The 5 Phases of Toddler Illness

Phase one: Denial

Did you hear that cough? Something probably went down the wrong way. He has a runny nose… Hopefully it’s teething. He feels a bit warm, better turn the heating down. That could be teething too. That’s probably it. He’s fine. Yep. No need to worry. Oh, is that snot yellow?

Phase two: Super Mum

Ok I’ve got a poor baby on my hands. My little angel is sick, and I’m going to cure him with LOVE. Let’s get some oranges, and orange juice, and whatever else vitamin C lives in. Now, a bed on the couch, extra comfy pillows, lavender spray, dummies when awake. Lots and lots of cbeebies, stat. Would you like a blanket dear? Hot water bottle? Warm juice? Cold juice? A bath? Here, slather on this Vicks, and get this calpol in you. Olbas oil EVERYWHERE. I love you darling, you’re so brave, cuddles, cuddles, cuddles, more cuddles? Ok, more cuddles….

Phase three: The Trough

He’s still sick. He wants to be glued to me. But I have a baby too, and there is a distinctly fluorescent tone to the goo coming from her nose. Oh and the baby doesn’t sleep anywhere but on me at the best of times. Can I have her on my chest and him in my other arm? NO WAY NO WAY NO BABEE MUMMMMMEEEEEHHEEHEHEEEE. Ok I’ll put her down, come hear darling. WAAAHHH oh good, crying baby. Right, let appease him with something… toy story? No way! Chocolate? No way! Juice? No way! Pa? Would you like your pa? No way! (WTAF!?) Ok. Fine. Pick up baby, ok now they are both crying and I can’t take this anymore. Now we are all crying. Screw it. Jam them both in the car and just drive…

Phase four: The Breakthrough

Green car. What was that!?! Green car! Oh my god he’s back, he cares about cars! Hallelujah! Gingerly pass a bowl of cereal… Holy crap he ate some! Thank god! Feel forehead, woohoo! The fever has passed! No more straight jacketing him to force in calpol! And he’s napped! In his bed! *HAPPY DANCE*

Phase five: Recovery

Yep, he’s officially better. He’s bouncing off the walls (thanks, calpol). There are toys EVERYWHERE. The kitchen is a riot because he’s eaten 1/20th of fifteen requested meals in the last hour. He wants out. Mummy’s car! Mummy’s car! Tractors! Pa’s van! Tate’s house! Shop… For ice cream!! He appears in front of me with his Wellies on the wrong feet… Garden! This is great, yet why doesn’t it feel great? Is it because I don’t feel great? *blows nose* is that snot yellow?

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Homemade Wreath from Winter Walks

Tis the season! wreath making season!

I remember making my first real wreath the year before I had Sandy. We were living in town and there weren’t many places to get the foliage from so I ended up feeling a little sheepish clipping from the gardens at cathedral square. This year though we have an abundance of wreath materials. We collected some from the hedgerows at my mums house and the rest from Baron’s Haugh on Dalzell Estate in Motherwell, which by the way is a hidden gem! There were three different types of holly all with berries and evergreen branches perfect for the wreath!

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I think it turned out pretty well.

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We got some berries out with mum.

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Sandy helped Tate put them in the bag and even got a few cookers too.

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It was a proper winter walk, sunny and frosty. Sandy found some ice on my trailer and started eating it. I blame my pregnancy cravings for this habit of his.

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Roslyn found the whole thing a bit contrived though and fell asleep.

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Post walk snacks with meman.

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Part two of the foraging at Baron’s Haugh. It wasn’t really as cold as my get up lets on but I’m a sucker for winter woollies.

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“big cackle”

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The bridge of Stuart’s nightmares.

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Little miss Roslyn in the pram, where she sits unimpressed until she gets tired then cries til I out her in the sling. I can count the number of times she’s been in the pram on one hand. Really helpful when it comes to writing a phd.

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We finished the walk at home with some hot chocolate. I won’t go into detail of the almighty meltdown sandy had. Something to do with my taking him over the wrong bridge. Sigh.

Yeah and to make a wreath is very easy. Get a rattan template from Hobbycraft and use gardening wire to fix the foliage on, then tie a bow with some ribbon!

