10 things that make me happy

I was tagged (ages ago now) by Tasha from Mummy & Moose to write about 10 things that make me happy. You would think this should be pretty easy but I’ve actually found it quite difficult to think of ten things, that aren’t all food! (N.B. Some of them are food)

I’m just going to launch right in with this, so here goes…

Sleep

I love sleep. I always have. Well, according to my mum I didn’t sleep until I was three but after that I have always loved sleeping. I have also inherited from my dad the ability to sleep anywhere at any time. Before the boys arrived and stole all my sleep away from me I loved nothing more than a long lie in, and then maybe an afternoon nap too. If I was on a long journey whether by car, train or plane, I would just sleep to pass the time. I used to fly from Edinburgh to London quite a lot and had perfected my technique of falling asleep before take off and waking up when the wheels hit the tarmac at the other end.

So I love sleep which is why the last four years have been so hard. I am hoping one day my kids might actually sleep all night and I can indulge in my love of sleep once again.

Family days out

Family day out at Grizedale Forest

Days out with a preschooler and a toddler are not always stress-free. Read more

Living Arrows 5/52 (2016)

It’s been another quiet week here – this horrible weather doesn’t really encourage us to get out and about much.

I often feel guilty that I don’t do enough with Toby when we’re at home. It’s hard to go out in the mornings because I like Gabe to have at least one nap at home in bed and it tends to be the morning one. Toby is quite good at playing independently but we do seem to watch an awful lot of CBeebies at the moment too. Anyway, I saw this activity on someone’s blog last week (and I’m really sorry but I can’t remember where I saw it – if it was you then please do let me know so I can link to your post) and I thought we would give it a try.

I think the sticks were supposed to be spaghetti but we didn’t have any so I used some wooden kebab sticks instead. Threading the Cheerios on to the sticks helps develop fine motor skills but to be honest Toby’s are really good already. He didn’t actually find this too difficult but it held his attention for a long time (in toddler terms anyway) and I think he only dropped about three Cheerios the whole time.

5_52 16 T

When the first two sticks were full he asked for another stick and more cereal, although he did finally get bored half way through that one. I think I was most impressed that he didn’t just eat all the cereal!

And so to Gabe. He has learnt a new trick this week – his blowing raspberries had me in hysterics yesterday. He’s so serious about it!

5_52 16 G

Living Arrows

Living Arrows 1/52

I Heart Snapping is a collaboration between several photographer-blogger-mums. It’a all about using photography to capture those special moments in your children’s lives. I mentioned in my 2014 plans post that I wanted to take some better photos for the blog and learn how to use my husband’s DSLR. To that end I have decided to join in with I Heart Snapping’s Living Arrows project; one photo a week but it has to be a good ‘un, taken on the proper camera. No iPhone snaps allowed for this one! Hopefully over the year this will be a record not only of Toby’s growth and development but also a record of my improving photography skills.

So without further ado, here’s the first one…

Baby at Christmas

living arrows

A baby in a digital age

A baby of a digital age
Tiny Toby

I first published this post on my other blog We Must Be Bold on 5th September. I know copying it over here is cheating a bit but it seemed relevant to what I’m starting with Toby Goes Bananas so I decided it was allowed! I haven’t edited the post at all, so here it is… 

…So, since last time I wrote our baby boy arrived in the world and unbelievably he is already 8 weeks old! In a way it’s flown by but equally it’s hard to remember what life was like before he turned up. He’s amazing and he makes me smile every day but they weren’t kidding when they said being a parent is hard. Looking after a newborn baby is singularly the hardest, most frustrating and stressful thing I have ever done. I think I have probably cried more in the last 8 weeks than I have in the last 8 years. I might have read a dozen parenting books, gone to all the antenatal classes and listened to advice from everyone who gave it but nothing prepared me for the sleep deprivation, the worry (What’s wrong with him? Am I doing it right? Why is breastfeeding so bloody painful?) and sheer amount of effort that a newborn baby needs. The health visitor said to me the other day ‘everyone loves their baby but it can take a while before you actually like them’ and I reckon she’s right. Apart from looking at his beautiful face and wondering how we managed to create this tiny, perfect human there is very little reward in looking after a new baby. You feed them, change them, hold them, sing to them, rock them, feed them and change them some more, and in the beginning the best you can hope for is a baby that isn’t crying! But already our little one is starting to smile, starting to really look at you when you’re talking to him or feeding him and it’s starting to feel like a real relationship. I can’t wait to see him continue to grow and develop and turn into a wonderful, walking, talking little boy.

Which sort of brings me to the point of this blog. Watching a baby grow and develop is amazing – I’m so proud of my little boy when he does something new, or just looks particularly cute, and I want a record of that. So I take pictures and I post them online with little updates about today’s progress. I do this for me and for my husband but also for our baby’s grandparents who all live over 300 miles away and don’t get to see him that often. And I admit it’s also just to show off a bit to all my friends – ‘look at this tiny human that we made, isn’t he amazing!’. But I’ve seen a few different people mention recently that there is perhaps something wrong with filling the Internet with photos and information about our children – are we robbing them of the option of privacy in the future? Someone tweeted a link to this article (http://goo.gl/xIE3rb ) and it did make me think a bit about what I’m doing when I post yet another photo online…but while our little one is still a baby I don’t think I’m really doing any harm. I don’t think I would be bothered if there were baby photos of me online – photos of my dodgy perm and massive glasses when I was 13 might be a different matter and by the time my son gets to that I’d age I’d like to think I’ll give him the final say about what, if anything, I post about him on the Internet. There’s no question that this issue is something we should consider in this new digital age – it certainly isn’t something our parents had to think about. But are we creating a massive problem for the future privacy of our children? I’m not sure…