Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Til death do us part

I have been thinking about death a lot lately. Not in a suicidal, morbid way but just trying to grasp the reality that one day my loved ones are going to die.

Bringing a new life in to the world is the most amazing thing. I was in awe of life for weeks after LD travelled from belly to moses basket and I guess I still am. Death wasn't something I ever really thought about but now all of a sudden I am aware my parents and close relatives are getting older. I even catch myself looking at them and wondering who will go first.

The first and only time I have experienced the death of a loved one was when my dear dog and best friend Zoe died in 2007. The loss was tremendous and I still think of her every day. How can life go on after the death of a parent, sibling, spouse, friend? It's terrifying.

Since this has been at the forefront of my mind I have been open to hearing snippets of the topic on the radio or tv. Jeremy Vine was talking about our (the Brits) attitude to death ie. we don't talk about it and this perhaps creates a fear of the unknown. Should we open ourselves up to discussion and allowing our children to spend time with the bodies of relatives like they do in other countries? Perhaps. Afterall it is a certainty in all our lives and as natural a thing as being born.

I am not afraid of dying.

I am afraid of leaving LD and husband before my time and I hope with all my hope to have a long healthy life for their sake. Profound love and selfishness wants them to live a long a healthy life too.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This week I am grateful for...

Once again I am pleased to join  Maxabella Loves I feel I have so much to be grateful for but my life has undoubtedly been massively enhanced by;

5. Learning to Windsurf. Taking up any sport as an adult is challenging and Windsurfing is really technical. I spent a week feeling a bit thick (the whole wind direction and sail points regarding wind took a lot of getting my head around). However, I have achieved the basics and can't wait to get on the water again. This new hobby has given me a new sense of self and re-awakened a child like enthusisam for life. It has also improved my self confidence by giving the old baby brain a thorough work out!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One week of windsurfing and I'm hooked!

We are back from our Windsurfing holiday in Greece and I am hooked! Can't wait to try out my new (limited) skills at our local beach. I know there is less appeal when you have to rig up your own kit (and wear a wetsuit) but I am keen to keep Windsurfing.

When you haven't been abroad for a while you forget the way the heat hits you as you step off the aeroplane. It's wonderful, however I must say LD struggled with the heat for the first couple of days. We discovered UV sunsuits are perfect for swimming but very hot for hanging around and sleeping in - shorts, T-shirts and shade worked much better. Oh and why do manufacturers make the buggy uv nets black? Surely their is a niche in the market for light coloured ones?

Vasiliki is a small village on the Island of Lefkas, just off the West Coast of Greece and is a wind-surfing hotspot. The lack of wind was not a problem for the virgin windsurfers like myself. Getting to grips with the basic techniques is best practised in light winds. For those (like hubby) who can already windsurf and wanted to try new skills, test different boards or just hoon about it was not a great week for wind.

I was apprehensive about taking LD abroad (just couldn't get Madeleine McCann out of my head) and wanted to have a look at the creche before blindly releasing my precious man in to the depths of the unknown. This was a bit of an error as the kids club facilities were amazing. They were based on the beach with a lovely cool room and lots of toys. Sadly they were fully booked so my reluctance to book LD meant he really missed out. On the up side he spent a lot of time with Daddy whilst I was doing my Bridget Jones goes windsurfing impressions and this has really cemented their relationship. LD now asks for 'Daddoo' most of the time!

The great about this kind of holiday is you meet lots of other like minded people. The social life at Club Vass was awesome. Having a toddler kind of changes the way you approach the night life (we were in bed by 10pm more than once) but we still enjoyed meeting new folk and have swapped numbers and e-mail addresses to keep in touch. On the last night we found ourselves having a meal and drinks in the town with the other three families - isn't it amusing how families gravitate towards other families? A shared understanding, perhaps?

Now we are home and it feels like a dream. We have started saving for two weeks at Club Vass next year .... maybe if I keep practising I may be able to stay on the board by then!!

My first ever ice lolly - yummy

Let's have a beer then Daddoo!

Amazing kit at Club Vass

I am moving - really I am ....