Crafternoon

Excuse the Instagram pics but I didn’t have the camera out.

We had a crafternoon last weekend making some festive things. Roslyn loved sitting playing with the ribbon (supervised)

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I roped a reluctant Stuart in with some twine too.

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And sandy had a blast making holes in the paper with his pens and letting them bleed into the carpet. Bicarbonate of soda is my new BFF.

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Sandy made some abstract Christmas cards with stickers glue, and Pom Poms and I finished up our family fingerprint reindeer cards which turned out really nice. The idea is from Pinterest but adorned with the dymo label maker and some festive tape from Tiger (aka where all the money formerly known as in my bank account now resides)

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We also made these stick decorations. The stars turned out lovely and I added some sandy art to the back of mine. The other is a Christmas tree, that translates yeah? Please?

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In other news we are all getting into the festive spirit here. I was out shopping with my mum and Roslyn (our first tri-generational “girls day out” to Livingston actually!) and we passed a MAHOOSIVE toy of the snowman in debenhams. If you know sandy you will know he’s mad for the snowman, or “me-man” if you will. It started last Christmas when I out out our two snowman toys as decorations and he adopted them, calling them his “babees”. Since a real little girl has assumed the name babee so now they are memen and he has a tonne. Well, I saw giant meman and couldn’t resist. Especially as he was 40% off. When sandy saw him his face lit up and he was like “ME MAN! BIIIIIIG!” And since then meman has been sitting at the table with sandy, holding his hand in the car and getting tucked into bed at night. Best buds. So worth it.

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Yesterday we officially broke out the Christmas get up a little early in honour of a festive toddler party we were hosting (more on that soon). Sandy has a snowman hat which plays music (he loves that) and Roslyn a Christmas pudding. We took a little jaunt to the butcher for square sausage (currently the only protein sandy will eat) with the happy hats on.

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We’ve also been busy wreath making (more to come again), hot chocolate drinking and cinnamon candle burning. So things are really getting in the festive swing here.

Would You Say That to an Adult?

When sandy was born he came out with the most beautiful platinum blonde hair. I remember an orderly at the hospital comment “I’ve never seen such bright hair on a wean before”. It was the start of many such comments I’ve received on his hair.

While this comment wasn’t negative, it was made because he was different. Perhaps she loved his hair, perhaps she was shocked by it. Either way she saw something unusual and commented. As sandy grew his hair all but fell out and he was bald for at least six months and when his hair came back in it wasn’t platinum blonde but a bright sandy blonde. Then it started to get some more ruddy bits and became what I would now describe as strawberry blonde. It’s beautiful.

As it has grown so have the comments. From the seemingly innocuous “oh I love his red hair!” and “I’ve got ginger grand kids/nephews/god children” to the more abrupt “wow he’s got ginger hair” and the absurd “is he bad tempered? You know, because he’s a red head?”

At first I didn’t pay much attention, then as the comments increased I started to get annoyed. I didn’t know why at first but soon realised it’s because no one was saying to the mother next to me “oh wow, your daughters hair is so BROWN”. Yet sandy’s hair colour seemed something they just couldn’t avoid mentioning. Why? I doubted it was because “red” hair is so awe inspiring that you just had to say something. It’s not like his follicles were producing spun gold. I realised it is because people see it as a negative. They don’t like his hair colour. They see it as a bad thing and (for some obscure reason) think they have to reassure me by commenting on it. I really, really wish they would not.

Unsurprisingly when Roslyn came I didn’t get a single comment on her hair colour. Never has someone told me they too have brunette children, and no one has queried her for a placid nature due to the mousey colour she boasts. Such is vindication of the anger I feel when people mention sandy. But what I have experienced with Roslyn is comments about her birthmark. She has a red birthmark on her eyebrow. Her strawberry. And this is the thing people need to mention when they meet her.

“Is that a birthmark?” They ask. Yes, it is, and so?

“Did someone hurt her?” Is another I get. I wonder do they really think I hurt my baby or is it just a round about way to get me to admit she has a birth mark.

