Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year by the Numbers

Ross and I just spent our 5th Christmas together.
4 years ago, Ross proposed on New Year's Eve.
We will celebrate our 3rd anniversary on Wednesday.
I've got 2 special sweethearts this year.
I'm 1 lucky lady!

Wishing y'all a happy and healthy New Year!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Linus' First Artwork

Now that Linus is 9 months old, I figured we should start exploring his talents. Will he be a future Picasso or Rembrandt? It's possible. Both my mom and my G'ma are very artistically gifted. At any rate, I thought we'd give art a shot. (Fine. It's mostly because there is a chance to win something super-cute and cool...)

I figured I'd get things started for him. (Ok, I really enjoy coloring. It's strangely relaxing.) I figured his prowess might need some help, so I did some basics with the six colors I had available.

I mind-melded with Linus to share thoughts about this picture and what it means to him. Together, we envisioned, what will be our first and most frequent travel destination. We're hoping to do a grand tour of Texas in the near future. We need to hit Houston (obviously to see the doting grandparents), Dallas (to see my old friends), and San Antonio (so The Line can meet those great-grandparents he's been hearing so much about!). In my head a refer to it as The Grand Tour of Texas.

Get your picture here.

Linus says that this trip will be awesome and he'll be super-well behaved on the flight. He will give Grandma and Grandpa lots of kisses and cuddles. He will be so happy to sit on Great-Grandma and Great-Papa's laps. He's very much looking forward to playing with Wyatt and George, his cousins. Linus says he'd back his Skoot suitcase with his duck lovey, some rad outfits, and of course a few hats. Mommy suggested that we should probably also bring his white noise machine to help him sleep at night. As you can see, the suitcase is empty for now. I think he might be a last minute packer like his Grandpa.

Linus took the purple crayon and I managed to get a couple of small scribbles out of him before the crayon went into his mouth. I tried to redirect with no luck. I decided to give paint a try. I pulled out some washable non-toxic paint and a brush. He put a few wild dobs on the picture before looking dangerously close to flinging and/or eating the brush. I wrestled the brush from his grasp and he grabbed the paper to crumple then attempt to eat it. I pried it away, but left the tell-tale crumple marks for authenticity.

What do y'all think? Is my baby the next great artist of his generation? (Either way, hopefully he'll have a sweet ride-on suitcase for when we take a trip!)

Monday, 3 December 2012

9 Months

Dear Sweet Sweet,

You are 9 whole months old! How is that possible? Three quarters of a year! Almost longer out than in! You are such a little person. I often have to remind myself that you are still just a tiny baby because I can see so much happening in your head and your personality is in full force.

sweet face

You are a professional crawler and are becoming a master cruiser very quickly. There were a few minor injuries (a nose and cheek bonk) while you were getting the hang of it, but we've all recovered. (I think it might have been harder on Mommy and Daddy than it was on you!) You've even started taking a few steps while holding on to a hand. I'm pretty sure you'll be walking before you're one. One of my favorite things is when you hold your arms up to me because you want to be picked up. The other day, I declared that I would never get tired of it. I'm pretty sure that's not true, but- for the time being- it never fails to warm my heart and make me smile! Speaking of smiles, you've got 5 teeth now and (judging by the drool/pink cheeks situation) more on the way.

Cruise control

You are an eating machine these days. You are down to about 3 milk feeds a day- when you first wake up, sometime mid-afternoon, and just before bed. You have 3 meals a day and usually a couple of small snacks as well. Sometimes I am amazed at the amount you are able to eat. Your favorites are still mozzarella, sweet potatoes, pears, and yogurt. You are really loving rice cakes and pitas with hummus or cream cheese and grated carrot these days. You can be a little picky and will pass over things you aren't interested in again and again. Usually once you actually try something, you realize that it tastes pretty good!

(This is the point where blogger says I'm out of photo storage.
I descend into rage because I have so many more cute pictures of Linus that
Sheesh! Don't they know that people need to see teh cuteness!
I'll figure out how to remedy this situation and (if I can be bothered/remember)
I'll come back and add more picture.)

