I discovered I wasn’t the only one to stock up on comfort food yesterday.  On my back home from the chiropractor, I bought a chocolate cake, HD cookies and cream and a packet of pretzels.  A friend texted me to say she had bought something chocolatey for herself and a colleague mentioned carrot cake to me this morning.  Winter blues, folks.

Anyway, I digress.

Once we got home from school today, I cut the Bear a slice of chocolate cake and left her to tuck in whilst I went back into the kitchen to get myself a slice.  I joined the Bear a few minutes later and she handed me her plate which – the cake was half eaten.  Thinking she was full, I took the plate off her as she said, ‘you have it, Mama’.  Aww, how sweet, I thought.  Until I saw her make a beeline for my plate. … !



Lellow Sumbarine

The Bear is growing up way too quickly.  The baby-ness is fast disappearing.  We don’t spend enough time during the day to notice the gradual shifts in her behaviour and vocabulary.  Instead it is all a bit binary.

The Bear’s grasps of words is endearing.  Blanklet instead of blanket, cubumber instead of cucumber and our favourite, lellow instead of yellow.

The Hubby played Yellow Submarine on the iPod yesterday which prompted a spontaneous sing-a-long by all.

We all live in a Lellow Sumbarine, Lellow Sumbarine, Lellow Sumbarine….

Please Bear, I know you’re keen to grow up but can we just hold on to Lellow for just a bit longer?

 Taking the biscuit…

We received an email from the Bear’s nursery last week reminding us to provide them with patch tested, well labelled sun creams ahead of imminent warm weather.

I obliged and the Bear didn’t have any bad reactions to the new cream (a factor 50 from Boots).  Hubby delivered said cream during the nursery run yesterday morning.

I was in a training course at work this week where coffee breaks meant tucking into lovely biscuits. I didn’t get to finish them and tucked the pack away in my bag.

Hubby SOS’ed me whilst I was on the train home yesterday evening to ask if I could collect the Bear from nursery as he was stuck in traffic. Luck was on our side as I just happened to be 15 minutes away.

I was delighted to see the Bear.  After a lovely cuddle, we set off hand in hand. As we turned the corner, she started crying, insisting we turn back for her new sun cream. There was no reasoning with the Bear. The new sun cream is for school, Mama will get you one for home. Noooooooo, waaaaahhh. She was inconsolable. So we turned around, me knowing full well that school was closed as I saw someone lock the door and drive away.  We ended up sitting on the nursery steps for 5 minutes whilst the Bear had a full blown tantrum.  I couldn’t connect to Uber either. With no other choice, I stood up and told her firmly that I was going home and started walking. Cue screams. 

Then I remembered the leftover biscuit in my bag… 

It worked a treat. Sun cream forgotten. Tears stopped. All was well again. 

The next time you politely decline the offer of that extra biscuit, think again.  Don’t underestimate the healing powers of a lemon puff! 

Toddler update – Happy 2.5 years old

Dear little bear

They say the days are long, but the years are short and this certainly resonates with us where you’re concerned.  Happy 2.5 years, baby girl.

Here you are at 1.5 years old – a photo taken in May last year.


A few months ago, you referred to yourself as Ibobol.  We remind you about it from time to time.  One recent afternoon, I said ‘Ibobol, come here please’, and you were quick to correct me ‘Mama, not Ibobol, it’s Isbel (your current pronunciation of your name)! Yesterday when I was undressing you, I said ‘take off your shoes please’ and again I was corrected ‘It’s slippers Mama, not shoes’. Well, excuse me bossy boots 🙂


Little bear, you are as sensitive as ever. Even the slightest telling off sends you into floods of tears.  You are ever so contrary – headstrong one minute, loving the next, assertive of your independence and yet seek and cling to us if we are out of your sight for too long.

You do say the funniest things … we were in the garden a few weekends ago and you came running to us shouting ‘Mama, Papa, what are you doing, come inside!’ You are constantly telling us you like ‘dogs, rabbits, camping, cheese, strawberries…’ One evening, Papa picked you up from nursery. Once you arrived home, Papa did something which didn’t meet your approval and you apparently said ‘I will tell Mama’. Haha, atta girl!


You still have a good appetite and are happy to eat what we eat.  I credit baby-led-weaning for your adventurous palette, though you still prefer a vegetarian meal over meat.  However, despite Mama waxing lyrical here, if asked about your favourite food? Your response never fails to be ‘Cake, chips, beans, pizza and ketchup!’ *face palm*


You are a very active child.  Meals out are kept short as once you are done with your food, you’d rather run around and explore.  We’ve had two mini breaks this year and both times we opted to drive.  I’m not sure we’ll fly anywhere this year. Well, until you lose the ants in your pants at least…

Your favourite tv shows are Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly, Thomas the Tank Engine and In the Night Garden.  I’m pleased to say that you still love books, enjoy reading and being read to.

You are afraid of loud noises – cue tears when the hoover/hairdryer/floor steamer/blender/mixer is turned on.  We have let your hair go uncut as I’m not sure how you’d react to a visit to the hairdresser! We’ll make a Rapunzel out of you, sans the solitary confinement in a castle (though Papa might change his mind in your teens).


We love you very much and you’ll always be our little bear.

Toddler update – 2 years and 2 months

When I tell people how old the Bear is, they shake their heads in sympathy, squeeze my hand and say, ‘terrible twos, it’ll pass’.   That is before they proceed to tell me about the ‘threenagers’.