Most common though? “Oh DONT WORRY, it will go away” followed by some tale of someone their granny knew whose birth mark faded, thankfully.

You know what? I don’t care if her birth mark fades. I love her birth mark. And I’d love her without it. And I really do not need people going around commenting on it. I don’t need people commenting on my children’s appearances, especially to point out things they deem flaws. And it’s just that, because no one tells me that sandy is tall, and no one mentions that Roslyn is petite. There is no pointing out of button noses, or delight about rosy cheeks. No, it’s the hair and the birth mark. It’s all I hear.

Since when did it become okay to point out these things to children? You’d never hear someone say to an adult “is that a birth mark?” or “wow! Your hair is ginger!” It’d be not only incredibly rude, but hurtful to the person. So why is it okay to do it to my kids? No wonder some people view ginger hair or birth marks or otherwise negatively, when they are brought up in a society which allows adults to comment on them. I don’t want my children to be sensitive over these things, I don’t want them to feel ashamed of any part of their appearance. Sure, it will happen to some extent. I mean, I can’t patrol the playground waiting until a child makes fun of them. But I sure as hell can’t allow adults to do the same, in a faux interested way. They are going to get complexes about these things and it makes me so angry.

So the next time you comment on a child’s appearance, ask yourself if you are doing it for the right reason (that being to truly compliment the child) and if it would be appropriate to say the same to an adult. Or, just don’t do it. Just ask the child their name, or how old they are, or about their toy. There are a million and one things to discuss aside from personal appearance, so do just that.

My son has strawberry blonde hair and he loves tractors. My daughter has a birth mark and she flaps her hands up and down when she’s excited. These children are people and they should be treated with as much respect as you would expect to receive yourself.

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Autumn at Home

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I can’t describe how much I love seeing my guys playing together.

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Since Roslyn learned how to sit up she’s been able to properly get involved in sandy’s play. Namely, cars.

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Plus since weaning she’s much more dextrous too, so she’s loving trying to copy sandy with the car driving actions.

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And car eating actions.

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In other news I dressed her up as a watermelon the other day with fantastic results.

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Being inside more due to the deteriorating weather gives me more time to photoshoot the butt out of this cute stick.

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Seriously, she’s just TOO MUCH!

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I’ve been enjoying the autumn to some extent. It’s nice to have the lights and heat on all cosy.

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Fun to do a bit of nappy only video recording with daddy for posterity.

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On the whole though I’ve been feeling a bit, blegh about the end of summer. It’s the short days and miserable weather I guess. Sandy and Roslyn aren’t so good at being cooped up and there are only so many places you can go that are indoors and inexpensive. By the time the sun (ha) goes down we are usually a bit stir crazy inside. Meh. Bring on Christmas, maybe some snow, and then the spring.

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We did some bath painting…

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And Roslyn took an impromptu naked nap in the bed so Molly guarded over her. Cat naps indeed.

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So much cuteness.

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And meanwhile, in the bath…

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Here’s hoping for a little more cold but dry and maybe even sunny weather so we can get out and about more.

Fireworks

Check out the amazing cake my brother made for a joint birthday party for me and my aunt:

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It’s a spooky church!

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Hands down the best and most elaborate cake I’ve ever been baked!

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Mr cake face loved it of course.

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We had a fun time playing the stick a name on someone’s head and guess who you are game. I’m sure it has a real name. I was Einstein.

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We also had fireworks. Sandy had his first sparkler which was nerve wracking experience as he cried if I held his hand but if I let him do it himself he kept getting it perilously close to his face.

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So glad the next time he has one he will be a year older and wiser!

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As for the fireworks themselves sandy kept swinging between “ooh! The bangs… They commmmming!” To “oh no! Bangs! Fright!” About six times every minute. He enjoyed them more from behind glass, and then not even enough to get over his nerves. Roslyn was distracted enough to stop crying for five minutes. She got a vomiting bug the next day so I guess she hasn’t been feeling too well. More on that next time.

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Ciao.

