When I was only little I'm told that I used to (lovingly) poke my younger cousin, Ashley, in the eye while saying to people, "See baby eye?!" Thankfully I grew out of it, but it's a long-running joke in my family.
So, to my family back in the States: I'm passing it on!
Ryan likes the song 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' and is getting good at pointing to some of his parts. He knows 'head' and his 'eyes' and sometimes 'toes' but here he was showing me the 'eyes' on his cousin Amy's Bedtime Iggle Piggle. Iggle Piggle's eyes open and close and Ryan was fascinated by this.
It was supposed to be my morning for a lie-in, and I really didn't think I would be so interested, but first thing this morning I was glued to the tv, watching it like it was the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
The ceremony was lovely and Kate looked absolutely stunning. In fact, looking back through my photos (yes, I took photos of the tv) I noticed this was right when William leaned in and told her she looked beautiful! I mean...HOW SWEET is THAT?!
Ryan didn't make it through the whole ceremony and ended up asleep on my shoulder while the boys' choir sang while the family went off to sign the registers. It was quite sweet in a way because Matt was worried the sound would keep him awake, but knowing Ryan the way I do, I thought the opposite -- that it helped him to drift off to sleep. Sure enough, he was and the timing couldn't have been more perfect because it was just enough for me to take him up to his cot to continue napping while I came back down awaiting the kiss from the balcony.
And I got not one, but TWO kisses!
They're truly a lovely couple and I wish them all the happiness in the world.
Matt finally got his new Sony Bravia HD telly this week (on a 'buy now pay later' scheme), just in time for the Royal Wedding tomorrow, and Ryan is in awe! In fact, this morning while watching 'Big Cook Little Cook' he tried to climb into the red sofa chair on the screen!!
So life-like to him, I suppose!
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous so we've been taking advantage as much as we can and exploring the garden so Ryan gets plenty of fresh-air each day. He loves these white flowers in the lower garden.
At one point he even had a bit of a roll-around, which was fun to watch him do. I'm really glad he enjoys the outdoors so much. It makes pleasing him that much easier!
Ryan has loved that Matt is on holiday this week and has been going nuts trying to get piggy-back and horsey rides from him. He will climb right up the sofa and casually try to push Daddy off the edge so he can gain access to his back. Then he stands behind him while subtly slapping him until he gets up and taxis him around the front room!
I just wanted to throw this one in because I found it funny.
At Auntie Emma's Ryan decided to make his rounds at dinner. After eating his own bowl of pasta, he then proceeded to stand in front of each of us, one at a time, gawking with his mouth open until our forks served him a bit of what we were eating.
For Easter this year we invited Josie and David to ours for dinner. Ryan finally got to wear a cute little outfit (purchased by my friend Jen's mom, Susie, who also happened to be one of my former teachers in primary school) that has been hanging in his wardrobe since he was born as he only JUST fits into it now.
We also hung our very first canvas photo on the wall after living here for an entire year. It even inspired me to pop out and pick some fresh bluebells to put on display.
Ryan came outside with us after dinner to have a mooch around all the blooming flowers while Josie helped and showed me how to put together a hanging basket. I think Matt is worried I've found yet another hobby...HA!
Here's the hanging basket to start. I can't wait to see how it looks in a few weeks after lots of water and sun!
I even put together a couple of half-baskets on the railing across the patio, but I still want to plant one or two more things inside those to trail down. Plus, we also have a couple rectangular pots up on the porch that I need to get soil and a few more flowers for.
Looks like we're in for a flowery spring and summer!
Heck YEAH, ball pit in the garden! Cousin Amy was having a blast, too!
Both kids are now masters at climbing onto the sofas, so it was no surprise when Ryan appeared next to me seemingly out of nowhere. The only challenge now is convincing him that he isn't Superman and that gravity DOES exist.
First things first...LOOKY what came in the post today from Christine!! She decorated it herself and Matt and I think it's amazing! We're well-impressed at her crafty superiority.
Then this afternoon Ryan and I took a venture into Stourbridge Town to hit up the Wilkinsons to purchase some gardening supplies. I'm SOOOO looking forward to developing more of a green thumb this year!
