Noah,

 

You are three.  THREE.  How is this even possible?  Everyone says that 0-1 is jammed full of changes and that it goes by so quickly, but they don’t tell you that 1-2 is just as full and well 2-3 is bursting at the seams.

This past year, all traces of my oversized newborn with the huge dark eyes have all but disappeared.   Sure, you still like a cuddle from your momma (or MOMee these days), but you are definitely a big boy now.

Noah 005e

Aside from the whole diaper thing.  That’s right, Internet, my son is three and isn’t potty trained.  Guess what, we don’t care.  He’s not interested and it’s not a race.  So thank you for any words of wisdom you were about to bless us with, but we’re all full up.

Anyway, where were we.  Oh yeah, the change from 2-3.   A lot of kids start talking in the 1-2 year.  Not you so much.  And when I say so much I really mean not really much at all .. like nearly none.  In fact, you held tightly to your chest the 4 or 5 words you needed to say and used signs and other methods of getting your point across to communicate the rest.   Holy frustrating, Batman.  There were tears .. lots of tears.  From you, from me, from the neighbours who had to listen to you and me.  But on the 31st of August, right after you turned 2.5, you said ‘dane’.  Yeah, I know, not a word.  But it was what you were calling a plane.  You pointed at the sky and showed me a dane.  And then another one and another one.

Although you were already quite the toddler, it was at that moment that you started shaking the remaining baby away.  The little 1-2 year old that had hung around since your sister came along was finally ready to leave.

1st March 2009

As excited as I was, it was a bit sad to lose the last of my baby boy.  You’d always been a pretty independent child .. aside from bedtime where you want one of us to Criss Cross Apple Sauce you or count to 100.. or foot rub.. back rub… etc.  But with words, came less dependence on me.  It was both liberating and sad.  Luckily, your little sister is made of Velcro and I couldn’t mourn the loss too long.

To think of it, before the words came, you started to assert your independence.  Like when we flew to Jamaica and you thought you were plenty old enough to go to the bar yourself  .. and not even 2.5.  Or help yourself to the ice cream that called your name all hours of the day.

This year you did a lot of traveling.  It kills me that you will not remember these trips when you get older, because each one had a huge impact on how you developed from 2 to 3.  Jamaica saw you lose some of your fear of letting me out of your sight.  It took a while, but when you warmed up to Zed and Kadie you acted like you didn’t need us.  It was great!!

noah is 2

 

When we got back, your relationship with Nanny went from strength to strength.  You started to abandon your ‘warm up’ period and in fact would barrel through the door and head straight for the toys in the living room.  It doesn’t hurt that she is willing to play whatever game you want .. even if that game is jumping up and down … and up and down… and up and down….

After a few months at home, we went to Canada where you got to see all of your cousins again and Christian for the first time.  We’d thought that you and Calleigh wouldn’t take any interest in each other, but you actually played together.  That trip marked the first time since you were 4 months old that Daddy and I went out to dinner without you.  We were terrified, but you were a star; a sad star, but a star anyway.  You started to talk a little more as you seem to do whenever Kadie and Zed are around and you became addicted to Dora.

2 to 3 seems to be the period where you started allowing girly things into your life.  Dora and Peppa are you favourite drawn women ever.  I am sure over the next year or so you’ll start distancing yourself from them saying that it’s for girls, but for now you love them.  And it’s cute.  Annoying when you demand to watch them when they aren’t on, but cute.

Once again you returned with more words and better communication.  Your friendship with Nanny got even closer and you started to ask to go to her house.  Though your best friend remained ‘Adie’.  You hated her touching your things, and pretty much still do, but you loved that she shared her things with you, laughed with you and also thinks your parents are a few clowns short of a circus.   It’s cool, we know we are.

At the end of the year came the trip that completed the transformation.  We packed up and went on the longest plane ride we’d ever gone on and land in ‘Yeagas’.   People say that Las Vegas is not a town for children.  That it is an adult’s playground with nothing for midgets to do.  Oh how we showed them wrong.  You LOVED it.  From the moment you landed, you knew this was a place built just for you: fountains that sprayed up into the sky, roller coasters on the side of the street, people dressed up like Woody and Hello Kitty, volcanoes, pirate ships, a monorail, buses and police cars.  You ITCHED to play a slot machine but gave in to just watching the lights and hearing the sounds.

And best of all, you got to share it with Adie and Zed and Kadie.  It was the first time since you were born that there was NO warm up period.  You saw them come into the hotel and ran straight for them.  And once again, your speech started to come on leaps and bounds.   With so many things to see, so much to eat and so many modes of transportation, you just HAD to speak.  There was just too much to say.

