Friday, 27 December 2013

It is worth dying your hair just for the commentary...

So I dyed my hair brown earlier this month. After being blonde for the past 12 years, it is fair to say that the reactions have been mixed.

Debut (to friends at a party) -

Boyfriend to girlfriend: "Please never dye your hair."

Debut (to a relative) -

Relative: "Look at these uneven bits you will have to grow out."

Me: "Yeah, those are their on purpose actually."

Relative: "Oh. You missed a spot here thought, it is just kicking out instead of lying flat."

Me: Yep, did that on purpose too."

Debut (to another relative) -

Relative: "Well I suppose brown is the thing right now...."

Me: "Mmmmmmm...."

Relative: "It is definitely too dark for your face, not natural looking in my opinion."

Me: "Yeah... this is my natural colour..."

Debut (to my fabulous Father-in-law) -

Father-in-law: I LOVE it Liv! It really changes your face! Wait... that came out wrong..."

Debut (to Rex) -

Me: Do you like Mummy's new hair?

Rex (pointing at my head): Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! No no no no no! (Hands me his bobble hat, still pointing at my head)

Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, 15 November 2013

He takes after Great Nana in stubbornness

I come from a long and prestigious line of stubbornness.

I have always refused to give in on 99% of things, my mother will swear black is white if she needs to, my Nana cut off her nose to spite her face on more than one occasion and my great nana? Stories about her were legendary.

It was thought that, with each generation the stubbornness got significantly lesser so I had hopes that my child would be comparatively normal.

Not so.

Rex absolutely distraught that I wouldn't let him eat all of the chocolate eclairs in Sainsburys. Life is hard for him.

This morning Rex presented me with one of his favourite books, it is basically an encyclopaedia of animals with lots of bright pictures.

He turned to the page of the jungle animals.

He pointed at one.

Rex: Dog

Me: No baby, it is a cheetah.

Rex: No, dog.

Me: No, cheetah.

Rex: No, dog.

Me: No, cheetah.

He started to get cross.

Rex: Nooooooooo! Dog!

Me: Rex, it is not a dog. It is a cheetah.

Rex: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Dooooooooog!

Me: Listen, right now, I know more than you and that is definitely a cheetah. Or possibly a leopard. Or a jaguar....

Rex shut the book, stood up and went to play with his xylophone.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

He is available for kids' parties

I am a sucker for adverts.

I laugh at them, I cry at them. I have been known to argue with them.

So, it was with eager anticipation that I awaited the Christmas John Lewis ad. What can I say? I am sad and I have a one year old. Advert porn and a growing wine consumption is all I have. Having seen it online, I was eager to show it to Steve. I don't know why, he hates that sort of thing and then berates me for loving it. Glutton for punishment.

Picture the scene; Steve and I are at the lower end of a bottle of wine, the baby had gone down to sleep remarkably easily which meant, of course, that he had woken up and, in our slightly tipsy wisdom, we had decided that, rather than try and settle him, we would bring him downstairs and let him sleep on the sofa/us. Of course. So, we are uncomfortable on the sofa and, in the middle of Most Shocking TV Talent Show Moments (Chico on X Factor... LOVE IT!), it came on!

Me: This is it!

Steve: Cartoon bear?

Me: Yes! Concentrate!

We watch in silence. The advert ends, I turn to Steve, hope written all over my face.

Steve: I was really expecting a hunter in there at some point.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Next week he is going to the optician

Last week I got a very panicked call from Steve.

He had gone to the supermarket and just parked the car,

Steve: Liv, Liv!

Me: Yep, what's up? Did you forget something?

Steve: (in a whisper) No, I am in the car. I have just parked up near the recycling bins. Now listen...

Me: Why are you whispering? Is everything ok?

Steve: (still in a whisper) Ssssshhh! I can see a body.

Me: What?!

Steve: It is just laying there by the bin.

Me: Are you sure? A body?

Steve: Yes. Just lying on the ground. And people are just ignoring it! I am going to get out the car and have a look. Stay on the phone.

