3y10m: Its not about the ballet 

Lolo had her first ever ballet peformance last weekend. Too cute. She’s been going to classes for months now. The teacher told us there was a performance coming up in April. I didn’t give it a second thought. ‘Sure, why not!’. Love a bit of show biz. She’s almost 4, thought she’d find it fun. It’s worth mentioning she goes to rugby and ballet on Saturday mornings, mainly as I wanted to stop her sitting at home watching TV, i wanted her to go out, enjoy group sports, socialize and enjoy life! We were quite surprised when we got to the first ever class as the teacher said, ‘see how she gets on and if she’s ok, you can leave the room after 5 mins’. What?! Leave the room? Take eyes off my child?! She’s only 3! (Hyperventilate hyperventilate). But Lolo, unlike mummy, just got on with it. she came out of the class a very happy bunny. 

And so we got a note from the ballet class about the performance. Hair in a bun. Mascara. Red lipstick.

 I was ready to keel over. Mascara? And RED lipstick? I don’t even wear red lipstick. I have one stick bought for my birthday a few years ago and there was no way she was getting that!

Performance day arrived and we decided to let her enjoy herself rather than worry about it. We got her a bun spong thingy. I brushed her hair, put it in a bun, covered it in hairspray and hair grips. Then came the make up. Why not enjoy it. I put blusher on her cheeks. Mascara on her already long lashes (shiiii! Where d’you get these from girl?!). And we got her her very own red lipstick. She was beyond excited. I then made her even happier by putting the lipstick in her bag as I dropped her off at the stage door, so she could be responsible and look after it. 

Half my height, perfectly quiffed, armed with red lipstick. I left her at the backstage door. She gave me a kiss good bye and was beyond excited to get into the theatre leaving mummy and daddy outside… a bit lost. But we were also very proud of her. She had the self confidence to go off on her own, into an auditorium full of people, all of whom were older than her… beaming. Happy. Content. And totally unscared. Did she have any friends there i wondered? I just didn’t want her to be alone or left out. My heart broke just thinking about it. But i wasn’t interested in projecting my worries on her, she portrayed none of them. My sweet girl. So proud!

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1y9m: Pee pee in the potty

Yes – this is exactly what my life has come to. Forget the clients asking for their big, consolidated campaigns for the year. For the discussions around digital and whether or not it is a thing or just something that permeates seamlessly into the way we live today. Is innovation this wondrous thing we all believe – or in fact the single largest cause of growing unemployment? Will Brexit really kill our economy and suddenly make everything crazy expensive as people start pulling out of the UK and demand rises for our staple goods as people decide to trade with us less? These are the issues I battle with on a daily – if not hourly basis.

But when my son sat on the potty and peed for the 1st time in his life – I was like… ‘say WHAAAAT!’ *crazy emojis*, *grandma’s puking rainbows*, *gif fireworks*, *pug wearing the coolest unicorn outfit ever*…. and *a couple of dancing cats*.

He is 1 year and 9 months (she proudly puffs). He has an older sister (3y 10 months) and the potty has always been around. Whenever they get into the bath, Lolo goes for a wee before hand. AJ has seen her do this often and sometimes has indicated he would also rather like to urinate (‘wee-wee’, point to potty). So a few times we’ve given him a go. Well, by gum this weekend, he said it, and nature responded! Thankfully daddy was on hand to make sure his winkle was pointing in the right direction. But he sat down, ‘wee-wee’d’ and then got in the bath. There was a decent amount there too. So super proud. We’ll continue encouraging him of course, but there’s no rush. Little amazing milestone – check. Super proud mummy – double check!

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1y9m: My little canines

They have started to arrive at last! His teeth have grown in a bit of a mixed manner. Mostly in 4s. Whichever 2 are growing from the top, their respective 2 will start growing from the bottom soon enough. But then he had this random bottom tooth at the front that refused to grow. So much so he got 4 of his molars, but still no little tooth. Slowly but surely, under the cover of darkness, it popped out. Super shy.

And so I have been waiting for the rest of them to come. I thought the final 4 molars would come out first and then the canines, but no. Here are 2 little mountains hidden away. I can’t remember how fast the others took to come out, but it seems like in a week has gone by and they’re almost fully emerged. Only 6 more to go. Hurrah!

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1y9m: into his own bed

Everyone chooses different times to move their babies into their own bed. W Lolo, we moved her around 1y9months because we needed her to get used to sleeping in her own bed well before the baby arrived. We didn’t want to create any resentment that the baby had kicked her out. So she got her own single and the fun of putting her down whilst she was still awake begun. It didn’t take long for her to settle tbh. Maybe a week?

