Don’t you just love it when…

…he pokes my nose and says ‘mama’.
…you ask ‘where’s Snarfy?’ and he proudly thumps his chest.
…he gets soooo excited when he sees a cat.
…he crawls to his potty blowing very extravagant farty raspberries.
…he wails ‘mama mama maaaamaaa’ when he feels something unjust is happening (like having his nappy changed) because he feels that mama should be able to put everything right.
…he starts to giggle as soon as he catches your eye because he knows you’re just about to tickle him and woosh him around.
…he goes crazy splashing in the bath.
…he puts his dirty socks in the laundry basket and grins at you proudly.
…he puts all his other (clean) clothes in the laundry basket and grins at you proudly.
…he puts his soft toys in the laundry basket and grins… you get the picture – anything and everything currently ends up in the laundry basket in this house!

(Inspired by a thread on the BLW forum.)

Housework

As I’m sure you can guess from this post’s thrilling title, I’m currently working from home blitzing the housework. When I started this blog, I had a vague idea of writing about the trials of being a WAHM (work-at-home mum) but it hasn’t really turned out like that. Mainly because I don’t actually work at home. Most weeks the hours I spend in the office, supplemented by the odd couple of hours here and there when Thomas is sleeping, are quite enough. I rarely get a day like today when I’m home alone, ‘working’. DH has taken Thomas on a grand tour – visiting some friends and having a pub lunch with his side of the family. I’m quite jealous, especially of the pub lunch, and I miss my boys, but this is a good opportunity for me to get loads of work done. Unfortunately I decided to do a bit of cleaning. DH and I have decided that we’d like the house to be cleaner and tidier so that’s what I’m trying to accomplish. I thought about doing something similar to Beth’s 100 days list but I’m no good at doing just one thing per day – I tend to let things build up while I stress about them and then blitz everything in one go. So that’s what I’m going to do today.

Now it may make sense to organised people to take one room at a time, but I am not organised. So far today I’ve started cleaning the kitchen but got carried away by descaling (we have very hard water in this area) so I dashed upstairs to tackle the bathroom (cleaning and tidying involves a lot of dashing for me – don’t want to spend any longer doing it than I have to!). I’ve put descaling tablets down the toilet (last resort – I don’t like using harsh cleaners but nothing else will do – I’ve tried! – and yeah, you’re supposed to leave these overnight but I swear I pee just as much at night as in the day – TMI? sorry!), I’ve started washing Snarfy’s bath toys, I’ve rinsed the shower curtain and started to sort out the bottles under the sink. You may notice I’ve used the word ‘started’ a lot in the last sentence. I tend to flit from task to task – I need a cloth to dry Snarfy’s bath toys so I’ve come downstairs only to be distracted by my half-cleaned kitchen but then the laundry finished so I’m debating whether to bother hanging it outside. So here I am at the laptop ostensibly checking the forecast but actually distracted by blogging. This is how I expect today will continue and then, an hour before my boys get home, I’ll freak out and dash round finishing it all off. That’s the plan anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes… Right now I could really do with a cuppa but the kettle is full of descaler – now that’s something that it would have made sense to leave overnight!

I Am Mama.

For a long time Boo hasn’t bothered to call me anything. He’s been calling Daddy¬† ‘Dadadada’ for a while and, more recently, ‘Dadt’ (not sure why the extra ‘t’!). For a while I was also ‘Dadada’. We thought we heard a ‘mm’ sound a couple of months ago but that was quickly dropped to make way for more important sounds like ‘b’ (useful for ‘bus’, ‘bird’, ‘book’ and ‘ball’ – all infinitely more interesting than poor mama). However, a few nights ago, at 3am after 3 wakeful hours and clearly realising he was pushing his luck, Boo came out with a perfect ‘Mama’. It worked. My grumpy, I-can’t-believe-you’re-still-awake mood melted away and I found a whole new store of patience and joy. Since then he has said it a lot. First thing in the morning I’m greeted with a joyful ‘Mama!'; while he’s in the sling he pokes my nose, saying ‘Mama, Mama, Mama'; at random intervals throughout the day he looks at me from across the room, points and exclaims ‘Mama!’. It’s wonderful. I am Mama.

