October 27, 2010

first cut

Last night, Will was working late.  The boys were fed, bathed and went to bed with no fuss (may this become a trend) and I ate a dinner of beans on toast.  It was deliberate that dinner be so quick and easy (and satisfying) because I wanted to make the most of the quiet time to start on a little project to mark our son's second birthday.

So, with Radio 4 streaming on my laptop and the evening rain for company (a surefire recipe for homesickness), I sat down, rotary cutter in hand and made the first cut.

October 25, 2010

difficult days

The last couple of days, my patience (what little there is of it) has been almost entirely worn thin.  I love Ollie so much, but right now, motherhood is not proving enjoyable.

The screaming at bedtime is particularly tough, and we are going through a difficult period of hysterical tantrums and clinginess, making daycare drop offs and pick ups emotionally trying.  Each night for the last few, I've gone to bed feeling inadequate for losing my temper and shouting at Ollie when he needs patience, something which I've always lacked and am struggling to find more of.

I suppose I am looking for some reassurance that what I'm going through is normal, and that our son is going to grow up to be a charming, well mannered, kind hearted and communicative young man.  Somebody, anybody, please tell me this will happen.

October 23, 2010


They are short lived in the sun but they are spectacular.  This is the first year they have bloomed so incredibly; you can smell the perfume as you pull into our driveway!

out came the sun

The recent rain has left our garden looking the healthiest it has ever been.  It's easy to get fed up with day after day of rain, but after the last few summers of drought and my penchant for grey days (and cups of tea), I have loved the downpours and resultant explosion of spring in our garden.

Before the boys were born, Will and I would spend most weekends in the garden, planting, weeding, mowing lawns, enjoying the green space of our home.  I loved those days, getting up early before the sun was too hot and then having to stick to the shade by 10am because of the bright sun, working away until it was too dark and then finishing the day with a cold beer and home made pizza.

We're a long way from those days but this morning, a particularly lovely, sunny morning, we had an early breakfast and all (except Max, who was napping) went down into the garden to prune and tidy up here and there, and take in the incredible, buttery scent of our gardenia and jasmine, which has grown into the most amazing wild curtain over our fence and looks beautiful.  Beautiful!  Ollie pottered about, mildly fascinated by what we were doing but more interested in playing in and around the car that I managed to clean for the first time in months.  Such a sweet little guy, enraptured in his own world and thoughts.  A far cry from the short tempered, frustrated little boy that has lately been proving to be a challenge for my patience.  Lola and Deeks appreciated the company in what is pretty much their domain and Max joined us once he was awake and quite happily watched butterflies fluttering about, branches swaying and his family hard at work.  It sounds too perfect, but it pretty much was.  


I really miss the old days sometimes but today, we discovered a new feeling of being a family in our green, lush garden.  Bliss.

October 19, 2010

an invitation

Next week, Ollie will be two years old.  I'm sure I'll have something philosophical and meaningful to say about it but for the mean time, I'm excited about the excuse for cake (hopefully car shaped) and the chance to send out some handmade invitations to what I hope will be a sunny afternoon garden party.

Thanks to some collective creative thought and Will's Illustrator skills (I still haven't even mastered the basics) we came up with this sweet little invitation to a small gathering we will be having in Ollie's honour. It features the shape of Ollie's first ever train, a wooden toot-toot which is already well loved and still one of his favourite toys and some cute fabric which I scanned in for Will to do his magic with.  I've simplified my explanation of the process somewhat but suffice to say these things, like most of my plans, take far longer to execute than we envisage and it ended up taking a good week of dithering before I managed to post the invitations this morning (including spending far too long choosing the fabric, the fonts and then buying the wrong envelopes).  The upshot of all this is that I'm tempted to start thinking about festive greetings for the upcoming holiday season sooner rather than later.  Maybe something incorporating Ollie's colouring skills?

I'm thinking about all the things I want to do before the big day, including working out how to fashion a car shaped butter cake, what food to prepare and what to include in the party bags that won't just end up in the bin.  List making and planning aside, fingers crossed that after all this rain, we will have sunny, blue skies, yummy cake and a nice long afternoon nap before friends arrive for what I hope will be a fun filled day for our little boy.  Toot two!

October 12, 2010

the dishwasher is broken

It seems to me that it is only when we have recognised that we don't have the spare money we used to and have we have decided to try to save every cent we can, that everything conspires to thwart our financial plans.  Whether it's the car battery needing to be replaced, or Lola needing to go to the vet, or the dishwasher breaking down, these things all seem to happen at the same time.


October 10, 2010

oh no!

Ollie is now putting two word sentences together.  It's only basic stuff, like 'bye bye mama' or 'no ta' but he's learning context and is now now saying 'oh no!' when he drops a toy, spills a drink, or when he sees a mess!  I think we may have heard him say it at least a hundred times - this weekend alone.

I am finding that now he's talking, we are laughing more and the happy days are that much happier.  He's learned 'parp' and is really trying to use his words and actions when he wants something, 'mama up! down, open, ni-nike (night night)' and his willingness to use his words is making every day that much easier.  But we still have trying moments.  He's going through a phase of wanting his mama to get him out of bed in the morning (otherwise the day starts very badly - for everyone) and more often than not, he wants mama to do everything, whether it's reading a story or doing bed time.  Speaking of which, bed time is not a smooth process at the moment (why not?!) and Ollie's day time sleep is becoming less of a certainty as he is growing into the headstrong little boy he's always been.  Some days we can do nothing right.

His toys of the moment are cars, screwdrivers, torches, puzzles, the driving seat of any real car and his Thomas books.  I don't much like the Thomas books but he loves them and it's worth sitting through the inane stories to see him so happy.  His fascination with books and cars and books about cars is unparalleled and he can't resist walking past a book or his papa's newspaper without opening it and having a flick through the pages (to look for a car no doubt).

The little man will be two years old in a couple of weeks.  Two!

October 6, 2010


Last week we had some unsettled weather.  It was rainy and blustery one minute and the next, the sun would be shining.  Not so special, until I spotted a rainbow.  A big rainbow, arced across the sky like you see in pictures, absolutely perfect, bright and something I knew Ollie had never seen before.  So I managed to pry him away from playing in the dogs' water bowl (no mean feat) and pointed to the sky, to watch his little jaw drop and eyes widen at what can only be described as magic in the sky!  He was mesmerised, but a bit frightened too, and insisted on going inside and staring at it through the window (too scary to stand outside).  And then, as if it wasn't enough that he was so taken by the rainbow, he ran off into his room, his little feet padding away, where I heard him rummaging through his many (many) books... and then out he came, with a book, furiously rifled through the pages to find the only picture of a rainbow I think he's ever seen and pointed at so earnestly!  And then he looked up a the sky again.  And then at the book.  And then at the sky.  And then he looked at me.  And my heart melted.

October 5, 2010

roly poly

roly poly ever so slowly,
roly poly ever so slowly,
roly poly faster faster,
roly poly faster faster!

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