We've finally gotten you back to sleeping through the night which is awesome. You wake up sometimes for a few minutes, but never for long enough to need us to come see you. I've finally started sleeping through again too. For a few weeks after you were doing it, I was still waking up several times! As for naps, well, they're another story all together. You're down to two very predictable naps, which is very nice. One about 2.5-3 hours after you get up and then another about 2.5-3 hours after you've been up from the first nap. It's the most predictable you've ever been. The bad part is you seem to have completely forgotten how to nap in your crib. I've been taking you on walks nearly every nap time because it puts you to sleep, but I've got to figure out how to get you back into the crib. It's really making it hard for me to get things like dishes and laundry done! All in all, I'll take good night sleep over good naps if that's what's on offer.

You and Daddy are just as cute together as always. It's a serious mutual admiration society. You have started clinging to and reaching for him. It's a good thing I'm a secure person or it might hurt my feelings. Instead it makes me incredibly happy to see my two boys having such a great relationship. Daddy has a myriad of nicknames for you, but one in particular has stuck lately. I'm not sure why, but for some reason your father has started calling you "Mr. Carstairs". It's bizarre. And pretty cute. Which pretty much sums up your Daddy, so I guess that's appropriate!

You're talking more and more and really experimenting with sounds you can make. They're all really cute and I'll never understand people who want to "mute" their babies. Maybe it's because you aren't a major crier, but I love listening to your noises! You haven't started copying our noises really, but you get VERY excited if we make a noise that you've made back to you. I've just started using a little bit of baby sign language with you and am hoping it will help you communicate with us more. We're starting slow with "milk", "more", and "all done".

My favorite noise is your sweet laugh. You can turn into such a giggle monster when your mood is right. Peek-a-Boo usually gets you going. You also love when I turn you upside-down or when we throw you in the air (even better being upside-down AND getting thrown in the air!). Kiss attacks also work well. Your blue cup that you play with in the bath also makes you weirdly happy, as does when I dunk your rubber duck under the water.

(I would close by showing you a super-cute picture of Linus with his blue cup,
but blogger won't let me. Harumph!)

I love you so very much. I'm so lucky to be your mommy!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Cheerful sunday

There is a park near my house that has this little enclave tucked away between the playground and the walking path. I've never seen anyone in it, and it is frequently flooded (as in the picture) from recent rain. It always brings a smile to my face. It has the charm of a secret garden and I imagine picnics filled with happy families. I think it would be the most charming spot for an intimate wedding ceremony. I can practically see the flowers, candles, and twinkle lights I'd use to decorate. Of course, the wedding isn't likely to happen a) because I'm already married & b) because the UK has very strict rules about where you can get married. Someday, though, I'll actually have a picnic there.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Wish List

We were recently asked by some family members to update our Linus Wish List on Amazon so that people could send Christmas (and not to far away birthday!!!!) presents for our little guy. As I was updating, it got me thinking about my own wish list. Now that Linus is on the scene, I find that most things I can think of to put on my list are really for Linus, or at least Linus-related.

And so I struggled to think of things that I wanted for me. I only partly succeeded. Here is my list, with varying degrees of "for me-ness".

1. One of my biggest wants is an Ergo baby carrier.

I've already talked about how much I love our Babasling. Now that Linus is getting bigger and heavier, it isn't great for much longer than a short trip. The Ergo, while more expensive, is a favorite amongst moms and should last until Linus is 4. You can use it for front, back, and hip carries which is very intriguing. I'd really love to be able to wear Linus more often without sacrificing my back too much.

2. A haircut.

Every time I look at a picture of myself lately, all I can think is that I look pale and like I need a haircut. 

case in point

I haven't had my hair cut since Linus was a couple of weeks old. It is the longest it has ever been. I'm not planning on cutting it short, but it definitely needs some shaping and more layers. 

3. A sentimental piece of jewelry

It didn't happen when Linus was born or for my first Mother's Day (or my second... I got to celebrate both US and UK dates!), but I'm hoping for some little something to commemorate the birth of our first child. Not anything fancy or expensive, but just a little something special. Perhaps something with an aquamarine (Linus' birthstone) or an "L"? Who knows. I'm not really bothered what it is, but the thought of having a piece of jewelry specifically tied to Linus makes me smile.

And that's pretty much it. Sure, I'd like some other things. A cute new top or sweater. Some new boots. Every girl likes a bit of new in her life. I just find it funny that, increasingly, my thoughts turn to things for Linus rather than for me. It's only natural, I'm sure. I guess it's called being a mom!

Did you find that your wish list turned into mostly baby related items once you became a parent?
What's on your wish list right now?