From Cuscus to Monkey.

Yesterday I wrote about my son’s disconcerting resemblance to a nocturnal, tree-dwelling marsupial. Today he has been revelling in his resemblance to a noisy, cheeky, climbing monkey. Not only has he been noisy, cheeky and obsessed with getting onto the futon, he has also learnt how to make a very cute monkey noise. The first time he did this was originally a contender for ‘best Boo-moment’ but it has been somewhat soured by the fact that the only bedtime book he would listen to was “That’s not my monkey!” which we had to read approximately 487 times, doing a monkey impression for each monkey. I can conclusively report that it is not possible to make a monkey noise that is realistic while also being soothing and sleep-inducing.

Therefore, best Boo-moment goes to this:

He was soooo excited that we figured out he wanted honey-oat cereal instead of healthy, homemade apple and raspberry flapjack for his afternoon snack.

On hold.

Life has been on hold a bit for me lately. That sounds a bit too drastic. What I mean is that all the extras of life have been on hold. Day-to-day things are pretty much as usual: I have fun with the boy; I go to work and enjoy my job; I manage to keep the house vaguely clean and tidy etc. etc. etc. but the extra incidental things: this blog; my art and craft; emailing, or even meeting up with, good friends, have rather fallen by the wayside. As usual, it’s down to lack of sleep. Thomas, my beautiful little boy, is going through a phase of loooong night wakings. For 2 or 3 hours at a time he gazes forlornly up at me, comfort sucking with a slightly worried little frown above his wide-open eyes. We call him the cuscus baby (well actually, I’ve been calling him the couscous baby as my spelling’s not so good, but searching for an image for this post has put me straight).

Image found through google image search. It comes from this blog: colunas.epoca.globo.com/animal/2008/05/ and I really hope it's OK to use it - it's hard for me to tell as the original blog is in Spanish.

Cute, eh? It’s lucky Thomas is just as cute – gazing into his eyes just about keeps me going at 3am.

Well I’m determined that this blog will not wither and die. I still poke my nose around in blog land so I’d still like to keep contributing to it myself. I’m not going to commit to any grand plans but I do have a little idea that might help me keep going. Every evening I ask my husband “What’s been your favourite Boo-moment today?” (Aside: Boo is what we usually call Thomas. It’s a shortening of Snarfaboo which itself is a shortening of Snarfaboo-Snarfabum, an affectionate lengthening of Snarfy, the informal form of King Snarfalot, so named because he’s King of the household and he made lots of snuffly-snarfy noises in his moses basket next to our bed at night. And to think that before he was born I was worried we wouldn’t be able to come up with any nicknames for him!) Anyway, I thought I could share our favourite Boo-moments on this blog – partly as a record for myself and partly because they’re cute and funny. I also aim to take more pictures and share them here.

Today’s favourite Boo-moment: watching him play with a muslin. It’s amazing how much fun one small boy can have with a piece of cloth. Usually he throws it over his head and dramatically boos me milliseconds later. This evening he was playing boo with his own feet. Strange child. And as a bonus I’ll share yesterday’s best Boo-moment: as we were making breakfast… well, I was making breakfast and Boo was in his funpod throwing empty yoghurt pots on the floor and eating cereal but anyway… I was nattering away about what I was doing. ‘There’s your milk and now mummy’s making her coffee’. Cue a fake coughing fit from Boo. Now at breakfast he points to my coffee mug, coughs and giggles. I think that’s as close as you can get to making a pun when you can’t yet talk. Oh dear, the boy certainly has his Daddy’s sense of humour.

Sleepy conversations

Wednesday night, 3am:

Me1: Ooh, first waking at 3am? Excellent! Looks like we’ll only be up once tonight.

