Hubby has been a complete and utter darling, and moved my site almost in it’s entirety over to

Yes, that’s right: I’ve gone all self-hosted and stuff.

The reason for this is a minor one, but quite a big design ‘flaw’? I am doing a 365 photo project as you may well know. I have a page for this and have to edit it in order to put each new photo up. As it is a static page, as opposed to one with separate posts, it only has one lot of comment boxes at the bottom of the page. How irritating would that be to a reader to have to scroll past 312 photos to post on the top one? The same goes for The Gallery and Silent Sunday.

Therefore, this is the last blog-post that I intend to make on this site. I really hope that you pop over there and subscribe to it, it would mean a lot to me.

These poor little creatures who we have nurtured for 9 months, keeping them warm, safe, fed nutritiously (although not sure that can be said of mine, I ate & drank rubbish whilst pregnant, anything to combat the morning sickness!)and loved. They then have to go on the most arduous journey of their lives (forget the London Marathon), having their poor little bodies squeezed through a narrow passage. They’ve learnt to hold their heads up, to control their flailing arms, possibly even turn over, and then the next big thing arrives…


There is no other way to describe it but cruel. It’s cruel to the baby who is directly suffering the pain & anguish of these little lumps of calcium shredding through their gums, and it’s cruel to the parents who are unable to help aside from administering medicine and cuddles. And yes there is the sleep issue, but it pails in comparison to the larger issue.


Baby teeth - courtesy of


Babyworld has an excellent explanation of the stages of teething, a fab little diagram which illustrates the order of appearance of the twenty teeth which will appear between four months and two years. Yes, I said twenty ! I know! I KNOW! I am wondering if The Boy really needs another eight or if he can just cope with the twelve he’s got?

The Boy hasn’t had a new tooth in about four months; according to their diagram I can see he’s a little behind. We are currently awaiting the arrival of tooth number 13: an upper canine. I wouldn’t be surprised is 14 decided to pop along at the same time, just to spite us!

I remember the excitement of the first tooth! One day back in January 2010, a tiny little line of white appeared in his lower gum. Hoorah, something to show for the month of crying & sleeplessness. Wait, not one, but two had appeared! We might get some sleep now! Nooo! It continued and he got the next one a fortnight later, and then three at the same time! Then we were all allowed sleep for a month or two until the molars started to make an appearance. By God, they’re nasty!

Fast forward to today and we’ve had a fortnight of terrible nights where The Boy has ended up coming in with us for part of the night. He is sobbing and screaming in his sleep; I can’t even begin to tell you how heart-breaking it is. And you can tell it’s bad because he’s not even calling us, he’s just sobbing so whole-heartedly.

These items are our best friends at the moment. Nooo! We don’t use them all together, well not all of them anyway. I think that I’ve found out that an ibuprofen painkiller and Calgel is most effective for The Boy, but nothing works completely.

And don’t forget mums & dads; guidelines recommend brushing baby’s teeth as soon as they start to appear (I liked these), especially after the night-time feed. As Jenny points out over on Mummy Mishaps, 40% of children start school with tooth-decay! Get them brushing as soon as they can too, don’t let them see it as a chore. My mum bought this for The Boy, it was excellent!

As explained on Hannah’s blog, @katetakes5 is, well, taking five from her blog. So Hannah is hosting the Listography in the meantime.

The theme this week is one that I am going to have difficulty with. Not because I am a passive, peaceful, earth mother who never gets wound up. Good lord no! I’m going to have difficulty because there are way too many celebrities who irritate the hell out of me, and I’m sorry but the vast majority of them are the little woman type. You know the ones: they simper up to men, they flick their hair, they are incapable of being a strong independent woman, they have to have a man to look after them! I was brought up to be self-reliant and so they irritate me.

1) Scarlett Johansson.