Next up, is AJ. I’ve been wondering what our signal would be that he was ready. Since before Christmas I’ve been having naps w him or letting him fall asleep in a normal bed, no reason why I couldn’t test the waters. When he’s been having naps during the day in a normal bed, the oddest thing happens. When he’s ready, he wakes up, no crying, leaves the room he’s in, conscientiously closes the door behind him and makes his way to the living room to find us. Often, whith a massive smile on his face and a toy. So the sleeping in a bed thing seems to suit him well. 

Then there was this Saturday morning. Both hubby and I were a bit perplexed to see Lolo walk in to our room …. followed by an Aj! So daddy asked AJ to show him how he’d done it. The action was reconstructed. It was hairy. Little man was dicing w death a bit. So this weekend we made the decision to drop the side of the cot. Last night went very well I’m happy to report. No falling out of the bed (we have a foam lip added under the mattress cover), 2 smiling kids (as they both sleep in the same room) and no disturbance. I’m sure we’ll get a few bumps when they’re ill or going through big developmental spurts, but it’s good. Very good. 

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3.5… chewing gum, taking drugs

So. I chew gum. I do. I chew gum a lot. Why? I chew it pretty much after every meal as I don’t like the way my mouth and teeth feel after eating. It feels like my teeth are being eroded. Am I right? Who knows. All I can tell you is I’m in my 30s and I have no fillings… for now!

So it’s no surprise that Lolo sees me chewing gum and constantly pretends to be chewing it. I’ve caught her a couple of times w it in her pocket… well yesterday hubby caught her sneakily chewing some actual gum. She’s 3.5 years old!!! What do you do?! Do you scold her, tell her it is terrible?! Or do you try to mediate the situation? Is it more worrying that she’s chewing gum? Or that she’s hiding it from us?

Daddy decided he would let her chew gum and take the opportunity to talk to her about it, and advise that she should only chew it in front of mummy and daddy as she could swallow it, which wouldn’t be ideal. It’s more valuable to us that she is open w us and feels she can share experiences w us rather than hiding this from us. You can only hope that some how this trust also manifests itself into making the right decisions in the future. God this parenting stuff is hard. 

Don’t get me wrong. It totally puts my nose out of joint that she chewed gum. But I totally agree w hubby’s decision. 

Everyday’s a school day. 

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bye bye 2016

So here it is, 2017. Last year was phenomenal for many reasons including Brexit and Trump winning in the US. But 2016 finished on a high for us too.

Lolo started rugby and ballet last September. She’s doing well and I think loves having stuff to do on a Saturday morning. AJ has yet to pick up a weekly activity although he does like to participate in Lolo’s rugby class too. AJ is starting to say things like; door, balloon, moon, hippo, turtle, bum bum, car and getting good at his phonetic alphabet. He can also point to his nose, eyes, chin, teeth, hands, feet etc. All v exciting. Lolo managed to spell out her whole name by herself, which, for a name w 9 letters, I’m also v proud of. 

So lots of wonderful developments. However the year ended w AJ having a fractured arm. Worst thing being we have no idea how. He also had D&V and chronic (!!!!) nappy rash, sores and all. Lolo also had D&V but no nappy rash… due to no nappy. Hurray! I know kids are supposed to get ill but this was all a bit silly. All a bit much in one go, concertina’d to the end of the year. 

2017, we’re looking for a fresh start. So off to Strawberry Hill we go!

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Recipe: Mushroom Risotto, easy

This is quite easy to make but it takes a bit of time. If you’re making for 4 or 6, you can just cook it up (in a flat pan) but I discovered recently when making risotto for 20 people, that it requires cooking in separate flat pans otherwise it turns to mush, it needs the time to cool, being in a large pot keeps the heat in. Also if you’re making it in advance as I tend to do, make sure you take the risotto off the heat whilst the rice is still al dente and cool it down. So, for about 4-5 people:

  1. 4 large onions diced, half a bulb of garlic chopped, all thrown into a wide pan with a big nob of butter. Let them brown up ad become see-through.
  2. Add the diced mushrooms and porchini mushrooms (prepare the dried ones with boiling water and then keep the mushroom stock for later)
  3. Stir in the appropriate amount of risotto rice, let the butter coat all the rice grains.
  4. Gradually, in stages pour in: stock, wine, porchini mushroom stock and I like to put in a bit of fish sauce too… if you have it

And that’s it. It just takes time to stand over it all and stir gently, between 30mins and hour. Add grated cheese toward the end. One cheat my end is to buy pre-diced onions to save time. I’d say the richness of flavour comes from the butter and porchini mushrooms, so don’t scrimp on those! Enjoy.

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