An invitation to create…

August 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Back in February, Messy Boy and I made this.

It was loud, garish, and it was most definitely intended for the recycling once Messy Boy had forgotten about it.

However, somehow it appears to have stuck around.

Messy Baby likes it, it’s very tactile. And still very colourful.

Messy Boy saw it again this morning and said, “Can we make one again mama?”

So here it is – today’s invitation to create! I’ll update later on with how it progresses this time…

Should be fun!


Nine months old, and three years and ten months old….

August 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Messy Baby is nine months old already – I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by!

Our mini chatterbox who rarely shuts up, wittering away in Messy Baby language: he makes some good attempts at words including mama (mama, funnily enough) mummy (mummi), brother (ba), more (maaa) and makes a good attempt at signing “more food”. He crawls in a funky Mowgli style, cruises, occasionally stands and lets go and balances – he’s got pretty decent balance, is very sturdy on his feet, will walk quickly when holding on with both hands to your fingers until he gets where he wants to go, and will walk a little slower if holding on with just one hand. He sleeps at night (no middle of the night playtimes here thank goodness), eats or at least tries whatever you put in front of him, knows that spoons are useful but has only got as far as trying to pick up both spoon and food in the same fist. He loves his mama milk still! He will accept sticky porridge and hulled strawberries for breakfast but will shout if you make toast and don’t offer him any. He wrestles with his brother, tickles him and laughs with him, wants to be with him. He loves his brother. He’s in size 9-12 month trousers if he’s got a big nappy on, or 3-6 months with a ‘sposie. And 6-9 months in teeshirts so no consistency there! He doesn’t have any teeth yet. He doesn’t like being picked up by strangers – or even friends, unless he’s got to know them a bit first. He doesn’t like medicine – of any sort, but especially not piriton, the antihisthamine syrup. He doesn’t like having his face cleaned after eating because usually by then Messy Boy is off playing and he wants to be too! He loves his stacking cups, the duplo, Boy’s shoes, and whatever Boy is playing with. He will amble around the house with a drinking straw stuck in his mouth, happy as anything. He sleeps nestled under my right arm, or in the wrap, or in the car. He likes wandering round with his tongue sticking out….. He’s as much of a loony as his brother is and I still can hardly believe I’ve been blessed with the two of them sometimes!


Messy Boy is three years and ten months old – we’ve started the two month countdown to his birthday. Preparations are afoot for a party. He says he wants a spiderman party, with a nemo cake!

He is funny and sweet, loud and boisterous, caring, charming and clever. He is rarely able to sit still, except when utterly worn out and watching a film. He tells us that we are the characters from his favourite films. We re-enact his Lego stories, and scenes from Happy Feet. We sing the spy theme from Cars 2 together. He has decided he likes coffee, and is finally starting to eat things other than just cheese sauce and pasta – now we can put sausages, mashed potato and beans back on the list! He loves his matchbox cars, automobloks and lego, he’s pretty darn good playing on the Wii, but is happiest playing with random objects he finds lying about the house, using his imagination to its fullest, inhabiting what seems to us on the outside as the most amazing world inside his head! He makes friends with anybody who stands or sits still long enough to listen, telling them his name and that he’s 3 years old and is going to be 4 next, showing them his knee (the scar is fading finally from his recent big ouches) and his spiderman shoes, showing them he can balance on one foot, and hop! He befriended an elderly lady in the cafe yesterday who was most enamoured by him. She had boys of her own, chatterbox boys. They were all grown up now with grandchildren of their own!

He’s looking forward to being FOUR years old.
And now it’s time to take another cocktail stick out of our potato calender, marking down the days until Gran and Grandad arrive for a visit – Messy Boy is HOPPING with excitement already!

Testosterone and Teething

August 24, 2012 § 1 Comment

Messy Boy is now 3 years and 10 months and suddenly, almost overnight it feels like, his testosterone levels have gone through the roof!! He is going through incredible mood swings, complete with screaming which even he can’t explain why, afterwards.

I’ve been wondering how on earth to help him get through this, to help him learn that emotions – even really really big ones – are ok, but you have to learn to deal with them safely and constructively rather than destructively or by bottling them up.

I had a lightbulb moment this evening at dinner though and thank goodness it appeared to work, at least this time! I suddenly realised that I’d much rather he screamed out his rage someplace safe and secure, than go through it alone or turn it into violence. He was screaming because (I think, I can’t quite remember now but to be honest, it could have been anything that set him off) we wouldn’t let him put his face directly into his bowl to eat his cereal, and would rather he use a spoon.

I held my arms out to him and told him to come over to me to scream it out of him. He did, he buried his head into my chest, and screamed. And calmed right down. I suggested another big old scream to let all the frustration and anger and rage out. He screamed again, and then climbed onto my knee for a big cuddle.

It was all gone. No more anger, or frustration, or rage. He’d screamed it out of him while I had my arms around him and his around me. He was secure, he was loved even through his rage, he was safe and not going to hurt anyone or be hurt.

We talked about this afterwards with him, but as much as we have talked about it and suggested that when he feels like this, he can come and scream out the rage in our arms, it’s going to be as much up to us to make sure that our arms are always a place of safety and security.


Complement this sudden mega increase in tostesterone with Messy Baby whose body has decided that this week’d be a great time to have a bout of full-on teething misery complete with fever and a lot screaming of his own and being sick and not being able to sleep, and it’s been a pretty exhausting week! And STILL no teeth…


I figured we all could do with chocolate icecream for dessert after all that screaming had been released.

how to wear icecream 1how to wear icecream 2

The boys wore theirs pretty well, I thought!!


August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s finished!!

themessymama artwork - "family" finished

I’ve finally had chance to finish this beautiful drawing / painting! It’s the most intricate one I’ve done yet, I’ve been terrified at times thinking I’d completely ruined the beautiful background it’s been drawn on, but it’s come good and I LOVE it.

All I need to do now is wait on my camera coming home (I’ve leant it to a friend!) so I can photograph it properly!

Invitation to play – shells and glass beads

August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

The other morning while we were waiting for a friend to come round (one of mine, not Messy Boy’s!) I set up this invitation to play, inspired by something I saw on The Imagination Tree. I used glass beads, mother-of-pearl shell pieces, a hat, oven dish, chopping board and egg carton. I wanted to have different colours and textures, and different types of things for the beads and shells to be put into.

themessymama invitation to play - shells and glass beads

Messy Boy was intrigued.

He played as I kind of wanted him to play for a few minutes, we saw how high we could pile the glass beads into the spaces in the egg carton, and he loved the noise made as they were tipped back into the oven dish. He played about 5 minutes like this.

I didn’t bargain on Wenlock and Mandeville joining us though!

themessymama invitation to play - wenlock and manderville go sailing

Another half hour plus later, he was STILL taking Mandeville and Wenlock sailing around the table in their egg-carton boat, picking up shell and glass-bead passengers, and crashing into oven dish icebergs!!

New shop!

August 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Bit excited, I’ve finally managed to set up a little online shop for some of the artwork I’ve been doing. Please take a look, see what you think – and maybe even buy something!

Playtime – cardboard box boats

August 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s Messy Dad’s birthday today. And guess who got the biggest parcel in the post? Yep – me! The first piece of “professional” equipment I’ve ever ordered arrived today, a graphics tablet for the design side of my work. And guess who enjoyed the box the most!! He climbed in and shouted that he was winning, then we had to find an oar and some water as well. Lots of fun.

And now it’s Messy Baby’s turn to investigate the boat….

What kind of things do your kids turn boxes into?!

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