Monday, 13 December 2010

Heart Melting Moment 3

On early, early morning, I was trying to ignore my little one and get some more shut eye.

"Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Maam," he insisted at the top of his voice.

I looked at the time.

5 a.m.

I had only been asleep 4.5 hours. I needed more sleep.

"Mama," he said, "'top it kheep."

(Mama, stop it sleep).

I had to get up.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Hoxton Street's Monster Supplies

End of term is always so busy. There's a lot going on: Xmas assemblies; Xmas lunches for staff and children; the Panto; the staff night out; marking and yet more marking and inputting APP assessments onto the school server. I can't wait for the two weeks off where I can just relax and breathe. Oh, and do some sale shopping!

Came across a lovely little shop on Hoxton Street today while driving into Central London. It's called Hoxton Street's Monster Supplies. They sell a variety of different types of canned fear and jarred edible "human" preserves for the living and dead alike. It was hard to keep a straight face when the sales guy asked some customers who walked in after me if they were monsters or were looking for something for monsters they knew. The shop also runs writing workshops for young people and I was offered to have a look as I showed interest in bringing my class there. I was taken to a door and asked to provide a password. Put on the spot like that I could hardly think of what to say! You can check them out here for more details. It was a quaint little shop and loved the creativity behind it.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Bye-bye Teepee

Before going to bed, I get the Boogster to say bye-bye to everyone and give them a kiss goodnight.

"Bye-bye, Lola," he says as he gives a little wave. "Bye-bye Mamoo (Uncle), bye-bye car, bye-bye book, bye-bye teepee (T.V)."

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Boogster's First Post

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Tom boy to Girly girl

When I was younger I wasn't much of a girly girl. I hated hearts, didn't like pink and even bought some of my clothes from the men's section. I also hated shopping. I would only go when I knew what I wanted. My only weaknesses back then were books, stationery, toiletries, jewellery and lingerie. Not so now. Now you can add bags, shoes, clothes and even hearts. And pink? Love the colour!

I recently discovered a love for all things girly. I'm not quite sure where it came from or why but now I can't get enough of shopping - which doesn't help the bank balance at all. I went shopping with a friend last Friday for clothes for a wedding. I enjoyed it so much I can't wait to go shopping again. I just need to wait for my next pay-cheque and clear out my wardrobe.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


"Goo-goo," the Boogster said to me insistently. "Mama, goo-goo."

I got up and told him to come to me with the fridge. Goo-goo can mean either water or juice. I have no idea how he came up with that word but that's what he uses. I was hoping to get him to drink some milk. I opened the fridge door and grabbed the 4 pint bottle.

The Boogster's hand shot in and out so quickly, I hardly had time to react. In his hand, was a bottle of Tropicana Kid's apple juice. On his face was the cheekiest smile ever. He gave a cheeky laugh and off he ran. I was left, fridge door still open, marvelling at the cheeky little monkey my son had become. He knew very well I wanted him to have milk. He knew very well he wasn't supposed to be having any more juice. He also knew he had gotten his own way.

Paperback vs e-books

For the record let me state how into technology I am. I want an iPad, I get upset whenever a new iPhone is released because it makes mine that much older and obsolete in technological terms and i'm always a sucker for the latest gadget. I even downloaded a few apps such as Stanza and iBooks on my iPhone so that I could read in bed sometimes.

Having said all that though, there is no way - for me - that e-books could ever replace a good old fashioned paperback. Curling up on the sofa with some hot chocolate and an e-book just doesn't do it for me like a paperback would. Yes, I know e-books are more convenient when travelling as you can have as you can have a whole library to hand etc etc. And yes, I wouldn't say no to one in that case. But nothing can replace the weight and feel of a book. I like turning proper pages. I like not having to worry about charging the batteries in case my iPhone dies on me right in the middle of finding out if Lisbeth has survived a savage attack or not. I even like flicking to the end of book sometimes and sneakily reading the end before going to back to where I originally was and carry on as if I didn't know what was going to happen.

Paperbacks rock. I just hope that they don't eventually disappear altogether. And don't get me started on snail mail vs email either...

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Weaning Day 6

I was going to wean the Boogster cold turkey. Then I changed my mind. It just seemed too cruel. I can't even bring myself to let him "cry it out" to go to sleep, I cried when he was circumcised and so how did I ever think I could wean him cold turkey?