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


To start, a side story:

When I was in high school I was a theatre kid. I remember one day, my friends and I were hanging out on stage during a rehearsal and talking about one of the other girls (in that stupid high school way). Specifically, her unhealthy fixation on one of the older boys. Her crush was huge and embarrassingly obvious to everyone. It was beyond awkward the way she would fawn over this guy. As is want to happen, the girl walked up to our group to join the conversation. We all fell quiet and tried to act natural. (Like you do when you've just been busted talking about someone.) She greeted us and asked what we were talking about. Without missing a beat, one of the boys simply replied "Calvin Klein". It was pure genius. It impressed me so much and still amuses me to no end.

Now the real point of this post is to tell you that, here in the UK, people are "obsessed BY" things. I'm used to being "obsessed WITH" stuff. Every time I hear it, it sounds strange to my ear, but it got me thinking. Isn't "by" actually just as, if not more, appropriate. In most cases, the thing that obsesses you isn't actually affected by your obsession. The WITH implies that there is some sort of mutual relationship. If I'm "totally obsessed with prosciutto, metallic ballet flats, or even Claudia Winkleman"- this food item/shoe/celebrity is completely unaffected by me and my obsession. In this case, I think I agree that "by" makes more sense. I'm am the object of enthralment. The object of my obsession is not "in" the obession "with" me at all!

That said, I don't imagine I'll be able to change my natural programming to say "by". And I reserve the right to freely say that I'm obsessed with my son and husband and their cuteness because that is a relationship. I like to think they're obessed right back.

What are your favourite obsessions?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Cheerful Sunday

This Sunday, I'm cheerful about things for which I'm thankful.
(How's that for shoehorning in a Thanksgiving post?) In that spirit, I'm going to tell you what I'm thankful for right now.

1. My parents-

How much does Linus look like me in this picture!?

My parents are awesome. Ross and I are both super grateful for their love and support. They are also amazing grandparents. I can't say how luck I am to have them as my mom and dad.

2. My new friends- I'm very lucky to have met some awesome women in the last year. One of their husbands dubbed us "The Coven", which never fails to amuse me. I hadn't realized how much I missed having girlfriends. My little group of friends brings me a ton of laughter and support as we go through the first months of motherhood together. I actually celebrated Thanksgiving by getting together with the girls for my first night out without Linus (and also my first without Ross since I moved here!). We had drinks and pizza. I wore a dress and a real bra for the first time in 9 months! I'm completely unbiased in my assessment that we have the four most awesome babies in the world ;)

3. My family- I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I'm totally into my husband and by baby. They're, like, the most awesome-sauce covered awesomes ever. Ross always makes me laugh and works so hard to take care of me and Linus. He's a committed, caring, loving husband and a goofy, tender, sweetheart of a dad. Watching the two of them together makes me weepy with happiness. 

my two loves

Those are my big 3! I hope you're having a cheerful Sunday and that you have as many awesomes in your world as I have in mine.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Cow Says "Moo"

Today when I was hanging out with some of my friends, one of them asked me if the animal noises in the US were different. At first it seems a silly question, but at the time, she entertaining her son with an owl puppet. Do you know what the owl said? It said "tweet, twoo". Yep. Not "who, who" or even "hoot".

Now, I first became aware of this difference via a bib that Linus has.

Sorry, for the stained bib, but-well- it does it's job.

I hadn't really thought anything off this bib, until I heard Clare making owl noises in the same manner. When I replied that, in America, owls say "Who", or possibly "Hoot" my friends were as surprised as I was by this "tweet twoo" business. 

As for other differences, I could only come up with a few. In England, dogs don't say "Bow Wow". They only say "ruff ruff". Both might be used in the US. I later asked Ross, about other differences later. We established many are the same. The only other one we came up with is that a British chicken would never say "buck, buck, buck".  It would only "cluck". 

A non-animal related one I've noticed is "Nee nor" or "Nee naw". Anyone know what that is? 
I'll give you a hint.

Fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances all say "nee nor" or "nee naw". In fact, children often refer to vehicles with sirens and flashing lights as Nee Nors/Naws. It makes just as much sense as (and is more easily spelled than) the American "Weee Ooooo". 

I'm sure there are other differences in what things "say".
Ross' favourite is that, in France, roosters say "Kokorico!"
What are your favourite onomatopoeic sounds? 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Word of the Week


Definition: walking through or frolicking in shallow water
Used in a sentence: We watched a TV show about the French Rivera the other day and I made Ross promise me that someday we'd take Linus wadingpaddling there.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

8 Months

Dear Line,

You turned 8 months old today. Your father (the math whiz) wished you a "Happy 3/4s Birthday" this morning before I pointed out his math error. Her quickly revised and explained that his mathematical gifts only apply to numbers greater than one.

