Chapter 36-Happy Blogaversary

This afternoon I discovered it has been a year since my very first post. And what better to celebrate than to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Laura over at Aprons and Shoestrings, and thank you Laura. You can read her smashing blog about parenting on a budget here and I am very flattered that she decided to share the blog love with Two Years Old and Rising.


This is the second time (but the first time this year) that I’ve been nominated and am very grateful to be asked once again. The Liebster Award helps bloggers with fewer than 1,000 followers to get their names out there and helps us promote our blogs better.

Readers get to find out 22 random facts about me, and I send on questions to the lovely bloggers I nominate.

The rules of the competition:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, posting a link back to their blog on your blog.

2. Display the award logo on your blog post or as a widget or gadget. It’s best to save the image to your desktop and then upload it to your post.

3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which the person who nominated you has asked.

4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.

5. Nominate five – 11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award, and who have less than 1000 followers. (You can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information.)

6. Create a new list of questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.

7. List these rules in your post (you can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:

8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated for the Liebster Award that you’ve actually done so! Provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

So brace yourselves-11 random facts about me…

1. I was born on a Tuesday.
2. I play the bass guitar.
3. I couldn’t live without bananas or Jaffa cakes.
4. Blancmange makes me shudder.
5. I am now on my third allotment.
6. After having pneumonia this year I am champing at the bit to start running again.
7. I briefly had green hair.
8. I once interviewed Tony Benn.
9. This will be the first year of my life I haven’t had a cat.
10. I never leave the house without liquid eyeliner on.
11. I love really terrible jokes, the worse the better.

Questions from Laura

1.What do you love most about blogging?
I love putting pen to paper and having a record of toddler life-even looking back now there are things I’ve forgotten about and it’s only been a year!

2.Who do you admire the most?
There are lots of people in the world but probably my Mum.

3.If you could live anywhere in the world other than where you are now, where would it be?
It would have to be Las Vegas.

4.Marmite – love it or hate it?
I’m ashamed to say I am not a fan, though it does make a lovely stock!

5.Flat shoes or high heels?
Flat shoes, preferably on big boots. I like keeping my feet warm.

6.If you could be Queen for the day what would you do first?
Declare an extra Bank Holiday.

7.What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Going rapid floating in Finland, it was scary but worth it, needed some help getting back on the boat though!

8.How long have you been blogging?
A year.

9.What’s your favourite meal?

10.What are you reading right now?
The Street Trader’s Lot-London 1851, by Henry Mayhew and Stanley Rubenstein.

11.Which do you prefer, the seaside, the countryside or the city?
I think now I have a toddler it would be the seaside, it’s a place where I don’t have to constantly remind him not to do this or that, he can just run about and enjoy it.

And these are my questions to the bloggers I’ve nominated:

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. What do you enjoy most about it?

3. What’s the food you couldn’t live without?

4. Who is your inspiration?

5. What’s your favourite film?

6. What was your first pet?

7. Do you have a pet hate?

8. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

9. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

10. What kind of holiday do you like the most-beach, countryside or city?

11. What day of the week were you born on?

And here are my nominated blogs, all very deserving-and please forgive me if you have over 1,000 readers! :


Chapter 35-Games Without Frontiers

It may not be a Hitchcock movie but life with a toddler is filled with suspense.

We are on tenterhooks at various moments throughout the day and at the mercy of mind games including such cliffhangers as will he eat his supper? Will he have a nap? And after playing Fireman Sam for the fifth time this morning, where will he demand to be rescued from next?

This morning he had his foot stuck in Daddy’s laptop bag. Yesterday he had his hand down the back of the sofa, claiming to have fallen off the shelves while fixing the television aerial. Aside from finding situations from which to be rescued, just like in Fireman Sam, Raffie’s new love is hide and seek. After counting to ten the game usually goes like this.

“Where’s Raffie? Is he behind the sofa?”
“No I’m in the kitchen Mummy!”

Hmm. Where could Raffie be?

Hmm. Where could Raffie be?

His intentions are good but his hiding places can be questionable. Yesterday he buried his face in a beaded blind. The other day he hid behind an empty clothes airer with his head in his hands. It works both ways, as the Daddy shaped lump under the duvet completely passed Raffie by when it was his turn to seek. “He’s gone Mummy, has he gone to shops?” “Are you sure he isn’t under the duvet?” I said, trying to keep a straight face. “No, I think he’s gone to the shops Mummy. I didn’t find him.”



When I was little my favourite game was rummy, and I used to spend many hours playing this with my nan, with a little kitty of coppers with my name on and a packet of cheese and onion crisps. Unsurprisingly card games aren’t for Raffie, who can’t sit at a table for more than five minutes. But he enjoys a game of catch with varying results and following a gift of a golf club and balls has been teeing off in the kitchen regularly.

The only game he can keep relatively still for is hide and seek, for about a minute, before the suspense becomes unbearable. Finding Raffie may not be much of a challenge but we love his genuine delight in finding new places to hide, no matter how obvious they are. And while he’s still loving every moment we wouldn’t dream of finding him too easily. So until he’s ready, we’re more than happy not to give the game away.