I absolutely hate and detest her. I cannot even begin to tell you how much she winds me up beyond all comparison to any other person in the world. Especially when I had to endure her in ‘He’s just not that into you’. Even allowing her name to grace the pages of my blog irritates me. So there is no way that I am putting a picture of her on here, I’d probably break the screen in order to escape her. And no, before you ask, it’s not jealousy. Never.

2) Simon Amstell

Snivelling little twerp. He ruined ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’, is rude and pathetic. Go away you little man and never grace my t.v. screen again!

3) Angelina Jolie

I may be slightly jealous of this individual, but my true reason lies in that I loved Brad and Jen, and she ruined it.

4) Katie Price

What is the point of her? I mean seriously?! She’s ridiculous. No need to say any more.

5) Kelly Holmes!

Argh! I am sorry I know she won like two gold medals and therefore is a national treasure but no! There are better athletes out there, able-bodied or disabled. Now Tanni-Grey Thompson is a national treasure! But not Dame Holmes! Pah!

See you can tell I was annoyed with the last one, count the exclamation marks.




So the lovely @SusuRem over at GhostWriterMummy has issued us with a challenge to identify the music that our children simply must be subjected to/enjoy as part of their musical education. Ok, so I bullied her mercilessly about putting up a linky which she did over 12 hours ago now, and I’m only just doing my post now! I’ve spent the vast majority of the day desperately trying to come up with a band only to have my brain flooded at the last minute with infinite possibilities. Well, ok about seven, but you get the picture.


As my first selection, I choose the dulcet tones and comedic lyrics of one Mr. Neil Hannon, aka The Divine Comedy.

I have decided that The Boy must listen to him for various reasons: he’s funny (National Express); he’s romantic (Songs of Love); his lyrics can be downright cryptic (Gin-Soaked Boy); but also because the songs (especially Everybody Knows) were used as part of his father’s courtship of me 11 years ago.

The album ‘A Secret History’ was the CD of choice in hubby’s car for approximately the first six months of our relationship, and you could hear us belting out lyrics concerning the size of a hostess’ derriere resembling a small country, or what exactly was in the woodshed, in various parts of the United Kingdom (ours was a long-distance relationship for a year and half).

Then, here’s the romantic bit, hubby would sing ‘Everybody Knows’ to me in his best dodgy operatic singing voice;

“I told the stars above
About the one I love
I told the morning sun
Yeah I’m telling everyone
I told my mum and dad
They seemed to understand
And I’ll get through to you
If it’s the last thing that I do”

So you see, there’s history in that album. Maybe not so much of ‘A Secret History’, but it’s our history, and now it’s part of The Boy’s.


We’ve had fun this weekend. Well I have anyway. The Boy has just gone with it. Hubby has glared at me before cleaning up the mess (he’s good at this). But generally it’s been fun.

This weekend in my attempt to tidy up the house, I decided to do the plaster-casts of The Boy’s hands and feet. We’ve had these kits lying around the house since he was born. Bought the first one, read the instructions, misunderstood the instructions in my post-partum befuzzlement and thought it involved making a plaster of Paris mould of his feet before casting it with the same stuff. I stood there wondering how the hell we’d get his feet out, all I could picture was his tiny squidgy toes stuck in a block of plaster. With the Health & Safety instructions from work about plaster of Paris and using it with children running through my head, I backed away from it pretty damn sharpish.

Then I bought another kit at Christmas time which seemed great and easy to do and this is the one that I decided to do yesterday. For a start it involved making a rubber mould. Hoorah, he will not lose his feet in a devastatingly awful accident with an over-zealous mother! I read the instructions carefully, really carefully. I made the mixture up and left it for a minute as per the instructions ‘the mass will be ready in a minute’. I rushed it through to The Boy who was dutifully transfixed watching Justin and Mr. Tumble. I pressed his foot down and… it bounced off. It was ready in a minute, it set in a minute. Cue the tantrum from me as I’d screwed up the first batch of mixture and this was the last lot.