The timing of Ryan's birthday means that he has a limited opportunity to get outdoor toys purely because of the time of year. Because of this, Josie & David decided that since they got our niece a swing last year for her first birthday, they would get Ryan his swing now so he could enjoy it a bit.
When Em & Daz came to ours today, we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and we all migrated outdoors.
It didn't take long to get the swing assembled and the kids didn't waste any time getting their "home-playground" fix.
At least Ryan won't have to worry too much about how to get around as he can still get horsey and piggy-back rides from his Daddy, no doubt. On that note...the Corsa has driven its final journey and is officially off the road today.
Every morning when Matt leaves for work, Ryan rushes to the window to wave goodbye. He stays there and watches as Daddy walks down the steps and out the gate to the car. Sometimes he even lingers in case Daddy forgets something and has to come back. But it's so sweet to watch! Then he seems to chant "Da-da" at random things for the next 20 minutes.
Little bug still isn't feeling well. When it came time to change his nappy, I called him over to his changing mat where I always lay his bee pillow pal down and he will come and sit there willingly about 90% of the time. This time, however, he got onto his belly and curled up like he was ready to go to sleep.
Ryan had a bit of a rough time last night. A couple hours after I put him to bed, I heard a sound coming from upstairs that sounded like the cat with a hairball, for lack of better description. When I heard it later in the night when I was in bed, knowing the cat was definitely downstairs, I realised it was his cough...poor little mite. So Daddy came home from work today with a fresh bottle of Tixylix.
He's had regular doses of the remaining bottle of Meltus so things have been under control today, but it hasn't kept him from being a bit clingy. He's also been quite feverish, so he's back on the Calpol/Calprofen wagon.
Once Matt got home, we headed back out to check out some cars. Matt had the Corsa in for the MOT on Monday and it failed. A lot of expensive welding is needed and we can't afford the costs to repair it so we're going to see about getting financed or buying a cheapie used car.
Thankfully we're able to use Matt's Mom's car temporarilly, but we're very anxious to get something of our own soon. If only Matt and I could agree on what "we" want. HA!
If you look dead-centre you will see what a mother, with two kids in tow, left behind after perusing the meats. I watched her give her children a couple of donuts and the child in the seat of the trolley deliberately threw his pieces on the floor. Then, instead of picking them up when she left, she brushed them to the side with her foot and walked off!
I didn't expect it to bother me, but I can't believe how she just left it there for someone else to clean up!
How cool is THIS?! Now cousin, Amy, has a slide in her garden, so Ryan naturally had to have a go...and another...and then another!
The best part about all this beautiful sun we have been getting is the time we get to spend outdoors enjoying it. AND anyone with a baby knows the more time you spend outdoors, the more fresh air your child gets and therefore the better they SLEEP!!
So, thanks to the sun, OUR son was fast asleep in his cot tonight before it was even dark outside! Woo, sun!
It's so nice out today I couldn't resist messing about in the garden when Ryan went down for his nap. I planted some seeds of Aster and some mixed cottage flowers as well as some bulbs of Freesia, so by June and July I hope that we have a plethora of flowers. Not to mention my plans for some boxes along the top of the wall around the house and hopefully resurrecting the hanging basket at some point.
Ryan has enjoyed some time tormenting the cat, naturally.
Em and Amy came round later in the afternoon and Daz stopped by as well so it was nice having people over for a change.
We love Fridays in this house. Even more than just a simple Friday, but it's also the end of the term which means two full weeks of holiday -- or in our case, sitting at home NOT going anywhere. I'm okay with that though. Plus, it's two weeks where we don't have to pay the childminder a retainer to keep Ryan's spot, so saving some money as well.
We found out recently that there is an Asda not far from here that is even open 24 hours. It's the Asda at Oldbury just over a mile up the road and around the corner so we popped round tonight to check it out and get something for tea. It's also where I happened to spot some cute little sandals for Ryan for only three quid. They have little fish on the soles and sharks on the front strap and Ryan keeps looking down when he walks and pointing at the sharks.