I think of all the trips you’ve been on, this is the one I wish you could remember the most.  And not just the ladies in sequined bikinis dancing on parade floats in the sky throwing beads for you and your sister.  I wish you could remember the awe, the excitement, the pure happiness that you felt when you were there.  Though if you could remember, I’d hope you would forget the few naughty times when you ate way past your feeding time and sometimes way past your bedtime.

Noah's Party 116

After Las Vegas you came home and started pre-school. Oh it was ugly. Tears. Begging. Pleading. Falling asleep to avoid being there. We thought we’d broken the happy little dude we’d brought home from Yeagas. But over Christmas and through the next two months, you started to warm up a bit. The tears decreased and although you still hated the idea of going, you allowed yourself to have fun. And all the while the speech kept coming. So much so that I’ve finally had to start watching what I say, because you proved everyone right when one of your first words was one that shouldn’t be in a nearly 3 year old’s lexicon. But you were right, he WAS a dickweed!

And so here we are.. three years later and you have continually grown and changed and made us laugh, cry and swell with pride. You have a smile that could defrost the coldest womb and eyes that can get anything they desire. You are smart, clever, funny, rude, naughty, happy, grumpy, loving and silly. You are everything a Mommy and Daddy could hope for in a little boy. I can’t ask any more of you, other than perhaps to sleep in a little later and go to sleep a little earlier. Oh, and squeezing my thigh fat .. not so cute. There is a big difference between baby thighs and mommy thighs.

Aside from that… you’re perfection in a mischievous but totally beautiful bundle of little boy. Thank you for making all of our lives a little brighter, a bit more exciting and a lot more crazy.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Baby Boy.

Noah's Birthday 127e

Noah's Birthday 128

Momma loves you.
xx

Take two toddlers, add two parents, plus one promise of seeing cows on a drive and after nearly 3 hours of aimless, cowless driving the result is – CHICKENS!

With Noah’s 3rd birthday fast approaching we needed to get some supplies for my attempt at a cake too ridiculously ornate for a 3 year old to actually appreciate, but just right for a mother who likes to escape reality every now and always.  Because the store was about 45 minutes away and the prospect of bakeware shopping is not all that exciting to toddlers, we promised that we’d see cows and horses and sheep on the drive.

Only apparently all of the cows in the world went into hiding yesterday.  We saw sheep.  And more sheep.  We saw white sheep, black sheep, sitting sheep and standing sheep.  We saw a couple of horses through thick brush, but other than that we just saw fields.  Lots of rolling cowless green.

Ames was cool with this.  She was enjoying the ride and having a nap here and there.  Noah on the other hand .. not so much.  He was promised cows and he wanted those cows, dammit!   We tried and tried and tried and tried and used up half a tank of gas trying.  By this point it was almost getting heartbreaking, though more on the side of annoying, to hear the calls for “cows! cows! where did cows go?”.    We were lost.  Not that we didn’t know where we were, we just didn’t know where to find real* cows.

The last hope was a farm shop we’d been to years earlier where we discovered pickled onion cheese.  Now that is some serious tongue tingling, saliva producing, oh so moreish cheese!  But anyway, we decided it was that or suck it up and spend the rest of the afternoon listening to a very upset nearly 3 year old go on forever about how he’s so young and we’ve already failed him as parents.

Away we drove, pointing out all of the not cow things along the way and showing him all of the sheep as we turned the corner on to the road leading up to the farm shop.  The total disinterest in said sheep was not promising.  We pointed out the chickens running around and once again, Noah could have cared less.  In fact, all of his attention was focused on making sure that his helium balloon did anything but float.

Amy on the other hand was excited.  I am talking levels of excitement that just shouldn’t exist when you see a filthy beast of a chicken.  I hate birds.  Seriously hate birds.  Flamingos are pretty to look at, but I pretend they are not birds.  And don’t even come near me with a feather.  Dead birds are worse than live birds.  Except when they are chicken wings.  But this girl.  This girl who was born of me was running after chickens with abandon.  Balloon bopping about in the air as she took off in Crocs and no socks through mud and chicken shit to try and capture these vile creatures.  She even tried to enter their coop or “ca cas’ ‘ouse” as she called it.  And when we said no way to that idea, she waited outside somewhat patiently.

Come Out And Play With Me

Noah, upon seeing this, got full of macho and was determined not to have his 20 month old sister have all the fun.  Even if these big ass birds were kind of scary.  Plus, like in Patrick Swayze’s world where Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner, no one in Noah’s world denies his Adi what she wants!  Unless of course it is him.  So he joined her at the coop to tell those chickens to come out.