I decided to do it gradually instead. For the first couple of days I dropped the day feeds. Then I decided to drop the bed-time feed. This one had me in tears. On the first night of no bed-time feed, I had gone to a friend's so my mother made the Boogster sleep. He didn't cause her much trouble as he's used to her making him sleep when I'm not around. Night 2 was worse. He wanted to feed so much and initially took it to be a joke when I told him no and kept handing him a bottle of milk. When he got really tired, he just cried and cried and cried and wanted lots of comforting. I picked him up, gave him lots of hugs and he fell eventually fell asleep with is head in my shoulder. After he had fallen asleep, I cried too.

Night 3 was a doddle. I was expecting much the same as night 2 but he actually fell asleep whilst in bed playing on my iPhone. We did tire him out properly though and only put him in bed when he looked like he was about to drop. We did pretty much the same tonight too only I got the hubby to put him to bed. He turned on Michael Buble's "Feeling Good" and hubby says he was asleep within 10 seconds.

The plan seems to be working. He's stopped asking for feeds during the day and is only fed at night. I will be dropping those feeds one at a time until it's just the morning one left. That one I hear, is the hardest. Only one way of finding out...

More words...

...and even a few more sentences.

Chocomeek = Chocolate
Top it Daddique = Stop it, Daddy
Opadoor = Open door
Fy-fy = Butterfly (accompanied with a fluttering of one hand crossed with the other)
Cheebee = T.V.
Pakka Pakka = Makka Pakka
Ome = Home
Oh no!
Dup = Dropped (when really he means he threw it rather than dropped it)
Kaala = Khala (Urdu for maternal aunt, or in my case, what Ismail would call any of my Pakistani female friends)
Yaya = Lola (Filipino for Grandmother)
I ga you = I got you

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Heart-melting moment No.2

Ok, so this isn't really heart-melting moment No.2 - there have been so many more but this is the 2nd one I'm blogging about...I think. The first was when the Boogster said "Ahwoo". This one happened today as he was watching "In The Night Garden" on CBeebies. For those who watch it, they'll know it starts off with a shot of a mum drawing slow circles with her forefinger on her child's palm while said child falls asleep. Every time that part comes on, Boogie stops what he's doing and comes over to do the same to me.

Today I was sitting on the sofa while he played with his toys and watched "In The Night Garden" on the other sofa. Just before that bit came on, he put his toys down, came over to me and said, "Mama." I looked up and he pointed to my hand to tell me he wanted to draw circles on it. He then stood there and drew circles until it stopped on the TV show itself and then went back to playing with his toys. This is about the 3rd or 4th time he's done it and each time it just melts my heart. He gets quite insistent if I don't pay him any attention when it's "In the Night Garden" time and will keep calling me till I realise what he wants.

I love being a mama. Best job in the world.

(I also just have to say "In the Night Garden" is just the strangest children's programme ever. Ninky Nonk's and Iggle Piggles and weird strange things! Whatever happened to programmes like Button Moon?)


As the Boogster's 2nd birthday approaches, it comes time to wean him off my milk. It's not going to be an easy task I know and sometimes I wonder whether I should have done it sooner. I'm not entirely sure if that would have made weaning any easier though. There are some people I know who, when they find out I am still breast-feeding, think I'm weird. I don't really care. Government guidelines and Islam suggests breast feeding till the age of 2 and that's what I chose to do. If people think that's weird they can think that all they want.

Initially breast feeding wasn't the easiest of things to do. I thought it would be easy. I mean what could be more difficult than latching a baby on and letting him drink milk? I was so wrong! It was excruciatingly painful and I almost gave up. Someone described it as piranha latching on and I totally agree. It used to bring tears to my eyes!

Now though, it's not just nourishment and comfort for my son but also comfort and bonding for me. The Boogster, active boy that he is, won't let you cuddle him for longer than 2 seconds so I enjoy feeding time. I get to hug him while he either plays with the rings I wear or he'll touch my face till he falls asleep. It's time I really treasure with him. And it's coming to an end.