Me2: Shut up you idiot! You’ve totally jinxed that now. Quick! Think something negative.

Me1: Er, um, I bet we’re up again at 5.

5am:

Me1: Did I make this happen?

Me2: Yes. You didn’t really believe it, did you?

Me1: <hangs head>

Thursday night, 3.45am

Me1: Ooh, waking even later.

Me2: <glares>

Me1: Er, I bet we’re still getting up again at 5 though.

5.15am

Me1: Hang on. I never said we’d still be up at 5. I envisioned making it back to bed for at least half an hour.

Me2: That’s your problem: you’re not pessimistic enough.

Friday night, 1am

Me (just 1 me now, I had a lie in on Thursday so I’m not yet sleep deprived enough to start talking to myself.): WTF?!

4am

Me: bleugh

Saturday morning, 6am

Me: You’re not going back to sleep, are you?

Thomas: <grins>

Me: OK, fine. It’s lucky you’re cute.

6.30am

Thomas: <yawns, rubs eyes, starts grizzling>

Me: Oh you’re tired. Any idea why that might be? Personally, I feel full of the joys of Spring <rolls eyes>.

12.30pm

It’s lunchtime. I’m starving. His lordship is still asleep after nearly 3hrs of napping.

Baking

I seem to remember mentioning in my first post about how I’m becoming more domesticated (I would check but I’m expecting Thomas to wake up in, well, seconds actually) so I thought I’d share one of my domestic experiences with you.

All week I’ve been intending to (ah he’s awake… wonder how long he’ll patiently babble to himself for…) do some baking to stock the freezer up with tasty things for Thomas’s lunch. A while ago I spotted some nice recipes at My Name Is Beth http://mynameis-beth.blogspot.com/search/label/Recipes and yesterday I finally got round to buying the ingredients for them. I’ve copied and pasted some of Beth’s post (the blue writing) and added my comments (the black writing). So here goes, this how I spent Thomas’s now-finished nap:

Sweet Potato Muffins (from Sensational Vegetable Recipes):
1 cup (175g) sweet potato
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup finely grated tasty cheese90g butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk (that’s three-quarters, not 3 or 4)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Curse self for not getting ingredients and equipment ready before putting Thomas down for a nap.
Tiptoe around kitchen, quietly opening and closing cupboards.
Curse self for buying more sweet potatoes when we already had loads.
Decide to make double the quantity.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Brush melted butter or oil into 12 deep muffin cups (or use silicone bakeware – no need for oiling etc, it rocks!).
Silicone bakeware does indeed rock.

Finely grate sweet potato and cheese.
Realise grater is turning potato into mush.
Curse grater for being rubbish.
Coarsely grate potato and cheese.

Sift flour into a large mixing bowl.
Remember we threw rubbish sieve away.
Reach for tea strainer.
Decide against sifting.
Realise there’s only 1 cup of flour in the pack.
Rummage (quietly) around baking cupboard.
Curse self for being so short.
Find flour and thank husband (silently – he’s upstairs sleeping after a night shift) for being so good at keeping the cupboards stocked up.
Curse fancy flour pack for being impossible to open.
Curse husband for hiding scissors.

Add sweet potato and cheese, stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.
Add butter, egg and buttermilk all at once to dry ingredients.

Use natural yoghurt and mascapone cheese instead of buttermilk as 1) my favourite shop-cum-cafe sells yoghurt but not buttermilk and 2) we have some mascapone to use up.

Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined; do not overbeat.
Realise that overbeating is why my muffins sometimes have a weird texture.
Try desperately not to overbeat.

Spoon mixture into prepared tins.
Discover large pocket of unmixed flour hidden in the middle of the bowl.
Add a splash of milk to help get rid of the flour and mix while trying not to mix IYSWIM.

Bake for 25 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.
Remember that my original intention was to make the cous cous cakes.

Turn onto a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, before serving with warm butter.
These better be good…

(Just finished typing up this post – the boy wouldn’t wait earlier – so thought I’d add: They are.)



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