sit there unplayed with most of the time. He loves his cars, his gloworm and drawing. As long as he's got access to them he's happy.

If you want any more evidence that the plastic and singing stuff isn't so great, just look at these two videos! The first depicts a toy given to Ethan by my aunt. She described it as a "tourettes toy". It was given as a joke, obviously, because that's the kind of family we are... The other video shows a song sung by "My Pal Scout" who Ethan was given by his God father. My apologies for the quality of the audio.. but hopefully you can hear the most important bits!

SWEARS!!! OH NOES!!! Hopefully these videos will be taken in the tone they are meant to be taken in, and don't offend any of you!

Obviously I'm being light-hearted about this.. What I'm saying is that if you do want to avoid too much plastic, you can. But it's not easy!

Sunday 20 November 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Kissy kissy!

Is this the worst kissing shot you've ever seen? I'm pretty sure we both look asleep... it makes me laugh.. it's pretty dreadful. So I'm releasing it into the tinterweb!


Friday 18 November 2011

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming!

I'm sorry it's been so quiet in blog land this week. Ethan has had a cold and I've had a vomiting virus... We seem to be on the mend now!

I may be mad.. (don't answer that!) but I have undertaken the decision to make all of my Christmas cards this year. In previous years I have made a few, mainly for my closest friends and family, and used bought ones for everyone else. I'm hoping that this year as I'm starting in reasonably good time, I can make them over a few evenings and then get them out in early December.

What I wanted to do this year was involve Ethan's artwork in the cards. We have pages and pages of Ethan's doodles. I can't bring myself to throw them out, but equally, I can't keep all of them. So, I had the idea of using them in Christmas cards. What I've decided to do is to cut shapes out of the paper he's drawn on and stick those shapes onto cards. I'm using some Christmas cookie cutters to make the shapes! I've gone for a stocking and a Christmas tree... and I made a star stencil myself.

This is what we have so far!

What do you think?

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Troubled waters...

I always think there is no nicer way to end the day spent with your toddler than with a shared bath. For us, it started as a way to encourage skin to skin when Ethan was a few days old. Since then we've never been able to bring ourselves to bath him without one of us (or even both of us!) getting in with him. If we don't, he begs us to anyway. I'm sure there will come a time when he is too mortified at the thought of looking at his parents naked bodies, but in the meantime it is honestly a lovely way to end the day...

...until that moment... you know the moment I mean. I bet there are few children out there who haven't indulged in this guilty pleasure..

Let's just say Ethan and I were sharing a bath this evening, when I suddenly noticed a piece of sweetcorn floating around in the bath. Ethan hadn't eaten corn today. He had the day before. We all know how corn has that cockroach like ability to survive anything.. being eaten and going through your digestive system? Pah! That is nothing! Look! Behold me, floating around in your bathwater! As soon as I uttered the words "Ethan, where did that corn come from?" I knew... as soon as he shifted a little I could see other suspicious looking bits...



Nothing says clean and fresh than a poo body wash, does it? Why don't Lush stock that? New! Wipe the shit off your face with this... a piece of shit!


Yup. That was a lovely way to end the day.

I'm going to scrub myself with bleach.

Monday 7 November 2011

Fuzzy Felt!

Anyone remember fuzzy felt? I remember whiling away the hours as a child playing with it. Just the name "Fuzzy Felt" brings back warm fuzzy (haha) feelings of afternoons relaxing at home creating weird and wonderful pictures.

Can you still buy it? I'm not sure.. let me go and have a look... Why! Yes you can. Amazon have it

We got given some recently. I hid it away in the garage, with half a mind to give it to Ethan as a Christmas present. However, he spotted it in it's lame hiding place today and asked what it was and could we play with it. I thought why not. I lost our Kindle today. It fell out of the buggy when we were walking this afternoon.. someone found it and within 10 mins of it being lost they had downloaded themselves a book (Caitlin Moran's "How to be a woman" - good taste, but what A-HOLES...). The reason I'm telling you this (apart from my outrage needing an outlet) is that it was a damp, dark and cold afternoon and I was feeling pissed off and when Ethan found the fuzzy felt, I thought "Yes! Yes, that is just the activity we need!".

And it was!

I was surprised just how much Ethan got into it. We had a mixture of numbers and letters, a background and a load of dinosaur themed bits to play with. I would say it used up a good hour of the afternoon - that difficult part of the afternoon before tea time. Ethan loved it... He enjoyed spotting all the different numbers and making the dinosaurs roar at each other.. and making the trees blow in the wind. And he (sort of) made a picture.

It was good old fashioned fun and I'm honestly looking forward to getting it out again and will happily consider adding to our collection - it doesn't seem to pricey!

Any of you fuzzy felting with your littlies?

Sunday 6 November 2011

Sunday Snapshot(s) - Bang! Crash! Fireworks!

Ethan loves fireworks. We went to a display last night and he went mental for them... he keeps on talking about them and constantly asking "more fireworks?" Here's a few shots from the night for you... more than one photo for tonight.. just because!

We're in a freakin' teacup!

Bang! Crash!