So I dug out the other kit and made that one up instead, because I had clearly realised I was not going to be providing my child with concrete shoes. The moulding kit powder reminded me of being sick as a child as it smelt of Kaolin and Morphine. Remember that? Tasted grim but worked a treat. Anyway, I digress (me? really? never!). I used the electric food whisk, poured it into the bowl and raced through to The Boy and hubby, who by now were on their second episode of ‘Something Special’. Bless his little heart, he glanced down as mummy shoved his foot into the goo, wriggled his toes a little but held still for a few minutes until the mixture set. It only took three minutes to set, and I tentatively peeled it back from the edge of his foot and he slipped it out. Mix up the plaster of Paris, pour it in and wait for it to set.

This is the bit that I’m bad at. I can’t wait for anything.

Tick follows tock follows tick follows tock…

While I was waiting, and it was clearly working as I thought it would, I did the other foot. Poor child, three episodes of the antics of a man wearing yellow trousers and a blue waistcoat and he was ready for bed. I cared not, I was in a creative mood.

This is the end result of the feet moulds:


The detail is absolutely amazing; I will admit to having a little lump in my throat when I saw his tiny weenie toes.



Today saw me doing his hands which are a tad more tricky. You have to pour the mix into a bag and then plunge their hands in. This I did and held his arm in the bag. He wiggled his fingers and I tried to stop him. This is harder than it sounds when his hand is incased in bag of purple gloop. Anyway, the little poppet kept still and we managed to get a mould of both hands.

As you can see they are incredibly detailed, but the left hand didn’t work that well as there is an air bubble on one of the fingers, and because he wiggled his fingers too much they have ended up a little thinner than they actually are. I love them but they’re also a little macabre aren’t they? What the hell am I going to do with them? The feet are going to be painted silver and mounted in a box picture frame, but I am at a loss of what to do with the hands. Wrap them up and put them in his keep-sake box possibly. That’ll traumatise the child in the future when he unwraps them!

Anyway, if you haven’t done a cast yet, you have to do one! I wish I’d done it when he was younger. Now onto 3d sculpting next weekend!

Since posting this: several people have asked me where I bought my kit from. I bought it through e-bay using the seller ‘Borrowed Moments’. They also have a website here.

I have been tagged by the Jenny over at Mummy Mishaps for being a:

Right so this is the second time that I’ve been passed this and I ignored the first one from @TheMummyLife (sorry Laura) but was in the mood to act on this one from Jenny.

So the rules are that you need to :
– thank the person who tagged you – so thanks Jenny for my award
– list 7 things about yourself
– pass the award onto 3 other fellow lovely people and explain the rules
– Pass on the 10 questions that I have to answer at the end of this

Ok? Ok! So here goes.


1) I’m scared of the colour orange.
2) I hate New York.
3) I play the National Lottery every draw (in the hope of affording said holiday homes) and one of the lines of numbers I play are the ‘Lost’ numbers, from which I’ve won £10 from those six numbers 5 times.
4) I have traced my family tree back to the beginning of the 19th century and have over 300 members in it.
5) I teach in the primary school that I went to as a child.
6) I miss eating tuna, steak and Christmas day turkey sandwiches.
7) I’m really chuffed that hubby persuaded me to go onto twitter.

I am going to pass this award and meme onto:

They are lovely twitter people who are always their with a supportive word and a good laugh. I also bet they won’t do this!

Finally…… 10 Questions

1. Why did you create this blog?
To share my experiences of being a mother and the adventures that we get up to with The Boy. Also to document my feelings about certain situations.

2. What kind of blog do you follow?
Blogs by other mums mainly and ones I chat to lots on twitter aswell (same answer as Jenny).

3. Favorite Makeup Brand
Foundation – Collection 2000, mascara – No.7 sensitive, lipstick – L’Oreal, bronzer – 17, eyeshadow – Chanel (random I know)

4. Favorite Clothing Brand
Any that I can get to fit being 5’10” and a big bird! I do tend to like M&S and Next though.

5. Your Indispensable Makeup Product

6. Your Favourite Colour

7. Your Favourite Perfume

8. Your Favourite Film
I can’t decide between Fifth Element or Demolition Man

9. What country would you like to visit and why?
I want to go to the Galapagos Islands to see the turtles (a text I did with Year Five a few years ago focused on them and I found it fascinating).