Over the phone I hear the clumping sound of Steve getting out the car. The sound of his feet slowly walking. His paced slowed. I literally held my breath.

Steve: Wait, oh wait.

Me: (completely worked up now) What is it? Are you ok?

Steve: It is just some bags of clothes. Someone must have put them there in front of the textiles bin.

Me: It is clothes!!!!! You mistook clothes for a body? A human body?

Steve: Easy mistake. I am going to take a picture for you to see how body like it is.

Me: Sure.

Steve: It really does!

Me: Sure. Oh, um, Steve, even if it had been a body, why were you whispering?

Steve: In case the killer was still about. Of course.

Me: Ah. I see. At midday on a Saturday. In a busy Sainsburys car park. I get it.

OK... it is a tad body like

Sunday, 13 October 2013

He is here all week people!

Today we were in the car. We pulled into our driveway and, because the baby was asleep and it was pouring down, we waited a moment.

The top 40 was playing on the radio and I was googling curtains on the ipad. Obviously.

Steve turned to me and, with an earnest look in his eye (incidentally do you like the name Earnest? Too old man? Really?) and took my hand,

'Liv, when I die will you promise me one thing?'

'When you die? Why are we talking about this? Wait, why are you dying before me?'

'Don't be ridiculous Liv, I know you have thought about it, check out our respective family histories, you will be at least 90 and I will be lucky to make 65! Come on!'

I eye roll my eyes.


Steve continued,

'Anyway, promise me this one thing'

'Alright, come on, you are actually starting to worry me!'

He cleared his throat...

'Liv, promise me that, when I die, you will buy a dog, a tough, cool looking dog, and name him Steve and tell everyone that I am living in him.'

I stared at him,

'Seriously Steve? A dog? So you want me to be a crazy lady?'

'In a word, yes. I think that, if you asked them, it would be most men's fantasy.'

'No, most men's fantasies are their wives dressed as nurses or sexy secretaries or naked with a beer, not dying and having their wives name a dog after them and pretending that they are, in fact, that dog.'

Steve was adamant,

'You are wrong. Wrongy wrong wrong.'

I paused,

'Fine, I agree, I will do that, and you will be a poodle.'

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

I apologise unreservadly now

We were watching X Factor on Saturday night.

It was quiet, calm, the baby was in bed and actually sleeping which is remarkable in itself.

Steve and I were sharing a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate when suddenly:

Steve: Remember Misha B?

Me: From a few years ago? She could really sing.

Steve: She was a twatbox.

Monday, 7 October 2013

High ho

Rex has now started at the childminder - he is going all day on Wednesday and Thursday mornings in the hope that this time will give me the opportunity to get some writing done and therefore bring in some pennies!

I, of course, was overly angsty about it. I spent time explaining to Rex about how he would be able to play with other children and that I would get him at the end of the day and we would have a chat about his day and a biscuit. He nodded sagely and then threw a balloon at me which bounced off my head.

I felt he understood.

Each session he has happily waved me off while simultaneously trying to reach the wires behind her tv or kiss one of the girls there (who says boys can't multitask?!) and, from the little reports in his book, he has a fab time.

I come home. And feel quiet. It is weird how you miss a little whirlwind deconstructing the house daily, putting bread crusts in your glass of water, changing the tv channel (to the girlsxgirlsxgirls channel, every time. Seriously. Luckily we don't actually receive that channel so all he gets is a blue screen....) and emptying the cupboards.

I sometimes feel a bit emotional, my little baby is getting grown up and I miss him when he is off learning new things.

And then I remember I can watch last night's Great British Bake Off in peace. And paint my nails. And eat my lunch without having a one year old stick his spoon in my bowl every two seconds.

And I feel less sad.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Return of the blonde

We were driving through the Yorkshire Dales on the way to the Lake District. It was gorgeous and the views were breathtaking.

Tootling along a road at the top of a valley, I noticed poles by the road used to mark how high the snow was each year.