As a mum who blogs it’s always nice to come across a dad who blogs, and thanks to Lewis this one is a smashing read. I also like the fact he only wears black. Find out more at or on Twitter @dadwhoblogs

Chapter 34-Modern Life is Rubbish

Some people have cereal. Others have toast. But you can’t beat a slice of moral indignation to set you up for the day.

“Who drank all that beer Mummy? Where has it gone?”

The empty beer cans in question have been of keen interest to Raffie, who is currently setting a shining example to us all when it comes to recycling.

There’s nothing quite like seeing the remains of your indulgence scattered all over the carpet. It’s a stark reminder that you really should have bothered to put the recycling out before going to bed.

Two empty cans of lager were all that Daddy had left behind the previous night. I think this is perfectly reasonable on a Friday night. Raffie, however, had other ideas.

“Daddy, you’re a beer monster! Ha ha! A beer monster, grrrr!”

Poor Daddy. Teetering on the edge of mortification, he could only reply that the only monster was in fact Raffie, who this week proclaimed himself a Biscuit Monster.

Raffie leaves the cans well alone but gets busy scattering paper, card (and anything else which has been bagged up by Mummy) far and wide.

Re-sorting the recycling.

Re-sorting the recycling.

He then gets on with his shopping, which entails taking all kinds of perishables out of the fridge, wheeling them to the front room, and then selling them back to me at extortionate prices.

I am all for doing my bit but Raffie has found a kindred spirit in his great-grandmother, who is a meticulous recycler, re-using whatever she can and putting us all to shame.

Debating the intricacies of waste management.

Debating the intricacies of waste management.

This week he discussed his techniques at great length with her. I was asked to leave the room, which tells me all I need to know about my own efforts.

“We’re talking Mummy, about the bins. It’s very serious.”

It is true. For them, it is no laughing matter. But the weekly visit from the bin men always brings out a smile in Raffie, waving madly at them and banging on the window.

This week our bin man was smoking a cigarette while nobly winkling the contents out of our food waste bin and into the hopper. “Mummy what’s that in his mouth?” said Raffie.

Not wanting to open this can of worms just yet, I floundered with the reply of “Oh it’s a lollipop Raffie.” And it was then that a new idea was born. “He looks like he’s enjoying his lollipop Mummy, I think when I’m older I would like to be a bin man.”

But whether fulfils his new career ambition, or consigns it to the dustbin of history next week, for Daddy’s sake we’ll start putting the beer cans out before morning.


I discovered Mummy’s Little Monkey this week and am very glad I did, it’s a lovely blog and you can read more here or on Twitter @Jax2000

Chapter 33-What’s New Pussycat?

He may have left us over a year ago but Jasper the cat will always have the last laugh when it comes to my French windows.

His parting gift to me, tiny curls of wood and putty peeling off around the window frames, are nigh on impossible to remove but I won’t be sandpapering them anytime soon.

Eyeing up the French windows.

Eyeing up the French windows.

Pets have been a hot topic this week, not least as we spent a very happy time with our friends who have two cats, one of which endured being stroked by Raffie to his heartfelt joy. “I want Jasper Mummy,” announced Raffie suddenly, “Where did he go?” Shuffling about a bit I bumbled, “Well maybe when you’re a bit older we can think about getting a cat?” “Yes, Mummy, Jasper. It’s a good name for a cat.” “Hmm.”

Jasper was no comedian but I always thought if he could talk he’d sound just like Peter Cook. His rampant dislike of children would not be swayed by the many bananas and books Raffie delivered to him under the kitchen table. When the time came for him to leave us, Raffie was aware of but not distressed by his passing which is a blessed relief.

A cat's face speaks a 1,000 words.

A cat’s face speaks a 1,000 words.

However the memory of a pet lingers on, and has evolved from I want to I wish. “I wish I would have a dog Mummy”, when he saw our neighbour’s puppy. “I wish I would have a fish Mummy,” when we watched Finding Nemo. “I wish I would have a horse Mummy,” when he watched Brave. So I tried to call his bluff while watching A Bug’s Life. “Raffie would you like a stick insect? We’ve already got a tank he could live in,” I said cheerfully. “No Mummy, they do not make good pets. They are sticks.” I will never learn.

I hesitated to point out that although he too is made of wood, Raffie rather enjoys taking Mr Mouse out for a walk. A veteran toy, Mr Mouse has just been released from toy hospital after being dropped down the stairs resulted in having his ears smashed off. I then realised it might be a bit early to get a kitten.

Taking Mr Mouse to the shop. The photo does not show his sticky tape bandages very well.

Taking Mr Mouse to the shop. The photo does not show his sticky tape bandages very well.

We will be very lucky if we find a cat who likes children as much as we do. The next best thing will be getting a kitten who can grow up with Raffie when he’s old enough not to try and ride it.

Although I’ve never heard a cat laugh, I’m pretty sure Jasper would manage a wry smile at the next cat who lands the cream of our toddler’s affection. And hopefully his ears will stay where they belong.


Most of us have one, and most of them are as long as your arm. But the Mummy’s to do list blog is well worth a visit, featuring lots of interesting posts on toddler life, from books to boats. You can find out more here