10. Are you a Cat or Dog person?
Dog definitiely. Cats are evil and defecate in my back garden.

Oh I really like this one, good choice @katetakes5

It’s a bit tricky to say which is my favourite so they all have equal weighting. I’m also going to admit to being a bit of a tourist and I don’t care. I do the touristy things, yes. If I’m there for 4 days (I can’t stand long holidays, I get fearful incase I don’t like the place, in which case I’d have to come home straightaway), I like to get quick snapshots of the place. Yes of course I go off the beaten track a bit, but not too far because I’m frightened of getting stolen and sold for spare parts.

1) Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge

We’ve been here three times and I adore it. The cobbled streets, the gothic architecture, the twee gift shops, the cheap beer and pizzas. Wandering across Charles Bridge and browsing the street-sellers. I completely immerse myself in Prague and love to wander off into the side-streets and the parks. Absolutely stunning. Even the tube stations are beautiful. You think Paris is beautiful? It is Prague’s ugly step-sister in comparison!

Gaudi mosaic in Parc Guell

2) Barcelona, Spain

The other stunning super-model sister to Prague. But hotter. We adore Barcelona and again have been here three times. I love Gaudi’s work everywhere, from the streetlights shining down on the pavements to the La Sagrada Familia towering overhead. More gawdy than Gaudi, but impressive nonetheless.

3) Las Vegas, United States of America

I know you’re groaning, I know you are, but do not knock it until you have tried it! It is absolutely overwhelmingly beautiful in a completely manufactured way. From the top of the half-size Eiffel Tower, you can see the entirety of Vegas. And then you look up a little further and realise that beyond the streetlights, ridiculous helicopter rides along the Strip and rollercoaster rides around hotels is another world. Vegas is in a bowl in the desert surrounded by rugged mountains. Beyond that is the Grand Canyon where we had a champagne picnic 4000ft below the rim. No pictures for this one because it wouldn’t do it justice.

Golden Cap

4) Lyme Bay, Dorset, United Kingdom

When my great-aunt was alive (her funeral was 3hrs after The Boy was born) we would go down several times a year and see the rugged coastline in all it’s glory, especially in the Winter months. We still go down there every year and stay in self-catering for a week. The Boy loves it, as do we. 


5) My home-town, south Wales.

Well why else do I live here?

While it has been a little gusty here in south Wales today, I’m afraid that I am not talking about the meteorological occurrence.

Burps, plain and simple.

The Boy has always struggled with ‘letting go of his wind’ (as my mother calls it); not normally a problem in this household. At five days old mum turned up at the door with trusty Infacol, determined it would help. It made a small improvement but he still suffered with trapped wind and colic.

Breastfed babies don’t get wind? Bollocks!

When he went onto bottles at three and a half weeks (you know that saga), I used the marvellous Tommee Tippee anti-colic bottles. That helped a bit more, but I was quite relieved when he could try gripe water at a month.

I even went to baby massage when he was five months old. That was no use, he’d just learnt to roll over and therefore wouldn’t keep still. (To be perfectly frank, the yummy mummies who went all got on my nerves and so I was quite happy to stop going. There was always something up with their babies, one week it was gastric reflux, the next cranial osteopathy. After the sessions, I would go to my parents’ & recount the new fads with a mix of glee & disgust. Plus I couldn’t keep a straight face when I was supposed to be massaging The Boy’s legs chanting “shimmy, shimmy, shimmy”)

Weaning sorted it out a bit more but he still has issues now and again. We do have to occasionally open up a bottle of gripe water on a bad night, what a good job I like the smell of dill. But generally he’s much better.