It's been an awesome month full of developments. You are on the move more than ever. Not only have you figured out crawling (as opposed to army crawling), you have started cruising too! Your crawl is really cute as you do a strange sweep with your right leg. I haven't captured it on film yet, but I should do it soon because you're going to be walking before we know it! 

You love, love, LOVE to stand up. You can pull yourself up on furniture, legs, and even a flat panel (like a closed door). You are amazingly good at sitting back down too which is a relief as it means you don't have too many tumbles. You will stand up and sit down over and over and smile like you're doing the best thing ever. You especially love standing up in the bath tub. One of my favorite new developments is that you've started raising your hands up to me when you want me to pick you up. It always makes my heart smile.

You've started making more noises. Sometimes its a yell, but more and more you're working on syllables. Most often it's "Baa Baa Baa". I wonder if it's because you hear me say "baby" so often. When you're upset you'll say "MaMaMaaa", but you aren't really associating it with me. Soon! 

You still think Daddy is the bee's knees. For the first time yesterday you got excited when you heard the key in the door at the end of the day. You then expectantly watched the door to see daddy come in. It was the sweetest. You boys play the "Grabby Game". It involves Daddy holding you over a toy and you picking it up. Then you go on Daddy's lap until you drop the toy. Then it starts all over again. The best way to play this game is with your stacking cups. You can take each cup off the tower one at a time without knocking down the tower. Your father is very proud. Stacking cups are your fav.

You're still eating really well. Sweet potatoes, pears, salmon, and tomatoes are your favorite. You had portabello mushrooms for the first time and loved them! Some days your just pick at your food, but others you eat so much that I can't believe it! You haven't consistently dropped any milk feeds yet, but I think it will happen before long.

You are such a sweet boy. You are an explorer, but also a cuddler. It's a great combination and one that I hope lasts. I'll be very sad when sitting on my (or Daddy's) lap isn't your preferred spot any more. You have such a shiny smile and your laugh is infectious. You're just the best. Not that I'm biased. Nope. Not at all.

I love you so much,

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Halloween Cuties

Last year, I told you about some differences in the way that Halloween is celebrated in the US and the UK. I'd say that Halloween has become slightly more prevalent than last year, so it seems that the holiday is slowly becoming more of a "thing" here. They still haven't managed to figure out adorable children's costumes. There isn't much selection and they mostly still skew towards the creepy/scary.

Creepy child's clown costume in Asda

There are a few options for babies, but nothing great- mostly just sleepers with skeletons printed on them. It goes without saying that people here don't make a big deal of dressing up their babies in adorable costumes (or even better, family theme costumes!) like this:

my cousin with her adorable little lobster

As I've been deprived of participating in the right of passage, I'm going to share with you some adorable costumes that I might have picked if we were in the States. You're welcome.

Yes, they're mostly animal. They are all from Target. (But then you know how I feel about Target.) They're all super-adorable. Feel free to share pictures of adorable babies dressed up so I can live vicariously!

What's the cutest baby costume you've ever seen?

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Cheerful Sunday

Busy times make me a bad blogger, but this little swoop in Linus' hair at the nape of his neck always makes me feel happy.

(edited to fix the picture!)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Having a baby is awesome for many reasons. One of them is that people are generally super-friendly and nice when they see you with a baby. Not a trip to the grocery store goes by where I'm not stopped by someone wanting to admire Linus. It's nice. It breaks down those walls and makes society a nicer place. You can share a smile and a few nice words.

How could you resist stopping to say hello?

Sometimes, though, I'm left feeling not so warm and fuzzy after these encounters. There are two types of encounters that leave me with that not-so fresh feeling.

1. People who see a baby as an excuse to offer unsolicited advice.
2. People who follow some pre-programmed script of "things to say to a baby".

