Tuesday 29 January 2013

Naomi turned two

Last week my baby turned two! Two!!

Our lucky little girl had many presents to open
And she enjoyed every moment
We paused briefly to try on our new hat

Dolly joined us for a birthday breakfast

Lots of friends mean that Naomi got lots of cards!

Now that we are two we like to throw impressive tantrums if we don't get our own way (I told her she had to wait five minutes before she went to our friends' house!)

See-sawing in her new birthday dress
A few days after her birthday we had a very small party for her, just a few of her friends round to play.

Mummy went a bit mad making cakes (there was also a banana loaf)

Waiting for her friends to arrive

Sorry for the blurriness but here is Naomi blowing out her candles
My baby is growing up :)


Miriam's developing all the time! We're getting lots of smiles now, and starting to get a bit of a routine with three naps a day, one of which usually aligns with Naomi's nap time. She's getting more engaged with the world too - and quite likes the many rattles and bright coloured toys she's received over the past few months. Here she is having a go in her baby gym: this doesn't happen as much as it did for Naomi because a certain toddler quite likes climbing in to the gym as well, with excessive potential for baby-squashing. It seems Miriam quite likes having a bit of a play!

Monday 28 January 2013

You know you're a Mum of two when...

Just for fun I thought I'd think about all the things that mean I know I'm a Mum of two...

  1. Going to the toilet is now a spectator sport, you consider it luxury if you only have to take one of the children with you.
  2. A hobby is a thing you used to do
  3. You can't remember the last time you didn't have the washing machine running
  4. Sleep is a distant memory and a beautiful dream (not that you are ever asleep to have dreams)
  5. Your house is tidy for approximately two hours each evening, after the children have gone to bed
  6. You can (and regularly do) bounce a baby, read to a toddler, speak on the 'phone and drink a cup of tea
  7. Going to Tesco is an 'activity', if not there are not enough hours in the day
  8. Going to Tesco on your own is almost better than a night out, on the occasions it happens you take time to read every single label whether you need to or not
  9. It is a regular occurrence to make it to midday before someone points out your jumper is on back to front
  10. On being asked your name or date of birth you look blankly at the person asking as you take a minute to access the memory banks
  11. On being asked your child's name or date of birth you take a moment to remember which child is which before giving your answer.
  12. You are in town and suddenly panic that you have come with no snacks or drinks when you realise you only have the baby with you and the baby isn't weaned.
  13. Your automatic response to any kind of stressful situation is to start singing 'sleeping bunnies' as you know the toddler will automatically lie down, be still and be quiet for 10 seconds!
  14. You can't imagine loving your children any more than you do
  15. You wouldn't change anything about your life as it's a blessing to have your children each and every day.

Thursday 24 January 2013

To my beautiful baby

Baby Girl,

I can't believe it, today you are two years old.  Firstly I can't believe that you have been here for two years, that's a long time! Mainly, though, I can't believe you have only been here for two years!  I feel like you have been in my life forever and I thank God every day for you.  I have always felt blessed to have you in my life and that continues to be true.  I can't believe I was chosen to be your Mummy, to look after you and to help you grow.

Since last year you have learned so much and changed so much.  You are growing before my very eyes and I love you more than I ever thought possible.

You love doing anything physical, running around, dancing, skipping, climbing.  You are constantly covered in bruises as unfortunately your skills don't quite match up to your sense of adventure but I love how willing you are to try things out, to give it a go and see where you end up.

You love to read (not for too long as it requires sitting down) and you love to sit on my knee to read the stories.  You are particularly keen on books about animals, your favourite animal still being ducks.  "Quack Quack".  If I ever need you to sit still, my best chance of making it happen is to use a book.

You love to draw too, sometimes you like to draw on paper that has writing on it (like a letter that has come in the post), your Daddy and I are convinced you are trying to copy the letters on the page, you'll get there too, you practice hard.

Singing also takes up a lot of your time.  You love singing Zoom Zoom, Three Little Monkeys and the song about Moses, Noah and a few others we sing at OH2.  You frequently ask me to sing you songs, sometimes your game of charades can be difficult to understand at first but the more you do the actions the closer I get to understanding what you want.

You have the most incredible imagination, you play with your toy kitchen things for hours on end, cooking up a storm.  Dolly gets most of what you cook, you do love dolly with all your heart.  I love to watch you breastfeed dolly too, you like to do it just like Mummy, you even cross your legs just like me.

