Passport Photos

I’ve been wanting to go on holiday abroad for absolutely ages, I think pretty much since Little Z was about 6 months old. The OH hasn’t been so keen though and wanted to wait till he was about 1.

So we waited.

I nagged and then we waited some more.

Till the day came when he relented when Z was about 14 months ish. My nagging needs a bit more work I think.

The balls been in my court ever since and, to be secretly honest, I suddenly got cold feet. How would we cope on a long flight? What if he got sick? What about milk? And I’ve kind of just dawdled over the last few months and done not very much about it. Then it hit me…. He turns 2 in December. That’s when we start to pay extra.


Ok, cost is not the only reason but it would save us a fair bit to go before December!

So the race is on. Which means I had to do what I’ve been dreading for a while.

Take Z to a Photobooth to get his passport photos done.

Who the hell makes these things? I’m pretty sure they’ve gone the way of everything else in this world (Curly Wurlys, Cadburys Creme Eggs, Monster Munch) and are now much smaller than they used to be, even for one person. Trying to get an adult and a wriggly toddler in there renders the privacy curtain a bit useless. You might just about get it shut but you end up flapping it constantly as you try to just turn around. Probably good entertainment for passerby.

It’s no wonder Little Z screamed his head off with “Noooooooo!” as soon as we entered it.

I spun the seat around both clockwise and anticlockwise for about 5 minutes trying to get it to its highest point so that Little Z could be the right position. I eventually realised it just doesn’t go up high enough. So more spinning later the seat thing is at the right height for him to stand on. Except he doesn’t want to stand. He wants to cling to me and play with all the buttons in front of him. Uh oh.

I stick in my fiver (FIVE quid for passport photos??! Bloody government) and we select the right option. I have a genius plan. I will let him cling to me, click my fingers in front of him a lot till he looks straight ahead, then take the photo whilst simultaneously jumping out of shot.

(The hubby earlier on suggested I take him to a professional photographer but they are even more extortionate than these robbing photobooths. I know what I am doing, obviously).

So…ready….click fingers rapidly…Little Z looks up…press button….jump out of shot!!

…and nothing. Eh??! Little Z starts to pull me back and…


The stupid machine has a delay on it. Arrrrrgh!! Hmmmm…maybe the passport agency will accept him looking down yes?

Fortunately we have two more attempts. Z starts to get more and more frazzled and wants to go outside to see the “Wain!” (Rain!) and I unsuccessfully try to persuade him that having his picture taken with no smiling and his mouth shut whilst looking straight ahead is much more fun.

We end up fudging the second attempt up and I start admitting defeat and looking around for a refund button. Oh. There isn’t one. Bloody government.

Our last valiant attempt resulted in me jumping out of shot quickly, Z trying to follow suit and us both being greeted (embarrassingly by a queue of 2 others waiting). We manage to get a sideways frowny photo of Little Z with one side of my face in it. Success. Not!

We then have to stand with the queue waiting for our photos to come out and do that drying thing before you can pick them up. Little Z is not phased in the slightest and waves bye bye to them as we scurry away.

Then yesterday the hubby drove us to his friends photography studio. It took him about 3 minutes in total and cost us £3.50.



Naming Him

My timeline on Twitter is currently filled with lots of pregnant ladies. There are so many it feels like there is a mini baby boom going on in my Twittersphere. All are at various stages, some are even prepared with their chosen name for their little one.

It’s reminded me of when Baby Z was born and was completely nameless. We hadn’t picked anything at all and suddenly had to get a massive crack on throwing names around whilst I was hooked up to my saline and morphine drip post my Caesarian.

I was pretty much bed bound the first couple of days and, with the curtain pulled round my little cubicle, I could only hear what the other mums were up to. There was the mum who had sneezed her baby out in about 30 seconds and wanted to go home within an hour of getting onto the ward, the mum who had just had her 3rd and sounded very determined that “this was it, no more!” and the poor girl whose mother in law seemed to be rail roadjng every decision for her, including what to name her baby.

Then there was the horrible cow.

She was diagonally opposite to me and I never got to see her. But my god could I hear her….All night…long. She seemed to not require any sleep whatsoever, despite having just given birth, and prattled on and on and on on her mobile all night long to, probably, her long suffering husband. When she didn’t have the phone on her ear she was constantly asking the midwife to have a soak in the hot tub. Or to be helped out of the hot tub. Or she would be complaining she wasn’t being given enough attention and would request to go home. Then change her mind within a couple of hours. This would go on most of the night too. By night two I was going mental. I just wanted some shut eye and the horrible cow was relentless with her ability to complain all the live long night.