My Sister Wants To Play

Cows? What cows?  Noah started following Amy on her quest to become the world’s first under 3 ft tall Chicken Herder.  He laughed when they would run from her and would cock-a-doodle-do at them to let them know he could speak their language.  It was the smartest decision we had made that day.  Even better than the decision to drive to the shop to get the bakeware and discovering a new Soft Play area we can take the midgets (and it would have been THE smartest idea had we put socks on our children) .   And even though we left the house at 20 past 11am and didn’t wind up playing with chickens until nearly 4pm,  and I felt almost as carsick as that time I threw up Mr. Sub in the flowerbed outside of a Holiday Inn in Peterborough on an Easter weekend away with my parents when I was about 9, one look at my Mini Mr. Anxiety standing in the field with chickens running near him and it made it worth it.

TGI...Chickens

As for what happened to Amy when we were consumed with happiness for Noah letting go of one fear (momentarily .. whilst clutching tightly to another) .. she decided to challenge some chickens to a duel.

Midget v Chicken

Seriously. This girl was calling out a chicken that was off camera and this malformed, mutant chicken tried to step in. She didn’t bat an eyelid, and when the object of her taunts decided to take a quiet walk in the parking lot, she took off after him laughing like a total maniac.

I guess she really is mine.

When you have a child and all of their peers start to speak and yours doesn’t, you brush it off at first.  You tell yourself that they all progress at different rates and maybe next month they’ll just turn to you and words will come out like a faucet being turned on.  Only next month turns into the month after that and then maybe two after that, and then okay maybe another 2 or 3.

On the inside you are panicking because “why isn’t my child speaking?” and “oh crap, did we miss something somewhere that was telling us there is something wrong?”.  Then you start hitting Google and you hit the “oh shit!  I think he has ADD or ADHD or definitely on the Autistic Spectrum.  Actually, it’s totally dyspraxia.  Or worse… “.

And it is hard because even if it is the one area where they are behind, it is an obvious one.  You can’t really hide that your child isn’t speaking.  Especially when they start getting frustrated and you start getting frustrated and you start losing the ability to communicate in the way you’ve developed together because you’re just too damn frustrated with the other to bother.

As hard as it is on us as parents, we can only imagine it is 100x times harder on our child because they can’t fully get across their needs, their wants or what hurts.

We have lived through this with Noah and the road has been very bumpy and at times it felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel.   On the 31st of August last year, he pointed out a plane to me.  He did it by saying “dane!”.  No grunt, no point and wait for you to notice, no pulling my hand and making me point at what he wanted.  He opened his mouth and said it.  It was an amazing moment and I couldn’t hid my happiness.  At 2.5 years, he finally decided he was ready to try this talking lark.

So we prepared ourselves for the flood gates to open, and then fell asleep not long after realising that he was totally following the Slow and Steady plan he’d been on all along.  But it was alright, because we were happy to take progress no matter how little.

Over the past couple of weeks his speech has started to really take off.  He WANTS to tell us everything.  He TRIES to tell us everything.  Because so much of my family, or all even,  is not here to witness this amazing change in person, I thought I’d get a little video of him saying things.

It was in this video that we discovered that there actually had been a reason he didn’t want to speak before.  There was a secret he was harboring.

He is … Damien.

12.2.11: Speak of the Devil from Kirsty B on Vimeo.

…tastes like.. HEAVEN!

Seriously.  In the word’s of Lee’s nan: “That was heavenly!”

So I’ve been here (in England, not in this actual chair) for over 6 years now and since before I even arrived to live, I had been on the search for the perfect fish and chips.   Batter not too doughy, chips not soggy and definitely neither to taste like 3 week old oil.  Or in the case of the closest chippy to us, fries not to taste like spring rolls and fish not to taste like death.

When we were in Uxbridge, there was a place that was oh so close.  Maybe 1 in 10 times it didn’t work out right.  And I can’t even remember what was wrong, so it had to be minor.  But here in the booming metropolis of Milton Keynes, we’ve tried at least 6 places and we settled on one that we liked the most.  Didn’t always love, and in fact sometimes downright didn’t like, but for the most part they did what they said on the door.

Then on the weekend we were going to Stratford for a birthday party and we also had a house viewing so had to leave way before we needed to and due to Noah’s Party Anxiety, we couldn’t go to Lee’s mum’s pre-party for fear of Noah going into EXTREME MELTDOWN mode.  So we thought we’d go to Marks & Sparks and get a few finger foods that the kids could eat in the car.  Only we arrived earlier than we thought, scored a Parent and Child parking spot and thought we’d treat the children to a gourmet dining experience at … Subway.

On the way to Subway though, we spotted THE big FISH.  Lee’s mum had told us on our last visit that a chippy had opened up at this block store/strip mall place and we were all “Really? Fish and chips there? How odd.”  So of course when we were standing outside the door and saw that it could be just as cheap to eat there as Subway, we felt we had no choice but to try it.

Right away I was loving it .. and so were the midgets (at least they liked the aquarium on the wall and Noah loved looking at the traffic out of the window). It is British themed, with the seats being red, blue and white and some even has union jacks on them. 