I love that you continue to be one of the most confident toddlers I have ever known!  When we go to toddler groups you just run off and play, I never see you.  When I take you somewhere new, you have a quick look to see I am there and then run off and play.  I love that you trust me.

Of course, a big change since you were one is that you are now a big sister.  I love watching you with your sister.  I can tell that you'd prefer she take up less of my time, I can tell that it can make you sad that you have to share Mummy now, and for that I am sorry, I can also tell that you love her, though.  I watched you today put her sock back on as you were concerned her feet would be cold.  You tell me when she's crying (although, I know sweetheart, I can hear it too!), you make sure Miriam has everything she needs.  You read to her and you try and involve her in your imagination games (and get frustrated when she doesn't do it right.)  You are an incredible big sister.

All I can think is, if you are this amazing by two, and have stolen my heart this much already, then imagine how great you'll be by three, four, ten, twenty and older yet.

Love you baby girl


Wednesday 23 January 2013


Miriam is now at one of my favourite stages of baby development - the hand stare. She discovered her hands about a week or so ago and they've become incredibly interesting over the past couple of days. Long may it continue! Naomi's hand staring last a good couple of weeks at least.

In other news, the snow on campus continues to be beautiful! These shots are from right next to my office.

Sunday 20 January 2013


Naomi has been struggling this week.  Apparently "snow" is a hard word to say, so instead she has been going for "nose" and even pointed at her nose when I asked her if she'd enjoyed playing in the snow.

By English standards, there was quite a lot of snow
 This has been the first time Naomi has seen significant snow since she has been old enough to enjoy it and enjoy it she definitely has been.  Yesterday Sandy took her out into our yard for a play, she was particularly keen on the idea of a snowball fight and took great delight in throwing snow at Daddy.  It was great fun to watch her and listen to her laugh (Miriam and I were keeping warm inside).

rolling the snow

shaping the snow

Before you know it you have made your first ever snow man!

Miriam and I watched from indoors

Snowball fight!
And in a final piece of shocking news, we discovered after this that Naomi does not like hot chocolate!!

Friday 18 January 2013


Woo hoo! It's snowing in Loughborough! I really like a good bit of snow in the winter, and was feeling quite pessimistic about the chances of seeing any this year, after there being none in Scotland at Christmas. However, my decision to cycle to work today may have been in error - it's getting quite snowy indeed:

Can you guess where the hot water pipe to our building runs?
I had a quite walk in the snow today as well, to meddle with the experiment machines. There's a slightly long story to it, but we used to have a room in the lab building (visible in the picture above) where all my experiment computers were kept. This has now been reclaimed as an office, so we've had them all relocated into the corner of the lab building. I think the new setup looks quite impressive:

My "toys" hard at work
The old room was a fairly standard sized office, and it used to reach about 40 deg. C because I was giving these machines such a workout! The new room is huge so this shouldn't happen in future. Well, it better hadn't, as much of the rest of the room is taken up with what's essentially a giant box used to simulate different room environments (temperature, humidity and so on). I'm guessing it won't take too kindly to being too hot...

Thursday 10 January 2013


Miriam was in a delightful mood last night, and I just love this picture!


A catch-up on happenings at Christmas... this year we tried to keep travel to a minimum as Miriam is still pretty small (though it turns out she's much better with the car than Naomi was!) We spent a week with my parents, a week with Jay's parents, and had an overnight stop-off on the way up (with the Donalds in Edinburgh, formerly of New Deer) and on the way back down (with the Baines in Cockermouth, formerly of Loughborough). Naomi really got what was going on this year - I think that Christmas possibly went a bit over Miriam's head!

Naomi on the now traditional stop off at Peggy Scott's establishment of fine foods

Naomi making use of her Uncle Ian's large supply of Lego with her cousins
On Christmas morning, we'd tried to avoid too much of a build up lest Naomi became over-excited. So she came through at about 8am (having slept in my parents' room), and we explained that Jesus was God's present to us, and we remember that by giving each other presents. On the word "presents", she lit up, and was most excited to start tearing off paper!

Chaos ensues during the Brownlee present opening session

More chaos!

Obligatory toothbrush

One of my cousins in particular is a bit adverse to photos - so stealth is really the way forward

Christmas II at Granny and Granddad's (McIntyres) -  still no less exciting!

A rather disappointing dusting of snow this year :-(

We did, though, get the chance to see some highland cows.

I just like this picture! Miriam chilling out on what was later to be Naomi's bed for the night.