Not only am I going to have to come to terms with that fact that my little one is growing up (much faster than I'd like), I'm also going to have to steel my heart to the crying that is going to follow. My poor baby, he doesn't know what lies ahead.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Me Time

Before I had the Boogster, I knew my life would change but I didn't know how much it would change. Gone were the days I could just pop out and go to the local newsagents to get a magazine. Gone were the days I could soak in the bath tub with a book. Gone were the days I could go out a watch a movie. And in the beginning, I resented not being able to do all those things.

So, no matter how late the little one slept and how little I myself had slept, I started to make sure I had a little me time. As soon as he was asleep, out would come the book, or the laptop or the crocheting. I would be tired and sleepy but I was determined not to lose my sense of me. Becoming a mother didn't mean I stopped being me. It took a while to realise that though.

It also took a while to stop feeling guilty every time I did spend a little time away from the little one. Now, I enjoy every moment. For my birthday back in August, I spent a couple of hours in Spitalfields. I browsed the different market stalls. I ate yummy dim sum. I drank fresh coconut juice. I bought so extremely hot chilli sauce. I did not feel guilty. It felt so good to recharge my batteries and move about in a world not centred around nappy changing, playing hide and seek or reading "The Hungry Caterpillar" for the fifth time.

I may have resented not being free to do my own thing anymore but now I would not have it any other way. I treasure my me time more and it makes me a better mama.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Jelly Belly

I wasn't exactly a size 10 before i got pregnant. In fact, I've never been a size 10. Ever. Except for maybe before I hit puberty. But I didn't have a jelly belly. I have not been able to shift the one I gained since I've had the Boogster. Not that I've been doing much to try. I love my food too much and hardly have time to exercise. I keep catching glimpses of myself every now and then and keep thinking "Got to lose weight."

And then I came across a friend's comment on Facebook. She had a baby a year ago and is trying out the Special K diet. A friend of hers was being very encouraging and told her she'd be back in her size 8s soon. To which my friend replied,"Don't think I'll ever be a size 8 again but my tummy will always tell others I have a beautiful baby boy."

Loving her stance on her jelly belly.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Boogster's first sentence

The Boogster put together his first sentence yesterday.

We were in the car driving to Waitrose and we had stopped alongside a stretch of the Central Line. He said, "Mama, more cheeah comen."

Translated: Mama, more trains coming.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

My Wish List

A friend just recently posted "What a girl wants" on her blog. It made me want to write my wish list which I've been mentally adding to over the past few weeks. This list is by no means exhaustive! Just when I think I don't want anything else and will be content having the items on my list and nothing more, I find more to add to it. I'm going to take a leaf out of her book and try to limit my list to 5 items too.

1. An iPad.
2. A Canon DSLR.
3. My own house!
4. A diamond ring.
5. A pair of Red or Dead Buccaneer boots.

So can't afford any of it but I can always wish!


The Boogster's vocabulary is increasing by the day. He may not always pronounce words correctly but he consistently uses the same word for the same thing. These are the words in his repertoire:

Baka (Helicopter)
Baatch (Bus)
Khay (Yes)
Oh my Goh (Oh my gosh)
Dah (Down)
Deeda (This one)

and most importantly, Ahwoo (I love you).

He usually says ahwoo after I've said it to him but today whilst he was lying on my tummy he looked me straight in the eye and "Ahwoo". It took me a while to realise he was telling me he loved me since he's not really ever used it except in response to my "I love you's".

The moment just totally blew me away.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Creative Juices

Before the Boogster was born, I made my own baby book for him. I loved designing the layout for each page and it all came together quite nicely. Two friends in particular, really loved it and so I made one for one and gave the other all the necessary materials to make her own. Now that my original scrapbook is finished, I plan on making another one to document the summer holidays. I have all these brilliant ideas in my head - some from a magazine called Scrapbook Inspirations which has some absolutely gorgeous layouts. I've been collecting different materials for mine: tube maps; photos, wrapping paper; Happy Meal boxes etc and once I have the pictures developed, can get started on making it.

I also want to get back to making some jewellery and doing some crochet. I can only do all of this when the Boogster is asleep of course because he's just going to want to join in. I have visions of him poking his eye out with a crochet hook! I blame this sudden burst of creativity on Etsy of course. Every time I log onto the site, there's something I want to buy or make myself. I have already virtually spent millions on that site.