I was confused.

'Steve, how can the snow get that high? There are houses down in the valley! People can't live in them can they? If the snow gets that high here then they would be, like, 25 feet under the snow!'

Steve nearly swerved off the road.

'Snow doesn't fill up does it! It lays where falls. It isn't like filling a bath! Otherwise your mum's house, at the bottom of the hill, would be constantly under the snow in winter. God, Liv, it is like when you asked why the sea was always down the hill and not up!'

Thursday, 26 September 2013

A change

On Monday I had to call the care insurance; we bought a new car at the weekend and I needed to change the policy. When on the phone the operator, a cheerful Geordie named Rick who teased me about the Tigers beating Newcastle United on Saturday, asked if there were any other changes to our policy we needed to make, occupation he suggested.

I paused.

'Yes', I hesitated, 'my employment has changed'.

'Right', he responded, 'I have you down as a Public Relations Officer, what are you now?'

I paused again.

Hesitating, I wondered whether I should say 'Writer', what I am trying to become, except I haven't been paid for a writing job yet.

Rick cleared his throat. The pause had been too long. He tried to be helpful,

'Try and think of key words and we will come up with the closest match'.

'OK', I took a breath, 'Stay at home mum'.

'You mean 'Housewife', that is a good fit yes?'

I gulped, 'Housewife. Yes. I suppose so.'

And so my life has changed.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

When I am not so tired....

So the baby turned 1. Seriously, this is terrifying. He has somehow evolved before my eyes into a walking, running, very opinionated human being. He can use a fork by himself, he can follow instructions (shut the door, pass me the book) and do the actions of several rhymes; the latter two, admittedly, depend massively on mood and the proximity of any type of snack or baked good but they can be done none the less.

He is close to talking. He has pretty much mastered 'no' which tends to be said to himself with a shake of his head just before he does something he is not supposed to or if I offer him broccoli. He may say a few other words, he seems to skirt around 'yes', 'this' and 'dog', dog in particular was used with vigor tonight when we went to a safari night. We may have to work on that before he tries to bring home a jaguar...

I love him such an incredible amount, my heart swells at the thought of him, I break ino a broad, nose spreading grin when I look at him and, one day, I would love to give him many brothers and sisters (we are still negotiating specific figures).

One day.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

High horse

Rex has a lot of books. As well as being pretty much addicted to buying them, we also ask for them for every gift for him and are members of the library. This week Rex selected a book about the bath. Steve was reading it to him...

Steve: Duck on a rope.... soap! This book is truly awful! Roo, you have got some great books from the library before, I particularly liked Wonkey Donkey, but this one is shocking! I mean look at this: bumpy seahorse! That's a lie! Seahorses aren't bumpy! The author should ask David Attenborough! And Sir Attenborough would tell him - seahorses are not bumpy.

There is a brief moment of quiet.

Steve: You know, even if seahorses were, in fact, bumpy, which they ARE NOT, then what a stupid thing to tell a baby, how would he even know? It is not like he sees a lot of seahorses is it? Not like dogs and cats which he knows, for he has witnessed, cats being soft and dogs being waggy... Stupid book. Duck on a rope.... I mean....

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

He is full of wisdomosity

Steve: You know when you publish your blog? I guess, as it is mainly about me, I should get 50% of the profits...

Me: Right...

Steve: I am, after all, your inspiration, your muse if you will.

Me: Well, do you copyright everything you say?

Steve: Yes. A teeny, tiny gnome follows me around and notes down everything I say.

Me: (peering behind him) That is clearly false.

Steve: He is invisible.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

A happy home

Steve had just got Rex out of the bath.

Steve: You really are the cleverest baby in the world Roo. So smart. Well... actually, I am going to be honest, there are probably other babies who are just as clever out there, maybe some who are actually more clever. But that is ok! Because you have the looks too; we wouldn't want you to be a Sheldon Cooper would we? No, you are like Leonard.

I interject from the other room.

Me: Leonard is hardly gorgeous.