So the point of this post…

Tonight I find myself in The Chair with The Boy who is cuddling Oliver Monkey having just finished his bedtime bottle. He cuddled into my shoulder and the following happens,

Me: Have you got a burp for mummy?
Him: Burp!
Me: No, you can’t just say it sweetheart. Try again.
(the sound of him blowing raspberries trying to get a burp out)
Me: ok, never mind, cuddle in and close your eyes. Give mummy a kiss now…

… yes you guessed it.


Tolo Puzzle Ball

Competition – Tolo Puzzle Ball (6 months+)

The Tolo Puzzle Ball is a ball which comes apart into 3 separate sections: 2 identical U-shaped segments and a central rattle. Each of the U-shaped segments has a hole in the end which the central rattle section slots into, and these two outer parts have attractive gizmos on them; squeakers and clickers in bright primary colours.

Tolo Toys are specifically designed to stimulate development of your baby. Because the toys are designed intelligently, using colour, sound and feel as key stimulant aides, your child will quickly discover that learning is fun! Areas of development: colours and shapes, hand to eye co-ordination, gripping and release, touch and feel.

The Boy had great fun testing and playing with this item, and I would say that the age range is suitable from 6-18 months, possibly older. It’s a really attractive ball, which rolls well and is incredibly sturdy. Each section can be played with individually or in a variety of combinations. He particularly liked having the rattle sticking out of the top of one of the holes and got really quite stroppy with me if I tried to put it how it’s designed to be, just goes to show the play possibilities.


In order to win this Puzzle Ball, please tell me what your child’s favourite toy is in the comments box below.

For an extra entry, do one (or all) of these:

– tweet “I entered a competition to win a Puzzle Ball at”

– follow me on twitter @TheBoyandMe

– subscribe to this blog (an extra two entries not just the one!)

Don’t forget to tell me that you’ve done these things when you submit your entry into the comments box below.

Competition closes on Friday 21st January 2011 at 8pm. Entry for UK residents only.


You will have to excuse the self-indulgence in this post; this one is a reminder for me in the future.

I am amazed at all the things that my child learns to do; just how these things happen astound me. How does The Boy know how to hold the crayons? How does he know that by putting his finger on that button, then the balls will drop on his gumball machine? Here’s the biggy: how does he know how to talk? I mean, obviously the more you talk to children, the more they hear and can imitate. But I actually mean how does he know how to shape his mouth and move his tongue and manipulate his vocal chords? It is such an amazing feat, children are so clever.

So I was even more impressed yesterday when he started ‘counting’ *. We had a full “1, 2, 3, 6” from him. Absolutely astounding. Hubby recited the numbers up to ten but he didn’t bite, so we left it.

Today he decided to fulfill his role as a performing monkey and bestow upon us the numbers up to ten. Ok ok, we had an ommission of ‘5’ and occasionally ‘8’ but without any prompting The Boy uttered “1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10”.  And ok so the pronounciation on a few of the numbers is quite frankly a little bizarre but recognisable (7 is ‘zenner’).

It just demonstrates how much babies and toddlers absorb from the world around them. Obviously we say or sing nursery rhymes and songs to and with him, but I’m not sure how many of those actually go above five.

There is really only one place I can think of that he’s heard this repeatedly. One of the television programmes that he loves is ‘Charlie and the Numbers’ on BabyTV channel (sky 623). Everyday Charlie plays with a different number and they have a little adventure. Then at the end of the programme there is a little song “One, one two three, one two three four five, six seven eight nine, nine ten, six seven eight nine, nine ten”. So you see I think I know a reason why he misses out five, and sometimes four; they’re the only two numbers not repeated in the song (long shot theory I know)

The Boy is clearly a mathematical genius – (audio link)

(* As an ex-nursery nurse and a teacher, I have a minor issue with using the word ‘counting’, The Boy is more appropriately sequencing. Proper counting is when a child associates the numbers with one more item each time; they point to a series of items and can say the relevant number increase each time. Merely reciting the numbers is not counting. I know this but I am not relaying this each time I write the word ‘counting’. Plus he’s a genius!)

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