Through Scrapbook Inspirations, I also came across another blog called The Write Start. I've been reading the blog for the last month or so and absolutely LOVE it. She has some amazing ideas and I love how it's all linked with developing writing and fine motor skills whilst making it fun for children and adults alike. Plus, I want her little work area. It's so organised.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Clothes, clothes everywhere and I've still got nothing to wear!

One of the things on my to do list this summer holiday is to clear out my wardrobe. I seem to have so many clothes but when I go to look for something to wear I can't find anything. It happens every single time and I hate it. So, I've decided to be really ruthless and sort my clothes into two piles: Keep and Give to charity.

I was watching an old episode of Gok's Fashion Fix and have come to this conclusion: a 24 piece capsule wardrobe will do nicely. Imagine that. 24 pieces that you can mix and match. No more feeling guilty about having so many clothes and still not having anything to wear. Problem solved. Or so I would like to think.

New problem - how do I put together a 24 piece capsule wardrobe? I'm rubbish at that sort of thing. I have to do some research into it.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Islamabad Blues

I miss Islamabad. When I lived there, I didn't much like it. More because I was in a constant state of rebellion against all things Pakistani. Now, I love it. I have to admit though, when we touched ground and had to go through the hassle of the airport, I did wonder why I had agreed on a trip to Pakistan.

Once we were out though, it was a whole different story. It was good to see the Margallah Hills in the distance, the tree lined avenues and experience the Islamabad rain. It did my heart - and soul - some good. I got to chat with old dear and darling friends; eat in old haunts; shop in my favourite shops in Jinnah and Super Market and discover new ones. Despite it's sleepy reputation, Islamabad is not at all a sleepy city to me. Neighbours were constantly dropping by with plates of food. The Boogster enjoyed himself and for the first time I saw my son's feet get really dirty (as in black soles). I took on Pakistani traffic and drove. The hubby and I ate Afghani burgers (Afghani naan stuffed with chips, sausage, chicken, various chutneys and a sprinkling of Islamabad dust). We discovered Saidpur Village. Ate some more. Found out you couldn't play ball games in F-9 park. Something was always happening.

I have the Islamabad blues.

Travelling with a toddler, Volcanic ash clouds and the long journey home

The hubby and I decided we should visit Pakistan over the Easter holidays as summer gets far too hot and my mother-in-law hadn't met her little grandson yet. I was very apprehensive about travelling with a little toddler - not quite knowing what to expect. I had read night flights were good for little ones as they tended to sleep through it and we were lucky enough that the flight to Islamabad was in the evening. When we boarded the plane the Boogster was asleep much to the envy of the two mothers on either side of me who had to contend with crying children. All I could do was smile in sympathy at them until, that is, he woke up and then would not go back sleep. The smiles of sympathy were then directed my way.

I and the hubby spent the next couple of hours walking up and down the aisle with him. He was so tired but he just would not sleep. Eventually, he was so tired he managed to sleep the rest of way and didn't wake up till we had landed.

We were due back on 16th April but then the volcano in Iceland erupted which went on to show how inept PIA were at prioritising passengers whose flights were cancelled because of it. I refused to bribe, upgrade or do anything that involved an exchange of money and would have still been stuck in Islamabad till at least 10th May if I had not agreed to fly to Manchester instead. And did PIA arrange for transport from Manchester to London? No.

The journey back home involved airport officials openly asking for bribes so our luggage would not be opened; baggage being x-rayed and checked 3 times; my son sleeping lots on the plane trip back (always good); visiting Manchester for the very first time and a very expensive cab journey back to London.

But as they say, all's well that ends well.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

7 Teeth, Travelling and other things

It's been such a long time since I've time to blog. Since the last post, the Boogster is now the proud owner of 7 teeth; "winks" by closing both eyes; asks for random people's food and drink (when we're in lifts, in particular) and has started to copy words I say ("yuck" when I was changing his nappy and "crap" when I dropped my phone)!

We're off to visit "the other Lola" - his other grandmother - in Pakistan this April. I am not looking forward to the 8 hour flight. The boy can barely sit in the car for 20 minutes without complaining. So glad the hubby is travlleing with me.

School has kept me so busy and between that and trying to find ways to tire out my son so that he'll sleep through the night, I barely have time for myself. Roll on the holidays. Now I need to make a few phone calls and try to catch up with a few friends.