Steve: Fair point, but he gets Penny.

Me: (Still shouting from the next room) Because she moves across the hall.

Steve: True... but sometimes that is what it is all about Rexy, proximity. If Cheryl Cole had moved across the hall from me then she would probably be your mummy.

Me: Errrrrr....

Steve: Of course, silly Daddy she wouldn't be your mummy, your mummy will always be Mummy!

He pauses.

Steve: Cheryl Cole would be your step-mummy.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

It had been a long day

Me: Steve, did you order my butterflies?

Steve: Butterflies? No.

Livy: Why?!

Steve: I've not had any time.

Me: But it only takes two minutes with any recognised debit or credit card, the woman on the infomercial said.

Steve: Why do you even want butterflies?

Me: Ummm, duh! Because it is super cool. You get them as caterpillars and then they grow, turn into chrysalises... chrysali... and then butterflies and then they fly away!It is totally awesome.

Steve: Let me rephrase that, I do not want butterflies.

Me: You do! And you would benefit from them; they are very beneficial.

Steve: How?

Me: Well they are very educational. And they are pretty to look at. And you can eat their honey.

Steve: That is bees.

Friday, 24 May 2013

In which Steve infers I fancy a child

Me: Michael Douglas, Heather Graham, Jaden Smith, Will Smith and Bradley Cooper! Graham Norton has a hell of a sofa tonight.

Steve: That is a line up.

Me: Jaden Smith grew up didn't he? He is a good looking boy. Only 14 but a cutie.

Steve: Yeah I suppose.

The show continues.

Me: See, now I love Will Smith, you know I love Will Smith, he has always been on my freebie list but you know what, looking at this sofa, I think he would move into second place. Yes, I think I would definitely do Bradley Cooper before Will Smith!

Steve: Thank god you said Bradley Cooper. I was worried for a second there.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Steve is going to take Rex for a walk and so see Grandma and Grandpa while I do some proofing.

I get Rex in his coat, fill up his beaker, check the change bag and find two blankets ready. Steve comes out of the bathroom. We head downstairs and outside to get the pram out of the car and set it up. Just then the music of an ice cream van starts playing. Steve is very excited. The van appears.

Steve: I am getting an ice cream! Do you want one?

He hands the baby to me and runs to the van, leaving me with the boot open and a wriggling Rex in one arm.

Steve to the ice cream man: I think I will have a cornetto please...

I try and lift the pram out of the boot.

Steve to the ice cream man: No... wait... is that a Feast?

The pram catch releases mid lift and the wheels land on my toes. Rex tries to grab the car keys from my other hand.

Steve to the ice cream man: No, sorry, changed my mind, I will just have a vanilla cone.

I try and click the pram up, Rex's grip on the keys tightens.

Steve to the ice cream man: Make it a double cone please.

I slam the boot shut, Rex now has the car keys and manages to lock the car.

Steve to the ice cream man: Hmmmm, just the one flake I think.

I realise that the raincover is still in the boot so try to wrestle the keys off Rex who starts hitting me in the head with them while wriggling out of my grip.

Steve to the ice cream man: You know what? I will have some strawberry sauce! Why not?!

I have managed to get the keys off the baby, open the boot, plonk a now crying Rex in there before I drop him while I grab the raincover and shove it under the pram.

Steve wanders casually over.

Steve: What is he doing in the boot? Wow, this is really good ice cream.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A snot sucker

Yes. I now own a snot sucker.

Have you seem them?

Look here

Yep. Until recently I didn't know they existed.

But then Rex got a cold. A bad cold. A cold that made it necessary for me to wipe his nose every two minutes. Which made him cry and whimper. Which made me get a headache.

Enter the snot sucker.

It is simple enough, you squeeze one air so that it creates a vacuum to suck and then release and zoom, snot in a plastic tub.

Just remember to clean it out before you de-snot the other nostril, or you will just shoot the already collected snot back up your baby's nose.... I would have thought...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Duh duh duh duh....

