Tag Archives: Toddler times

Merry go round moments – week 9.

Family fun: top shot.


These two…so much sibling love. I try to get at least one photo of the little man on this mat every month so we can make a little keepsake. It’s hard to get a photo on his own though, because his big sister always wants to be with him, kissing and cuddling him, and he is always looking for her!


Pause for thought.

A good friend has had a very sudden, very worrying health scare this week.  She’s urgently had to go back to England for further tests, but the health professionals here are very concerned.  It has been a huge shock to her, and to all of us who care for her.  She’s young, she’s fit, she’s vibrant, and the most wonderful friend, mother and wife.  We’re all desperately hoping for some good news, whilst preparing ourselves for the bad news. I cannot even imagine how sickeningly terrifying it must feel in her shoes right now.  I’m thinking about her much of the time at the moment.  And when I’m not, I’m often (naturally, I guess) left thinking about how lucky I am and how important it is to seize every second, make the most of everything and everyone I’ve got.


Memories are made of this.

Little man, trying so unbelievably hard to roll over.  He’s desperate to do it and is getting so frustrated that he can’t yet.  He’s such a happy little chappy and is quickly all smiles again, once you  pick him up and pacify him.  But I’m sure he’ll be rolling very soon, as he is seriously committed to practising!


Laugh out loud.

We’ve taken all the suitcases down from storage this weekend, ready to start gradually getting things together and packing.  Only two weeks now until our big trip to England, and I am super excited.  Our girly seems pretty excited as well, especially if you count the fact that she had to comfort test each and every case.  Yes, that means unzipping them, flipping the lids open, settling inside, and doing up the buckles over her lap.  Crazy kid!  It did make me laugh, seeing her and ‘baby’ curled up and ‘sleeping’ in every suitcase.


Quick quote.

This seems like a very unlikely thing for a Pope to say, but as Popes go, he seems to have been a colourful and controversial man at times.  And I totally agree with the sentiment:

Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.

Pope Paul VI


Music makes me happy.

The Hues Corporation – Rock the Boat.

This week I was listening to the podcast about Jo Malone’s choices on the BBC Radio 4 show, Desert Island Discs.  A fascinating listen, especially for someone who is a). very much into perfume and aromatherapy and b). a big fan of Jo Malone products.

This was one of her picks.  I just love this track.  Podcasts have to play shortened versions for rights reasons, so of course I had to go and hunt out the full version.  Brilliant, feel-good stuff.  Just what I needed.


Good times.

We’ve had a bunch of playdates for our girly and her friends recently.  It has been lovely.  It feels like life is getting back to normal again, after the slowed-down exhaustion of late pregnancy and the early weeks with a newborn.

Something both wonderful and slightly scary about playdates these days is that the children now seem to be happy to go off and play independently in the bedroom, instead of in the playroom with us adults around.  It takes everything in me to leave them to it, and only check on them every ten minutes or so, instead of having them under constant supervision, like ‘the old days’ of just a few months ago! Where has my little baby girl gone?!  At this rate, before I know it she’ll be slamming the door and telling me to knock before I can go in!

Merry go round moments – week 7.

Family fun: top shot.

DSC_0030 (1)

Our first attempt to get the little man to take a bottle of expressed milk.  It was not a resounding success, but it wasn’t an all-out failure either.  I am totally happy breast-feeding him and have no intentions of stopping any time soon.  However, it would also be good to have the flexibility afforded by his ability to take a bottle when needed. To be able to leave the children with their dad for a couple of hours at the weekend while I go and get a facial, or go for a swim, or have lunch with a friend would be heavenly.


Pause for thought.

This week was baby immunisations week.  Again.  And there was a new addition to the menu; the Meningitis B vaccination.  England is the first country in the world to offer a national, routine and publicly funded Meningitis B vaccination programme.  Although we live in South East Asia, we are blessed to be working and living under a contract which provides us with access to English National Health Service quality provision, via an outpost medical service.

Reading the guidance on the NHS website, the risks of not taking the vaccine are very clear:

‘Meningococcal group B bacteria is a serious cause of life-threatening infections, including meningitis and blood poisoning, worldwide and the leading infectious killer of babies and young children in the UK.

There are 12 known groups of meningococcal bacteria, and group B (Men B) is responsible for about 90% of meningococcal infections in the UK.

Meningococcal infections tend to come in bursts. In the past 20 years, between 500 and 1,700 people every year, mainly babies and young children, have suffered from Men B disease, with around 1 in 10 dying from the infection. Many of those who survive suffer terrible permanent disability, such as amputation, brain damage and epilepsy.’

It is always awful watching your child or baby experience shock or pain, especially when it comes as a nasty surprise to them, while they thought they were just getting a cuddle on your lap.  I hate it.

As forewarned by the medical centre, the couple of days after the Men B jab were particularly bumpy for our little man, with lots of baby tears, fever and disturbed sleep.  Despite all of that, I would never decline a routine vaccine for my child.  ‘Herd immunity’ is essential, and I absolutely feel that the short-term pain and discomfort – upsetting as it is to watch as a mother – is worth it for the long-term immunity benefits my child gets.

Vaccines provided routinely to children and babies are not offered flippantly.  They are offered because the diseases they prevent are ghastly or life-threatening.  Or both.  For me, it was never a choice to decline the immunisation clinic appointment.  But I’m glad it’s over and done with…well, until the next lot in a month’s time…


Memories are made of this.

This week ‘I love you’ has come in full force to our household.  We’ve been saying it since the day she was born of course, but our girly has just gotten round to saying it back.  That first time – wow! It just made my heart burst with love when she suddenly leaned in for a cuddle, squeezed me tight and said ‘I love you‘.  And now it’s like she’s been saving them up and they’re all coming out at once.  It’s so special hearing her say those three little words.