Ok so this is how it should be done!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fun ahoy!

We are going on holiday next saturday - whoop whoop. Vasiliki in Greece (windsurfing) for a week and then visiting family for the following two weeks.

Exciting as this is, the thought of packing for LD is making me want to hide behind the sofa. Amusingly I have, instead, busied myself with a spot of on-line shopping. So far I have bought a very cute doggy hooded beach poncho thingy (for LD, not myself) and a bumble bee raincoat. On reflection I think the latter is an example of my extreme procrastination on the packing issue ... it is 26 degrees in Greece and the raincoat is WAY too big. Oops, cute though.

I have only ever tried windsurfing once before. Daddy used to partake a lot but it is a bit tedious carrying all the gear down the various cliff paths to the beaches of Cornwall so he took up Kite Surfing instead. The prospect of our move to Scotland re-awakened his passion and he bought me a wind-surf board. A few days later I found out I was pregnant and didn't want to risk my precious unborn baby by the inevitable crashing in to water that was to prevail.

Taking up skiing in 2008 made me  aware of the difficulty in learning a new sport as an adult. Bridget Jones pretty much described my form on the slopes so I can only imagine the fun and games that await on the water!

Having spent the majority of my life obsessively training as a horse rider (which will forever be ongoing)  has made me quite competitive with my self - I can't help but wonder 'will I be able to surf big waves by the end of the week?' In reality I will be pleased if I can just learn how to set all the gear up and stay on the board ...

21 months after the purchase of the board I am finally going to have a go - bring it on!!

Image by Salvatore Vuono

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Review of the Scottish Baby Show

When friends asked if we would like to go to the Glasgow Baby Show with them last year I was excited to say yes but tentatively added; “we had better take our own car just in case...” our first baby was due in 5 days and I was willing ‘it’ to arrive. How true that proved to be as shortly after returning home, I went in to labour and Finley entered the world at 12.49pm on 24th April 2010.
Amid the excitement of first birthday celebrations, I jumped at the chance to return to the fabulous event this year and re-live the anticipation of the twiliight hours of pregnancy.
On our first visit my husband and I looked around with inexperienced, overawed eyes, thinking; wow - do we really need all this stuff? as a sense of panick bubbled beneath my hormonal surface. The ironic thing is, when the very helpful lady from Lansinol asked if we wanted a demonstration in using the electric breast pump I replied something like; “ no thanks, I am planning to breastfeed and am happy to use a manual pump for the bit I will need to express.” As luck would have it,I had big problems breastfeeding and exclusively expressed until my baby was six months. (With an Ameda double electric breast pump.)
Anyway enough about last year. This year, thanks to Emma's Diary, we bundled our 'almost' toddler on to the train and  joined our friends, Lynne (take a look at her fab blog ooh baby - all things cuteable) hubby Darryl and Finley’s new pal Maya for another great day out at the SECC Glasgow.
The event looked smaller through my now more experienced eyes but this is probably due to the fact I am not waddling like a weeball and fending off early labour pains as “just another braxton hicks”.

There were many gimmicks, and the odd hard selling business person, but on the whole the vendors were friendly and offered useful advice. The food was reasonably priced with a choice of light lunches in The Emma's Diary Cafe. Stokke provided the high chairs - I only wish we had the need to try one out last year as I think they are fab and may have invested for the wee man. Boots provided a fabulous baby changing area complete with nappies and wipes and there was a brilliant creative area for older children (something I didn't explore in detail but will definitely use when I visit in the future.) All in all a perfect set up for a family day out. 
We visited pretty much every stall and a few really stood out: 

Finley isn't quite walking so we are holding off buying restrictive shoes for his developing feet. However, I was keen to find footware that will keep him warm and offer some protection from rough ground whilst cruising - no easy feat (excuse the pun) when the owner of the feet in question is a mini action man in the making; shoes or socks simply do not stay on when put to Finley's climbing, crawling and cruising test! With this in mind I am pleased to say I found the ideal bootie at Zippy Tots. The Oxxy Boot comes in a huge variety of funky colours and is available in soft leather or suede. I love the way they are easy to put on wriggly people and stay put when crawling at speed! I couldn't resist buying two pairs - red suede and green leather, yay!

oxxy baby boots leather green

(image taken from

This company specialises in creating stunning hand and foot castings for babies, children and adults. I really love the idea of catching a little bit if time to keep for ever (I guess that is the hopeless romantic in me). I have brought my husband and mum fingerprint jewellery and would love to have a cast done for myself in the future.