The other evening we were talking about the fact that some people ran the London Marathon for the Donkey Sanctuary. It was a controversial conversation but I won't go into that here.

I became confused.

Me: The thing is though, donkeys aren't real animals are they?

Everyone stops and looks.

Me, trying to save face: No I mean they aren't real real? You know?

My mum: What do you mean? What are they if not real?

Steve, under his breath: Don't say a unicorn, do not say unicorn....

Me: No like a hybrid. A cross between a horse and a....

Steve, louder now: Not a unicorn, not a unicorn!

Me: NO! Not a unicorn, duh! You know, the other horse animal....

Monday, 18 March 2013

I won

A few nights ago, Steve and I were watching some tv, an advert for a shooty type film appeared.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

You know you are hardcore when...

You singlehandedly manage to get a car seat, a changing bag, your shoes, two towels, two blankets, a giraffe shaped teether (named Joshua incidentally) and a bag of mango slices into a swimming pool locker with one hand while holding a wriggley baby who is in the teensiest stripey swimming trunks in the world. 

Also, when you're washing your face in the shower later that day, and you accidentally stick your little finger up your nostril and give yourself a nosebleed.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

For it is yummy

Pizza that is.

After a long week and the funeral of my Grandad at the end of it, I was done. Rex is still an atrocious sleeper (why sleep when there are so many exciting things to see and do) so I was particularly knackered.

Steve offered the best antidote, well second best as wine is out, damn that child and his need for milk, and suggested takeaway pizza.

We rang the local chippy and specified our need for pizza and chip shop chips (not fries!).

Seriously, so so so very good. So good that I mmmmmmed and aaaaaaaaghed through mouthfuls.

Steve glanced over at my box.

Steve: That is the weirdest way of eating pizza ever.

Me: No, it is the best way. Gets the boring crusts done and saves all the yummy bits for the end.

Seriously, how was he brought up to eat pizza, next he will be telling me he doesn't peel his chicken nuggets....

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Best keep an eye on them

As you turn the corner into our road, there is a house directly in front of you, it is very normal looking; a semi with four windows at the front, one of which you can see into.

There on the mantelpiece was a pretty, small Christmas Tree, no bigger than knee height. It has gold and red baubles on it and a star on the top. It is perfect.

It is also March.

Yep, I saw this tree on the mantle in March shortly after we moved to the village. March. Not December.

Every day as I passed it, it remained. Sat in pride of place on the centre of the mantelpiece, right above the fire. It became so normal that I almost stopped noticing it.

December came and the rest of the street became Christmas decoration crazy, lights everywhere, trees that would be more befitting in a forest than a living room, one house even had a 9 foot inflatable Tigger with a Santa hat on outside the front door. It was Christmas central.

Eagerly I peeked in the Christmas-tree-in-March house window to see what they had done, I mean, if they had a mini tree all year round then what on earth would they do when Christmas time actually round?!

Gingerly I pushed the pram close to their drive, in a nonchalant manner, I pretended to tend to my infant son in the pram (as a quick aside, I often use him like this, kids are great for it, 'Oh no the baby is crying! I will just stop and jiggle the pram while staring at the gorgeous older gentleman in the library...'), where was I? Oh yes, so I sneakily looked up, ready for the wonder....


Even the mini tree was gone.

Bizarre, I thought and then it disappeared from my mind.

Until yesterday when I walked passed again, I couldn't help but look in and there it was, 8 days after Twelfth Night, the mini tree back on the shelf!

I mean, what kind of people have a Christmas themed decoration up all year and then take it down during its month of relevance? What am I dealing with?!

Some of my own Christmas decorations  which were put up and taken down at the appropriate times!

Friday, 18 January 2013

In the mind of Rex, aged 4 months and a bit

"I can sense you in my sleep. You try to take a nap, I will wake the eff up the second your head hits the pillow. Nobody sleeps but me in this house."