Laugh out loud.

‘It was an accident’.  The new go-to line to get you out of trouble, it seems!  Of course normally it’s us saying ‘don’t worry you spilled your juice, it was an accident’, or something similar.  But adopted by our girly, we are now hearing it two or three times a night, when we have to go back into her bedroom after she’s already been put to bed.  ‘Young lady, get back in bed!  It is time to sleep. Do not get out of bed and open these curtains again’ from us, met with ‘sorry mummy.  Don’t worry, it was an accident’.  Hmmmm, good try little miss!


Quick quote.

‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’

Martin Luther King Jnr

Music makes me happy.

When Santa got stuck up the chimney – Christmas song.

Grandma sang this to our girly during a FaceTime call last weekend and she loved it.  I think she said ‘again!’ about five times in a row!  We do lots of singing with our girly and this has been at the top of the favourites chart every day this week.  So much so, that she now knows most of the words, and if you sing slowly enough she will join in all the way through.  So sweet.

Early November is far too early to start really cranking up the Christmas excitement, but it is lovely seeing the build up beginning to gradually grow.


Good times.

Our girly, getting the chance to stroke a cat.  For a child with no pets, and no animals that she can routinely interact with, as none of our friends have pets, it is amazing to see what an animal lover she is becoming.

Cats are the absolute favourite (closely followed by – somewhat bizarrely – chickens!).  There is a house on our road that is definitely in the ‘crazy cat people’ bracket.  When we go on our little strolls past it, there are usually at least six or seven cats lolling about, with never less than one litter of kittens somewhere about the place.  I’m pretty sure that most of them are strays, and the people there are just really kind-hearted people.  Unfortunately, we’ve always had to take the ‘don’t touch the cats’ angle with our girly, as the stray cats round here are really seriously not animals you want you child touching!

The other day we were standing by the gate, talking about the cats we could see, when the man who lives at the house came out to chat.  He invited us in to see his pedigree cats.  Eight beautiful fluffy cats, and all surprisingly friendly and undaunted by a little person in their midst.

I was so impressed with how well our girly handled it.  Toddlers normally shriek with excitement and run about with glee, which then scares the animals away, of course.  But I think the pure delight of being able to actually interact with and stroke a real cat just stunned her.  She was really still, really calm and softly spoken, and just beaming from ear to ear the whole time.  I thought she was going to die on the spot when the man gave her a handful of cat biscuits so that she could feed them.  She loved every second.


Merry go round moments – week 6.

Family fun: top shot.

Bathtime, in the tub with his big sister, who was more than happy to share her bubbles, and help wash him.  He is such a water baby and such a contented little chappy.  I just love his soulful expression here, looking adoringly at his daddy.



Pause for thought.

By my own design, this weekly series generally has a feel-good vibe, so this pause for thought jars with that.  But I’d be lying if I tried to hide how emotional I’ve found this week at times.

Life in my own small bubble is fantastic and beautiful; I am immensely lucky and immensely grateful. But living on the island of Borneo, I’ve spent a lot of time this week feeling pretty sad and pretty helpless about the awfulness of fires ravaging Indonesian primary rainforest.

The environmental devastation being caused is just monumental – this article in The Guardian, by George Monbiot, gives a useful sense of the scale of the horror unfolding.  Untold numbers of animal and bird species are being burnt out of their homes, many of them not escaping the fires alive. It is an ecological tragedy of catastrophic proportions.

And yet it seems to be barely registering on the global consciousness.  It is not sensational enough? Not sexy enough? Is it because it is not obvious enough how this may or may not affect our own personal lives, health and wealth? What has our society and our global media become, that we can so selectively screen our world view?  It makes me feel deeply weary, and achingly sad for the world my children are inheriting.

I’ll try to get back to upbeat for next week’s pause for thought, I promise!


Memories are made of this.

Our little man gave us the pleasure of his first proper little chuckle this week.  He looked almost as surprised as I was when it happened, and so pleased with himself.  His personality just shines out now; it’s wonderful.


Laugh out loud.

Saturday was play-date day round at our house.  Our girly and her bestie are like two little peas in a pod, and they were racing around on their toddle bikes, playing with their dollies together and doing lots of hide and seek.  Cuteness overload came with the pair of them hiding behind the curtains, toe-to-toe, cuddling and giggling.  After a few minutes of not being found by us mums, they came out from behind the curtains, arms linked aloft in victory, saying ‘we did it!!’ and rounding their success off with a little celebratory hug.


Quick quote.

‘Forests … are in fact the world’s air-conditioning system—the very lungs of the planet—and help to store the largest body of freshwater on the planet … essential to produce food for our planet’s growing population. The rainforests of the world also provide the livelihoods of more than a billion of the poorest people on this Earth… In simple terms, the rainforests, which encircle the world, are our very life-support system—and we are on the verge of switching it off.’

Prince Charles


‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children’.

Native American saying


Music makes me happy.

Jamie Lawson – Wasn’t Expecting That.

This song – which I’d not heard before – came on the radio this week whilst I was on my way back from the gym.  Good job it was on the way home, and in the dark, because it had me smiling at the start and just in floods of tears at the end.  I really wasn’t expecting that! Well, I did say I’d had a bit of an emotional week didn’t I?!


Good times.

A family swim on Friday afternoon.  A wonderful way to start the weekend, and the first time our little man went in the pool.  Twelve weeks old and he absolutely loved it!!

And even better, he has now blessed us with two almost unbroken nights of sleep in a row.  Last night he slept from 7pm until 5am – heaven!  They do say that 12 weeks is a turning point for many babies, so here’s hoping that it’s true.