Make Your Own Bandana Bibs

Bibs, bibs, bibs. So many bibs. I don’t know about anyone else’s little ones but my two were/are droolers extraordinaire. Sandy had a bib firmly attached from the age of 4 weeks to well over a year old, and he went through several a day (sometimes even into double figures!)

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I put a lot of effort into finding nice clothing for sandy and Roslyn so it seems absurd that I wouldn’t put a decent bit of time into getting super cute bibs, seeing as they are always on and pretty much a focal point of what they are wearing. But annoyingly I can never seem to find really fun prints and a decent range of colours in shops. Plus add the problem of unending pinkness when shopping for Roslyn to the situation and I realised I should just make my own.

Of course I didn’t want it to cost too much, which is why ordering fabric to measure it brilliant as you can order 1/4 of a metre in several different prints for not too much. I found this AMAZING fabric site – fabric rehab – which stocks retro, vintage prints, and lots of small prints which are perfect for bibs.

If you are looking for a really cost effective way to make them though, you can use old remnants or scraps from clothing, bedding and any other absorbent material you like.

So without further ado, a simple guide to sewing your own bandana bibs:

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Firstly cut a triangle from the print fabric. Use a bib you already have to measure the length.

Cut out the same size in a plain fabric for the reverse side. You could make it reversible with the same print or a different print but I found using the more expensive print with cheap backing means you can make far more bibs, which is necessary if you have a dribbler like mine!

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Face the outsides of the fabrics in to each other and sew all the way around the bib leaving a gap of several centimetres to then turn it inside out so the print is facing out. Then sew up around the edges again to finish the bib.

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Finally add a popper, button, or Velcro for the fastening. The easiest way to do it is to buy a pair of popper (snap fastner) pliers which all you to add the fastenings quickly and without sewing.

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And ta da! Beautiful bibs in any print you like.

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Sandy’s Dance Academy

Welcome to Sandy’s dance academy! Here I (sandy) will teach you all my famous moves and how to look super cool dancing up a storm.

First things first, attire. You can dance in anything or nothing. Extra points for unusual and mismatched items (like shorts and wellingtons, t shirt and socks) or simple nappy dancing.

Secondly, when to dance. The best time to dance is whenever it is most inappropriate to your parents. When you are meant to be eating dinner is excellent, and even better if you demand they dance with you too, half way through their meal. Over nap time and bath time work excellently too.

And thirdly, where to dance. The living room is fine, but half way up the stairs is ideal. If you really want to make an impression dance in public whenever you hear music, or wherever is busiest. And if there isn’t music just make some (do doo dooo dododo).

Anyway let’s start the tutorial:

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1. Swivel hips. Styled after Elvis, all you need to do is run on the spot crossing your feet in front of each other. For extra flair, stick your toe out to the side before and after this move.

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2. Musical statue. Perform move 1. Then stop suddenly and balance on one leg, or if you are feeling ambitious get down on all fours and lift a leg in the air.

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3. Bounce. Bouncing is an integral part of any choreography.

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4. Circles round and round. Challenge mum and dad to a circles round and round challenge until the fall over or puke.

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5. Fingers. Stick out your index fingers and point as you dance.

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6. The fake fall. Plummet mid move for an exciting Segway into a new part of the routine. Also encourage mum and dad to do the same then yell at them to get up and dance again. Slackers.

And if all else fails just run around like a headless chicken yelling “DANCE DANCE DANCE”. With these moves you will never fail.

Good luck!

Love Sandy x

Three Years From Thirty

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And still acting like I’m nearer 13.

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Oh well. Happy birthday to me.

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I’m now old. Again.

Sure it’s all relative. Stuart laughs in my face and tells me how young 27 sounds to him. But it’s not to me! Okay?!

I may have had several little freak outs about getting older and thinking how the hell am I 27 when I still feel 22? But I guess it’s fitting a bit better. Maybe it’s because I’m used to doing things young. Mortgaged by 18, engaged by 20 married by 22, a baby by 24, two kids by 26. But now I’m 27 and all set up milestone wise and I guess all that comes now is more years eh?

Whatever. Just a number and all that. And honestly I normally just put my head in the sand when it comes to thinking about getting older. So let’s just keep doing that.