Today turned out to be an even longer day than previously planned due to the mix-up with my supply post. Matt was due to drive to Birmingham, Sheffield, and then Darby and back which meant he would need to start out early. Rather than being at work at his usual time, he was going to have to get there by 7am and that meant leaving the house by half-six -- usually the time we're just getting Ryan out of bed and dressed. Thankfully he was with Matt's parents today so there was a bit more flexibility with being able to take him a bit earlier.
I was at the train station with ample time to catch the train I needed and eventually arrived to the school with an extra five minutes to spare!
The Year 3 class I was covering was quite challenging -- par for inner-city Birmingham. I had morning play-time duty and on the small area of grass outside was a group of boys play-fighting -- something that wouldn't be tolerated in America. Still, I allowed them to carry on and a few times when it appeared to be getting out of hand I would step in and tell them they needed to calm down or go find another activity. Imagine my surprise when two boys actually squared up to me in an attempt to get in my face about it! These are CHILDREN and the attitude they give is like that of a hard-core gangster, no lie! The wannabe-thug mentality seems to be the norm with many of the boys and I was actually told once in my time of supply that it was due to MY country and the gang-culture there. I don't know how accurate that statement was, but it can't be ALL America's fault. This is also largely due to poor school-wide behaviour management and how children are not held 100% accountable for their actions.
A really good example of this was in the afternoon when I took my Year 3 group to join the other class to practice for an Easter play they had coming up the following day in assembly. That class teacher was working on getting the stage set up and asked me to keep an eye on the children...all 60 of them sitting and waiting. When I saw one boy from her class bothering another student, I called him over and asked him to move to another space. When he blatently refused and did a "diva" head shake at me I firmly instructed him to then come and sit by the door, away from the other children. He complied but only for about 1 minute and informed me his time was up and he was going back. By this time his teacher came over and asked what all the fuss was. I explained what happened and almost like she was begging and bargaining with him, she said, "Come on, please, sit there for two minutes...please...just two minutes."
As soon as she turned around he looked at me, stuck his tongue out and said, "See, MY teacher said I only have to sit there for 2 minutes...HA! You can't tell me to do ANYthing!"
I ignored him and continued watching the rest of the children. About a minute later he kept counting down from 10 seconds saying he was going back to where he was and he didn't care if I told him to go back because his teacher told him two minutes. Then he got up and started to wander back to his original seat mumbling that I was old and worked at McDonalds.
It's teachers like this who undermine supply teachers and contribute to the lack of respect! I just carried on for the rest of the day, made sure everything was in order before I left, and got the hell out of there.
Because Matt went in to work early, he was off earlier and thus able to pick me up from the train station rather than me having to walk home. When he pulled up, this (photo) is what I see in the back seat. Snug as a bug in a rug in his carseat and spark out. In fairness, he had a long day as well!
Today started out crazy from the start. We all were up and out the door a bit later than intended as I unknowingly slept through my alarm, then I missed the second train I was going to catch into Birmingham and had to wait for another, the one in between was canceled so by the time I got to Snow Hill Rail Station it was already 8am! I was still due to walk from Snow Hill Station to New Street Station to catch a train to the Five Ways Station, but while trying to find my platform at New Street I decided to just walk to the school from there as it was only 2 extra tenths of a mile anyway and not worth waiting for a train.
I start out my trek, walking away from the Bullring and past the Cathedral...past Louis Vuitton and thinking that if I actually ENJOYED shopping and fashion I might be salivating just at that moment. I rang my agency to let them know I was running behind so they could notify the school and then JUST as I crossed a main road and began to enter the school gates 20 minutes later, my phone rang. It was my agency to tell me there was a mistake and I was due to work there TOMORROW and not today. I knew this wasn't my mistake because when I received the call for work last week, I remember being told Wednesday because I knew Ryan would be at the Childminder's on that day and I also rang Matt right away to tell him.
I was frustrated beyond belief that in a rush all morning I had come all this way for nothing, but also realised there was no way to fix it now so began my long walk back to the train stations. I made it all the way to New Street Station when my phone rang AGAIN asking if I'd be willing to accept a day's work in a nursery class in Kings Heath. Moments later I was given a lift to the school where I was warmly welcomed and thanked for getting there so quickly on such short notice -- little did they know the morning I just had, HA!