Even the salt and vinegar made us audibly ‘Awww’ when we saw there were on the table in the cutest little fryer baskets.

THE big FISH

It was right after this point that I started to get a bit nervous.  Was this place too gimicky?  Could something this cute produce a quality fish supper?!  Had I torn away the Midgets’ dreams of ham and turkey subs in exchange for something that might just be … gross?!  I looked around and everyone seemed to be enjoying their food.  And with the majority of clientele being under 10 and not complaining I thought it might be safe to relax a little.  And then the food arrived.

Oh the food.  It was so pretty.  (Totally on a tangent here, but when I look at the word ‘pretty’ it doesn’t look like it should sound.  Why isn’t there an ‘i’ in Prit – ee?  Or Pri – tee?)  We had gone with the Big Fish Combo –  A platter of Haddock Goujons,  Scampi,  Kalamari,Whitebait,  Mini Cod & Chips with Coleslaw and Tartare sauce.  We figured we could share it and sample a variety of their offerings in one go.   Sometimes, we are so smart.

The Big Fish Combo

This was definitely one of those times.  Everything was made to order.  Piping hot .. the way Lee likes it.  I had to wait a bit.  After sampling everything, we couldn’t fault it.  Can too hot seriously be a complaint?  I’m thinking, ‘Excuse me, but this food you’ve served me is far too fresh.  Please give me something you’ve got laying around”, really isn’t a valid complaint.  Everything was tasty.  The chips.. exactly how I like them too be.  Not crispy, not soft, not greasy.. just right.  And the Haddock Goujons (bits of Haddock in lemon pepper coating/batter) … I could probably describe it better if the thought alone didn’t elicit  a Pavlov’s dog reaction in me and I wasn’t busy trying to clear my mouth of saliva before I turn into a drooling idiot.   Or more of a drooling idiot.   

Oh wait, it’s coming to me… tastiest morsels of fried fishy deliciousness to grace my tastebuds with their presence in almost forever.  In fact, they were so awesomely awesome, that I had them for dinner!! That’s right.  We had to share this discovery with Lee’s mum and nan and we all had it for dinner.  Not the haddock, just the food in general.  Oh and we discovered on the second experience that all the fish is skinless! HOORAY!

We also ordered a Kid’s Meal of sausage and chips and for the price expected something rather small.  Especially as it came with a drink and a gift.  Okay.. the gift… pretty shit really.  Some Despicable Me activity pack.  Requiring just a bit more skill than a 20 and 35.5 month have.  When it came, we looked at each other in shock:

Kids' Meal

That sausage was 2x the size of the one we get at our chippy and with 2x the amount of chips, for maybe £0.20 more.

Unfortunately, neither midget was interested in eating the food, so we can only assume that it was tasty.

They did however enjoy their orange squashes.

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this place.  Love love loved it.  It is at it said on the wall:

Best of British
Best of British

There is only one negative that I can think of.  We didn’t discover this place earlier our quest to find fish and chip utopia.


Nappy Head Nappy Feet

There's a method to the madness

So we all went to get some fish and chips for dinner tonight and I thought we were having a nice family outing.  That is, until Mah Daddeh starts trying to wrestle my Dora shoe right off of my foot.  And I’m like “Seriously?! A grown man is trying to steal my shoes .. whilst I’m looking?!”

But get this!! He follows up with “I think she stepped in poo!”.

WHAT!?   Now I know I’m the youngest in the house, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got it by now that when I poo it goes into my diaper until I tell one of my parents “Bum!” or they chase me down and tell ME “Bum!”.  Okay, they don’t say bum.. but whatever.  And then I hear … it is dog poo.   HELLO?!  Why do they think that I’d be stepping in dog poo?  Where did I even get a dog?!

It appears that they were right though.  I had it on my shoe, on the car seat, on my pants and on Daddy’s leather jacket.  Oops.  Let’s be fair though.  I really did not know.   But what I do know, is that whatever dog did that to me… You are totally top of my Rudey List!!!   How am I supposed to see a pile of poo on MY lawn in the dark?!  A girl just wants to get to the car without eating concrete and you go and trip me up with that!?  Where the blankety blank was your diaper anyway!?

As we ate dinner, I thought about this some more.  How do I avoid these traps in the future?!  How can I protect Dora from going through another cycle in the washing machine?!   How can I keep my Crocs from being so wet that I won’t be able to wear them the next day?!?!?!

And it came to me.   Just like *that*.  If the dogs won’t wear diapers on their bums to catch their poo, I will wear them on my feet.

Poo Shoes

Watch Out Louboutin!!

They may look weird now, but when they catch on you’ll all think back and be like “That Ames was STYLIN’!”.

Just give it some time.