Anyhoo, amongst all this the hubby and I were trying to pick out the perfect name for “Infant H” as he was temporarily labelled. After going through about a hundred I came across a name that sounded so lovely and right. I looked up the meaning and then just knew it was right; “he who God remembers”…. Ahhhhhh. This was it. Baby Z.

So it was almost decided. The hubby has a much longer acceptance process than me so I knew he had to mull it over.

That evening the horrible cow was back on the phone complaining about the midwife, life, the Bounty woman who had asked her to put her phone down because she wanted some photo taking advice and basically the universe whilst I was feeding my Infant H soon to be Baby Z. Then suddenly I heard the horrible cow say something that made me freeze for a moment.

“How about we name him Baby Z?”

What??!! She was stealing my name!! I knew they’d already picked another name the day before but the horrible cow wanted my name. Our name! I was silently livid and had half a mind to try to pick my saline stand up and try to poke her from a distance. How very dare she.

Ofcourse I didn’t. I just fumed in bed and listened to her go on and on and on about how it had a lovely meaning. Yes. A meaning you stole. Stole!!

I told the hubby as soon as he arrived in whispered rage and lots of wild gesturing. He sympathised (I think) but reasoned we may never see them again so it wouldn’t matter… Hmmm.

I needn’t have worried for long. It seems the horrible cow may have had a silent long suffering husband but he still had some fight in the old dog and veto’d the name as they were all leaving to go home with their new baby. It was that day I started walking after my op and if I was any faster I would have followed them just to get a peek at her.

Come link up to Flashback Friday!


The Gallery – Animals

The theme on the Gallery this week is Animals. Growing up we never had any pets. My mum has a bit of a big dislike of cats and dogs and, if a stray did wander in, she’d pretty much jump up on the couch and stay there until someone shoo’d it off! (well, that only really happened once).

We did have budgies for a while and a goldfish not so long ago but that died. It just sort of stopped breathing one day, about two weeks after we got it. I didn’t kill it or anything, I’m just not that good with animals.

I’m not sure if I’ll let the little one have pets yet. Given my goldfish record, I don’t seem to be too great with my animals (I know a fish is not an animal, but you know what I mean!). Time (and proportion of tears, tantrums and my patience) will tell I suppose.

We’re not completely without animals though. There are some that live very happily with us and are part and parcel of our loving little family AND I haven’t killed them yet. But most importantly, the baby loves them to bits!


You can check out the other entries in this weeks Gallery’s by clicking the icon below. They might even have proper animals!

Baby Safety Products for an Overprotective Parent

As you know we have a crawler on our hands and it is true what they say… You can’t take your eyes off them, even for a second. He is on the move constantly and nothing is too big or scary for him to explore. He’s not mastered crawling yet and he’s already trying to pull himself up on furniture. Me, on the on the other hand, well… I think my heart is permanently in my mouth. Take this morning, for example. He pulled himself onto his knees using the sofa, grabbed his dummy and after a second of smiling victoriously, lost his balance and bumped his head. Cue big tears and crying. Ouch.

I’m literally spending the whole day trying to prevent him smacking his face, head and gasping every 30 seconds. I get he needs to explore and learn but it is so tempting to just wrap him in protective gear to stop him hurting himself. If I was an overprotective mother (which I’m not) i’d definitely buy the following… That is, if it was on the baby safety Market:

1. A Baby Helmet, complete with chin guard – Prevents bumps and scrapes to the head. Also prevents the baby bumping into the corners of the cot whilst he goes off crawling within in at all hours of the night.

2. Elbow and Shin Pads – Aids the above and prevents bloody and bruised knees, cuts and scrapes

3. The Nappy Airbag – Designed for babies who have not quite mastered standing up. It inflates as soon as baby’s bum lands on the floor. Nice cushioned landing and no sore bum, or flattened poo within the nappy. Bliss.

4. Gum Shield – Does what it says on the tin. Can also double up as a teething ring.

5. (For the ultimate overprotective mummy) The all over body suit. Can be purchased in two styles; the “astronaut style” or the “Michelin baby style” (floaty or bouncy). Either way baby will be cushioned to impact.

Imagine the millions I’d make. I mean, an overprotective mother would make. Now, which Dragon would be interested?