The first type is to be expected. I don't mind a little bit of friendly advice. I usually smile politely and go about my way. I'm free to either ignore or apply the advice as I choose. Sometimes, however, people go to far. I was walking into the store the other day, wearing Linus in the sling when an older gentleman stopped me to admire my boy. I happily obliged. Linus is teething and so had been chewing his hand a bit, making it slightly discoloured. No big deal. The man said "Why is his hand so blue?!" I explained that he'd been chewing on it a bit. The man started feeling Linus' arms, legs and cheeks (basically the only parts of his body not covered by the sling). I'm not hugely bothered by people touching Linus most of the time, but this was a bit much! He said to me "He's too cold". I politely explained that, in the sling, snuggled up to my body he was quite warm and cosy. The man kept feeling Linus and said, "No. No. He needs more clothes." I started to feel irritated and defensive. I was about to state again that he was fine when I realized something magical. I didn't need to keep standing there, talking to this stranger. As he continued to explain my parenting shortcomings, I simply smiled and walked into the store- away from him. He trailed off and looked after me, like I'd been rude. It was very liberating! I wasn't rude to him, but I didn't stand there taking flack from someone who doesn't know me or my son.

The second type is infuriating in a different way. Almost everyone has scripts and social norms that they are programmed to enact. It's a fact of life. I'd never noticed how strong they are until I had Linus. I cannot tell you how many times people with older children say "Ohh, they're lovely when they're that age! (indicating Linus) Not like when they're older! (indicating their own kids) What a nightmare!" Which never fails to make me sad. I truly hope that I always find Linus as delightful as I do now. I would hate to think that I might ever describe him as anything close to a nightmare, especially in front of him! Do these people really mean it? Or is it just something people say. Most of the times, when these scripts are said in passing I politely smile and go about my day.

Sometimes, I feel the need to push back and challenge the norm. The other day at the Children's Centre one of the lovely women that works there was holding Linus and giving him a cuddle while I put my coat on and got sorted to leave. She's a very nice lady and was complimenting Linus' snazzy hat. The conversation went something like this.

Lovely Lady: (to Linus) Don't you look handsome? I love you're little hat!
Me: Thank you! His Daddy picked it out.
LL: Awww, how nice. (to Linus) Were you looking for a girlfriend at play group today? Is that why you look so smart?
we both laugh
LL: (stage whispers to Linus) No one will ever love you like mummy.
Me: (to Linus)That's true! I love you very much.
LL: (still to Linus) And no girl will ever take care of you are love you as much as mummy.
Me: We do hope someday he meets someone to love who makes him very happy. Just like mommy and daddy do for each other.
LL: (giving me an odd look) But she still won't be as good as mummy. Because no one loves you as much as she does. Even if daddy tells you different, don't believe him.
Me: Oh, I think Daddy feels the same way as I do.
LL: (frustrated that I'm not following along with the "No Girl Will Ever Live Up to Mommy" script) I bet mummy will give you everything you want and never deny you anything, because that's how mummy's are with their little boys.
Me: Oh, daddy's the softy at our house. I'm sure I'm going to have to be the "heavy".
LL: My little boy comes to me and our little girl goes to our daddy. That's how it is.
Me: Well, I'm sure all our kids will go do daddy. He's a pushover. (said with affection!)

The nice woman seemed so confused by my refusal to play along with her script. It was clear that she had had this conversation with other people and that ours was not going the way she wanted. I wasn't intentionally being difficult... (well maybe a little!) I realize, right now, Linus can't understand these conversations, but someday he will. I want him to know that we love him and don't think he's a nightmare. I want him to know that we hope he meets someone who loves him as much as I love Daddy (and who he loves as much as Daddy loves me). I want him to know that it's ok to have opinions and thoughts that don't follow the script.

When do you deviate from "the script"?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cheerful Sunday

This week's Reason to Be Cheerful is a glimpse into some more of my crazy.

This morning, as I folded laundry, I made this face.

I explained to Ross, who was looking at me like I was crazy. That I love the way freshly laundered and tumble-dried men's shirts smell. Specifically undershirts. They smell manly and wonderful and I buried my nose in Ross' about 5 times before finally folding it. 

Fun fact: Despite the fact that we use completely different laundry detergent, Ross' shirts smell exactly the same as my dad's do.

Friday, 12 October 2012

A 3 hour tour

Every once in a while I still come across a cultural reference that doesn't translate. It doesn't happen often, but now that I've made some friends it's happening more often. Ross' knowledge base isn't necessarily typical of a British person- especially of his age, so now that I'm regularly conversing with other people I find that it's a whole new world.

The other day I was at the park with a group of my mom friends having a little picnic. One of the boys had a very cute bucket hat on. Sort of like this:

As all babies and the blissfully mentally unburdened do, he had a look of carefree cheer on his sweet face. I took one look at him and proclaimed that he looked like Gilligan. 