The day with the nursery children went well and at the end I had to walk to Yardley Wood Railway Station and purchase a ticket to Snow Hill Station just so my route would be covered and paid for along with my already purchased return fare from Snow Hill. Because this train was on my train line to Rowley Regis, thankfully I didn't even have to get off and was able to take it all the way home. Trains are fun like that.
Once I got home I was finally able to relax a bit and play with my little guy. How fitting that he got a wild horsey ride from Daddy that was a bit fitting for how the day went.
Last night was a bit rough for all of us in terms of sleep. Ryan went down, but was back up several times in the night. In fact, probably two or three times before Matt or myself even went to bed! So bearing this in mind, I knew getting him down for a nap this afternoon wasn't going to be easy.
Sometimes when Ryan has a hard time going down for a nap, he will sit up as soon as he feels my hand leave his back. So, when I noticed my plushie Bobcat close by, I decided to try something out. He has beans in his feet and belly so there is a bit of weight to it...meaning when placed on Ryan's back, still gives the sensation of pressure from someone's hand on his back.
It did the trick!
Well...until I got down the steps...then I heard the crying, so back up I went. He eventually went down and had a good 45 minutes, but it seems sleep is just not on the agenda for today.
Later in the afternoon we had a delivery a bit sooner than we expected. Ryan's new floaty, bath octopus pal with baby octopi (?). The babies have numbers 1-8, are squirters and they suction to the side of the bath. The main octopus head has holes for water to drain through so it sprinkles like a shower.
We decided to have a bit of a dry run with it and it seems so far he loves it!
Little man isn't feeling too hot tonight. He was fine when Matt returned home from work, but within the hour seemed to be really clingy towards me and didn't want to play. I noticed then that his cheeks were bright red, which prompted me to take his temp. Just as expected...a low-grade fever, so we dosed him with some Calpol and got his tea ready first so he could get a bath and to bed soon after.
When Daddy brought in the bowl of scrambled eggs and plate of toast soldiers, we worried he may turn it away. Then again, this is Ryan we're talking about and it seems no poorly-ness is going to make him turn down scrambled egg and toast! So sad face and all...he devoured every last bite!
Once up in his bath I noticed his seahorse was squirting out little bits of grimy gunk when filled with water. Since Ryan likes to suck on this toy in the bath, Matt and I thought it would be best to quarantine Mr. Seahorse until he could be rinsed thoroughly inside with some anti-bacterial wash. Our initial response was to simply throw him out, but Ryan does like this toy a lot...so I suppose he won't be going down the bath toy green mile.
Happy Mother's Day to all the UK Mommies out there!! Don't ask me why this country celebrates it on a different day than America...or why America, even, celebrates it on a different day than the UK (since Father's Day is the same day in each one), but let us all rejoice in the pleasantries this day brings...in the form of lie-ins and chocolates!
After dinner at Em & Daz's, Em and I decided to use my new Mecca Bingo "new member" voucher for a free session tonight where all mothers would receive...you guessed it...a box of chocolates!! This put my Thornton's counter on overload as this made my second box.
Meanwhile, as Emma and I were slaving away with our multi-coloured dabbers, Matt headed home with Ryan to get him into PJ's and to bed without a mommy-night-cap. The plan was a bit of porridge, 9 ounces of moo-juice, and then off to bed.
What REALLY happened??
Well, upon my return home I was shown a series of three pictures and asked, "Where did you leave the box of chocolates when we left today?" I explained how I left them on top of the fire guard but more forward thinking would have told me not to as husbands have a knack for unintentionally missing items that might otherwise need to be moved further out of reach of little hands.
Matt told me how he didn't even notice the box there and neither did Ryan, until he popped out of the room to get his bottle. When he returned he saw Ryan sat in the middle of the floor with the entire box in front of him, lid off...
He told me how he had one chocolate in his hand and was nomming on it before seeing Matt enter the room, where he quickly tried to put it back in the box as if he hadn't even touched it...as if the evidence around his mouth wasn't proof enough?!
Rather than keep it off him, Matt handed the chocolate, a Turkish Delight, back to Ryan to finish -- his very own little Mommy's Day treat. I didn't mind and actually found the photographic evidence pretty cute and funny, bless him.
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!