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Mum made me a sweet (literally) cake that I enjoyed with the sandman the day before my birthday.

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In the day itself we had a family chillfest in the morning. Check out these three:

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How lucky am I!?

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They got me the loveliest presents too and I had the best helpers to open them.

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I finally have a personalised mug :)

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Start is the sweetest, he got me personalised car mats. He knows how much the existing ones annoy me riding up to the pedals.

He told a colleague about what he was ordering me and she looked at him funny and said “car mats? You are buying your wife car mats?” He told her I would dig them. He knows me best.

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I had a great day with my guys. We went to m&ds and sandy had a blast in the soft play (the boy is really coming into his own in there) and I loved having him follow me or tell me which way to go. Then we played some amusements and got him into gambling early (penny falls, don’t worry, low stakes). Then we hit up frankie and benny’s for a birthday dinner of burgers and chips with maymaise for sandy (and strangely a salad for Stuart) followed by ice cream. Fab times with my guys and more fun to follow with a spooky joint party with my aunt fran who shares my birthday, on Saturday. It’s at Jamie’s house and he is doing a big cake and fireworks so I can’t wait! Being 27 isn’t all bad after all!

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6 Months – Happy Half Birthday Roslyn

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Seriously!? She’s SIX MONTHS OLD?! When did that happen?

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And when did she get so chunky?

Seriously though, she actually isn’t. She is a little one, much like her mama. Petite is what we are saying. She’s roughly sizes with sandy at the same time of the year two years on. Which basically means he was her 6 month size at 3 months!!

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She’s come on a lot recently. She’s been sitting up for a few weeks up and rarely falls over when doing it anymore. It’s really great because she can sit up with her brother and play with him. Every day I walk in on the imagined scenes of early siblinghood that kept me going through nine gruelling months of pregnancy. Sandy cuddling her and saying “oh babbbbeeeeee!” in that adorable gushing way he does. Stuart holding her while sandy pops his head from under the bed sheets saying “boo” and the hysterical laughter that follows. She has the most amazing laugh. And she is still the most smiley baby ever. She just beams as soon as she sees you.

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Other physical milestones are that she rolls perfectly now and has just begun to do some little press ups in preparation for crawling. I’m relishing these last few weeks of being able to put her down and still find her there later! Just this week she has started bashing her little arm up and down when you wave, mimicking us! And she even tried to clap too! Very cute and impressive!

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Weaning has begun. We have gone for mostly baby led weaning this time and a little bit of spoon feeding where it is food you would spoon feed yourself. So she loves having a bit of porridge on a spoon and tries to do it herself, gnawing away on the spoon. She holds pieces of fruit and just these last few days some meat and bread too. Crumpet went down well as do strawberries and her favourite are by far biscotti, just like her brother loved when she was younger! We have so far been haphazard in when to feed her, just when we found the time or she wanted to but now are beginning to give her something any time we are eating and she’s starting to swallow decent amounts which is great.

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As for her tummy she’s made progress and is much less windy on the whole and doesn’t seem to cramp up as much. I’m not sure what the issue was but hopefully weaning has improved it. The only downside of weaning is she’s now finding it a bit harder to process her new food and wakes up early in the morning to that end! Hopefully it will pass soon, literally!

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Sleep is still not so good. I thought we were blessed with a sleeper when she was younger and for the first four months she was going 3-6 hours between feeds over night. Then regression hit and since she has been two hourly like clockwork. We aren’t getting too bothered by it as we go to bed very early. Some nights she will do a longer stretch but they are few and far between. We will probably give her a gentle nudge towards longer stretches in a months time when we transition her to her cot in her own room and if needed do some gentle sleep training. Honestly? I really am not looking forward to it. I love co sleeping! But I know from experience with sandy she is unlikely to start sleeping longer and dropping night feeds in with me. I will miss her squishy little self so much! But needs must and we do want evenings back and I will need them for the latter part of my final seven months at university. Not to mention some more quality sleep!

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We love our little lady so much. I can’t tell you how complete our family feels now that she is here. I can’t wait for her first Christmas and all the other fun times our family is going to have.

Happy six months rozziebear!