His mother looked at me and replied that she didn't know what I was talking about. "Gilligan? Gilligan's Island?" I queried. Nope. I turned to the rest of the group and asked, sure that Clare must just be lacking this info through some sort of bizarre blip. Blank looks all around.

My mouth fell open and I spluttered in disbelief. Even my rousing rendition of the iconic theme tune did nothing but tinge their blank looks with bemusement. 

It just blows my mind that such huge cultural references like this are completely lost on a large chunk of the population and that there are equally large gaps in my knowledge from the other view point.

What's the biggest clunker of a cultural reference you've ever dropped on a group?

Thursday, 11 October 2012


I've always given people nicknames. I've always had a bit of a knack for it. It's like a gift.

Example: I had a boyfriend many moons ago who I gave the name "Seamus". His real name was Michael. Don't ask me why. (Well, I guess you can ask. It was before we started dating, he was a friend of my roommate's and I could never remember his name so I just pulled a random one out of thin air.) Even years later other people now call him Seamus. People I never even met. It just stuck.

Strangely, given this gift of mine, I've never had a nickname for Ross. I mean, I call him "honey" and "babe" and other common terms of endearment, but no unique-to-him names have ever been on the scene. This still surprises me. I've had a few random nicknames from him ("Pigeon Knuckles" springs to mind), but nothing terribly long-term. They tend to be inspired by nothing much at all and change frequently.

This pattern has continued with Linus. I stick to "Line" and "Sweet Bean". Ross uses a whole ever-changing assortment.

Father/son hat swap

Most mornings, Ross gets up to get Linus. I lie in bed, trying to pretend I'm still getting a precious few minutes more of sleep. Really, though, I'm listening to the monitor on my nightstand to hear my one of my favourite exchanges. Each morning, Ross greets our son: "Good morning, <insert nickname>!" He either laughs with Linus if he's found him in a good mood or picks him up and consoles him if he's angry or grumpy. The interaction is always smile-inducing, but the nickname is my favourite part. 

So yes, those mornings are nice because I get a little extra rest. (On the really nice mornings, Ross goes ahead and changes Linus' diaper before bringing him to me for his morning feed.) Mostly, I love being an audio-voyeur into the love between my husband and son.

What's the best nicknames you've ever had?
Are you good at bestowing them? What's the best one you've given?

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Word of the Week


Definition: a leafy herb that tends to be polarizing (people either dig it or HATE it)
Used in a sentence: I love a nice pico de gallo with tomatoes, onion, and cilantrocoriander.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Very Eyebrow

You guys! I almost forgot to tell you my eyebrow story!
Are y'all ok?! Have you been on tenterhooks? (I spelled that right on the first try, by the way.) Forgive me.

I mentioned that Ross has great eyebrows. When he did stand up comedy, he prided himself on his ability to get laughs from a mere raising of the eyebrow. They're very expressive.

There is a group on Facebook that Ross belongs to. It basically exists to reminisce about a certain area of Manchester and what it used to be like. Ross family used to have a store in that part of town and his warehouse is still nearby. This group shares old pictures and can be a fun place to talk about the "good old days". Sadly, as is sometimes the case, reminiscing can turn to darker places. The "good old days" are rose-tinted and people begin to talk about how things were so much better once upon a time. Certain people- certain racial groups- are blamed for the downturn of the area.

When things start to get nasty in this way, Ross gets riled up. He's very cute when he's riled up. He splutters and fumes about people's ignorance and how ridiculous they are. It becomes a mini-personal mission to, if not reform the offenders, at least point out the folly of their ways. He doesn't engage in name-calling or directly point out their racism. He tends to use logic to point out their errors in thinking. He'll do things like point out that the very people accused of being responsible for the ruin of the area are some of the only ones willing to invest in it. 

One day, as he was working hard to broaden the hearts and minds of the people, a man took offence at his efforts. He started ranting about how "you can't say anything these days without PC do-gooders running wild". Ross continued his reasoned and logical rebuttal. The man then wrote that Ross must think he's better than other people because he's so "eyebrow". Yep, that's right. He accused my husband of being eyebrow. It was one heck of an insult. I guess, as the man simply wrote the word as he would have said it aloud... 'ighbrow. With a dropped "H". What would Henry Higgins say? Ross replied that he refused to apologize for having an education and the discussion moved on.