"What are those? They look like little triangles? Nach-os... Ooooh Mum's eating them like they are the elixir of life itself. Maybe I can sneak one when she's not looking. I'll just ... a little further ... she's looking! Act natural, act natural. Doop de doop ... got it! Buggeration!. She sees me. I don't even care. Go ahead and try to get this from my hand, Mummy. I'll die first. Victory is MINE."

"If everyone else is pushing buttons, I should push buttons. Where are some buttons? Give me the buttons! Yeah, I'll call Nana. I'll call whomever I want. Quit talking to me like I don't know what I'm doing, I call people all the time. Check your call log. That's right. You should really have never let me hold your phone."

"I can sooooo walk. You just need to put me down on the floor. I can do it! I can!"

"So this is the floor.... and yet I still can't seem to walk. I am doing just the same as you and yet I do not move. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY LEGS DAMN YOU!"

"You know, I can see that you want me to sit nicely in my chair while you eat that dinner. You're offering me my teddy and my Joshua Giraffe teether. I see all that. You know what else I see? Your lap which I want to sit on. I'll scream, oh I will scream big time. Just try me."

"Breakfast. Pureed pears. No, I don't want that. Don't even try to give me those pears; I will bite you. You're an idiot. I refuse to eat that. Don't do aeroplane noises, idiot! I don't even like pears, I can tell by looking. Wait... that aeroplane noise is so hard to resist... I am involuntarily opening my mouth! Fine! I'll try it. Wait, that's good. Yes. Yes, I like that. Give me another bite. I SAID GIVE ME ANOTHER BITE. No, I'm done. I'm spitting. Spitting, spitting."

"Hey, my nappy is off! Ooooh, freedom! Kicky kick kick! Wait, I remember that feeling, there it goes. Definitely a wee. Wait, when did everything get so wet around me?"

"Mummy! Why are you yelping? I was eating here! All I did was hear Daddy walk in and turn my head and then your nipple did that really funny twanging thing out of my mouth. It was hilarious!"

"Why are you all cooing at me and telling me I am a clever boy! I am telling you something very important! Stop saying ga ga and da da at me! I am explaining a very complex issue regarding milk!"

"La la la, what a nice day... wait, a pretty lady is smiling at me! OK, you've practised this, your best smile, go! Lots of gums! That's right, come to me pretty lady, I am sooooo cute!"

Sunday, 13 January 2013

My political career

OK, so the phrase goes that you shouldn't discuss policitics and money.


I'm going ignore that.

As you may have gathered, I am incredibly liberal. My parents (all three of them) have always been liberal. In every way.

Pro choice, pro gay marriage, pro equal rights, pro everything that is right.

See there I go already - I can't help it, I know (read believe) that all of the above is right. As we have established, sometimes (read always), I struggle to see how anyone else can believe any different. I mean, when something as simple as equal rights for all people who are in love how can anything else be right?

So when I was watching a repeat of The Daily Show the other night (which I love by the way) I came accross a clip of Sarah Palin.

Seriously, is there a more unpleseant and toxic person in the world?

I mean Bush, granted, but Palin also has the added bonus of being insane.

Why did anybody ever listen to her in the first place. Lets face facts, this is a woman that called her daughter Bristol. With a straight face. Then she called her son Trigg.

End of story.

Friday, 11 January 2013

My many talents

Did you know that I once did a course on West Greenlandic? It is one of the more useless subjects I studied. The classes were vagually hysterical. I was once made to sing a West Greenlandic song about a man who kills a black seal and takes it home to his wife but she doesn't like it so he goes back and kills a white one instead.

The chorus went : And he hit and he hit till the baby seal was smashed.

The whole course proved quite amusing, we were also told a joke:
There are two men.
One man says to the other:
'Do you speak Serbo-Croation?'
The other replies:
'I'm not sure, I don't try often'
Apparently this joke is hilarious in West Greenland. The text book had chapters entitled 'On the sheep farm' and 'Birds, seals and whales'.

We are currently considering it as our first family holiday destination. A hoot and a half it will be.