I’m doing the Bear a disservice.  She has grown up to be an absolute joy (not that she wasn’t before).  They’ve taught her well in nursery.  There is a fixed routine and she thrives in it, five days a week, 8am to 5pm.  The Bear moved into the next class up just before Christmas and has started wearing a school uniform.  It was all we could do to stop her from putting it on during the Christmas holidays.  She loves wearing her beloved uniform and she runs into school everyday looking forward to fun, music, games and independent play.

I often joke that her dad is a rockstar, and it is apparent that the Bear has inherited his musical talents.  She plays the xylophone whilst singing Twinkle, twinkle, little star.  Other favourite songs are still Wind the Bobbin up, Jingle Bells (accompanied by handbells) and One, Two, Three, Four, Five….Once I caught a fish alive.

Her favourite word at the moment is, wait for it (drumroll please)… ‘No’. Do you love Mama? No. Do you want milk? No. Do you want to eat? No. Do you want to say yes? No.


If you ask her to do something which doesn’t suit her (e.g. put on your cardigan/shoes/or let’s walk), she throws herself onto the floor in protest.  Honestly, child.

The Bear adores Peppa Pig.  Every evening when we come home from nursery, she asks for Peppa Pig on telly.  I deliberated in my head whether we ought to be spending our time playing games (she plays all day in school), reading (she does that in school and before bed anyway), something more educational (I know lots of Tiger Mums but I’m not one of them), but we’re both shattered after a long day and what’s wrong with a bit of telly for a bit of a laugh (Daddy Pig is hilarious.  I don’t know how Mummy Pig puts up with him).   Thanks to Peppa, she can say ‘that’s disgusting’, dinosaur, jelly, ball, helicopter, chickens, rabbit, sheep…

Now don’t get me started on stickers.  The Bear is mad about them.  We have them stuck to the floor, our shoes, socks, hair… everywhere! Forget fancy presents.  A book of stickers is all she needs!

We have a bookworm in the house.  The Bear received lots of good books from friends over Christmas.  I try to limit bedtime stories to two books, but she somehow talks me into reading double that.  Her favourite book at the moment is Superworm.

The Bear now has an awareness of the important people who grace her life.  Grandad, Breda, Rose, Vee, Grandpa, Ibu, Maima (her friend Jemima), her nursery teachers and friends, and recently, Meg our cleaner (or miracle worker, as I call her).  She still breaks my heart when she says she doesn’t love me, but is quick to pacify me with a cuddle.

Thankfully, the Bear is still keen on food and is happy to eat what we eat.  However her table manners leave a lot to be desired.  She refuses the highchair and stands on her seat to eat her meals (but not in nursery obviously).  Earlier, she screamed out loud and bashed her cutlery on the table whilst out for breakfast.  One man shot us a menacing look and left the cafe.  Oh dear.   But her’s a photo of her sat at her table, with her bib on and looking ever so well-behaved…



We love you darling Bear, strops, snots, sweet smiles and all.   We are blessed to have you in our lives and hope you’ll always be happy and healthy.

Love you to the moon and back xxx



Toddler update – 23 months old

Dear baby girl

Mama has been really slow in posting your toddler updates here.   You are days away from turning 2!

The last month has seen incredible growth spurts.  Didn’t Mama just do a big shop for your clothes recently? I think we’re going to have to wear them quick as I suspect they won’t fit you for too long.


You are at your chattiest in months.  We hear new words every day.  I don’t know how you know Peppa Pig and Iggle Piggle as we hardly have the telly on at home.  Just this afternoon when you woke up from your nap, you pointed at Mickey Mouse and said MamaMouse.  I’ve never heard you say that!!

You still love nursery.  You have lovely carers and friends.  Recently we were advised that your table manners were slipping.  Apparently you were refusing your food, removing your bib and rocking your chair during meal times.  🙂

We had granddad over for a visit a few weeks ago, and we paid him a visit in Ireland just last week.  You had a ball getting to know him.  You’re still not a great flyer, but then again the air pressure on the plane over and back even affected Papa, and you’re just a little bear.

You’re a very sensitive bear, and cry at a drop of a hat.  You don’t like to be told ‘no’.  Mama has started spelling words out when speaking to Papa, much to his amusement, so that you don’t pick up on words such as car, raisins, popcorn…

Little girl, we love you very much, and look forward to celebrating your birthday week with you. xxx



Toddler update – 22 months

Dear bear, happy 22 months.   Two months to the Big Two.

This month saw us go on our family holiday to Bordeaux.    You were really excited about the trip, so much so that you stayed up all night! Which made for a very tired bear on the plane.

2014-09-15 07.31.30


We spent as much time as possible down at the beach (which wasn’t too long as it fairly hot).    We did come across a lovely playground set on sand! near Lacanau lake.  I don’t know who had more fun – you, me or Papa!

2014-09-17 18.20.14

2014-09-17 18.19.55

You now know your mind more than ever.   You are an extremely independent little bear and wants to do things her way.


This month also saw you fall sick.  Mama and Papa took turns minding you at home whilst you recovered.  It was a stressful time for all, but we pulled through.   Your gums have been bothering you too, but there doesn’t seem to be sign of any new teeth.

Baby girl, you are now much happier in nursery since your recent move from the baby room to the toddler room.   You get on well with your carers and your little friends in nursery.

You are quite the singer.  Your favourite tunes are still Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row Row Row Your Boat, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Yankee Doodle Came to Town, and a song you learnt in nursery, called the Hello song.

You have a lot of new words but the one that still melts my heart is Mama, which you don’t say very often!  You say bed, milk, apple, book, the names of your nursery friends and carers, and today, I may have heard you say your name – it sounded like ‘Ibol’..


This time last year, our year together at home was coming to an end as we started settling you in at nursery.   You were so tiny!



Happy 22 months, little girl.  Mama and Papa love you very much.  xxx