We, not surprisingly, have turned this into a bit- referring to things as "eyebrow" all the time now. An added bonus is that it seems to have finally helped Ross remember which is an eyelash and which is an eyebrow. Prior to this, he had a mental block and could never keep the two straight. So for entertainment value and educational value I'd like to thank this man.

Are you very eyebrow?
What's the funniest insult that's ever been hurled at you?

Monday, 1 October 2012

7 months

Dear Sweet Boy,

I've only just gotten used to telling people that you're 6 months old and now you're 7 months old! The time continues to fly by. I love spending time with you and getting to know your fun personality as it shows itself more.

You're really good at sitting up and moving around. You like to get into everything! You're still army crawling. You get up on all fours and rock sometimes, but still haven't figured out how to actually move in that position. You don't really need to though, because you're so fast and good at moving around in your own little way.

This month has held lots of new things. Not only have you started eating real food (which is super-fun, if a LOT of work!) but we've also finally made the switch to cloth diapers. So far we are really liking it! It's so much less wasteful, not to mention cheaper. It doesn't hurt that they look absolutely adorable. 

You're really into our faces and like to touch them and peer into our eyes. Usually you are gentle, but sometimes you get carried away and try to pull Daddy's nose off. You like to play and put your hand in my mouth while you're nursing and you love when I blow on your fingers. 

Going for Mommy's face

My favorite thing, I think, is that you are really starting to enjoy us. You get exciting when one of us comes into the room after having been away (even for a few minutes). Your face lights up and you let out a loud squeak of laughter. Sometimes when I'm holding you and Daddy comes in for a kiss you get so excited that you start flailing around, making it hard for Daddy to even give you that kiss. As ever, you two adore each other.

morning coffee buddies

You don't talk very much. You make infrequent, soft, babbling noises. I think you're going to starting talking more soon, though, as it seems to be increasing. You are the sweetest, more adorable, smartest, best little boy in the whole world in my opinion! Watching you change, grow, learn, and explore is just the coolest thing. 

Love you so much,

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Cheerful Sunday

It's no secret that my sweet boy is my favorite reason to be cheerful. And in this owl hat, he's even more cheer-tastic. 

But that's not exactly today's reason to be cheerful. 

Today's reason to be cheerful is more about babies in general, but it's true that Linus has made me aware of it. I love when I'm out and about with Linus and men see him and crack big smiles and say hello! It's just about the cutest thing ever. The bigger, gruffer, and tougher looking the guy, the more cheerful it makes me. I love that sweet little babies can make goofs of these guys.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Word of the Week


Definition: a column of people arranged for orderly processing
Used in a sentence: Ross is morally opposed to overly-long linequeues and refuses to stand in them.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Baby Led Weaning

We are pretty healthy eaters around here. That is mostly thanks to Ross.  He is a vegaquarian or a pescaterian (or whatever silly word you want to call someone who doesn't eat meat or chicken) so that means that's how we eat. It's certainly not that I'm not allowed to eat meat at home- sometimes I do- but it's just easier to cook the same thing for both of us. I can't tell you how much my diet has improved since meeting Ross! We keep making changes to find healthier options. Ross even made some major sugar changes recently. He's definitely better than I am, but we're both committed to eating less processed and more natural foods.

It only made sense, then, when we thought about starting Linus on solids that we would explore the options. I'd read on many blogs and learned from our Health Visitor that the World Health Organization recommends that babies be exclusively breast fed for the first 6 months. I also kept reading about something called Baby Led Weaning. It really made sense to me to skip the purees altogether and go straight to actual food.

We started Linus slightly after he reached 6 months. He was ready. He could sit up well and was showing interest in food. So we ordered a high chair.

First time in his new high chair.

It hasn't always been smooth sailing. Linus' first food was courgettezucchini. I over-steamed it slightly so it didn't hold up that well to chubby baby hands.

Next was sweet potato. Which I slightly under-steamed, making it too tough for him really chew.

We learned that grapes, bananas, and avocado work much better when put in a mesh feeder bag.

And that this face can mean new flavour, not necessarily bad flavour.

Yoghurt face is super-cute.

Who knew babies could like lettuce?

Cheese omlettes are a big hit! So are avocados, fresh mozzarella, pears and yoghurt.

Funnily enough, though some people might view doing BLW as "weird" or fringe, all 3 of my favorite mom friends are doing BLW too. We didn't plan it, but it made sense to all of us and seems to be working well!

Have you tried any new or "weird" parenting techniques?
Any suggestions of new foods I should try?