I have to say these little works of art look even more amazing when you see them for real. 

Foot & Hand Statue CastsBaby Casts (framed)

(images taken from

I love this business quite simply because I love cakes! I am a hobby cake decorator and am fascinated by the precision and love that goes in to celebration cakes. 

Finley has just had his first birthday and we were kindly given many beautiful toys. We are lucky enough to be invited to his new friends birthdays too so I am always on the look out for funky, practical toys. This business spesializes in toys with outstanding play value and educational benefits. They were reasonably priced and almost nostalgic in their appeal. It is lovely to see an independent toy shop with such clever,  well made toys.

The shop is located on the South side of Glasgow and definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.

Having a few nasty falls from horses (and doing a lot of mucking out) has led to me having a bit of a bad back. This makes carrying Finley in a standard carrier uncomfortable. Consequently I have been on the look out for a sling. He is quite a big boy and far to wriggly and independant to stay in one for long but we woud love another baby in the future so when I saw the Papoozle from Tots Bots I had to have it. 

We borrowed a sling from friends when he was very young but I found it complicated and awkward to fit. The Papoozle couldn't be easier. It has a strap that easily clips around your waist and the rest ties. The waist strap also takes most of the pressure so the weight is distributed evenly. Finley is snug and comfortable but, as I said, he gets bored and wants to resume his action man antics before long. I just wish I had found this product earlier and know I will reep it's benefits when wee one number 2 arrives.

So that was our fab day out with lots to try and see. Finley had a wonderful time and was delighted to have a sing and dance with his pal Jo Jingles. We go to the group every week so it was great to join the crowd for a dance with Big Jo. I recommend this music and movement class to any one with a baby or infant as it really stimulates them and they love it!

Thanks Emma's Diary for giving us the opportunity to attend the event this year!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My fab recycled Christmas Tree Bird Table

Since moving to a place where our garden adjoins a beach (via a golf course) I have developed an interest in bird watching. It started when a snipe decided to hang out in our garden. I was suddenly aware I had absolutely no knowledge of wild birds and this simply wasn't good enough.

Spurred on by wanting to be able to teach LD about wildlife when he is bigger, I started avidly looking about me with renewed interest. My dear hubby bought me some fancy waterproof binoculars for christmas and off I went.

For a few months, I had been hanging 'fat balls' and 'wild bird seed' from the bamboo left in our dormant veggie patch from last years green bean growing attempts. When the spring sunshine spurred us in to action to plant this years crop, the bamboo had to be removed and the bird food was temporarily homeless.

Whoop whoop and so my christmas tree bird table was born! Super hubby chopped off the branches, leaving just a few for hanging things. A trunk sized circle was cut out of a piece of wood that was kicking about the garage and affixed for birdy snacks of bread and fruit.

As I wrote in my 'Reasons to be grateful' blog hop post (maxabella loves) I love my bird table!

It gives me great pleasure watching the sparrows, tits and thrushes and I am always on the look out for different feathered visitors. I just can't understand why I haven't discovered bird watching before?

Friday, April 15, 2011

This week I'm grateful for ....

I really love this blog hop from Maxabella Loves. I have had a wonderful week which, in no small way, has been enhanced by .....

Slow Cookers are great! I have cooked two delicious meals in mine this week, just bung the ingredients in and trot off for the day. There is nothing quite like coming home to the smell of slow cooked yum - it almost feels like someone else has cooked it for you. Hurrah!

The added revelation is I have discovered the joys of cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker - so easy and the meat is so tender it literally falls off the bone. Whoop whoop!!!

Christmas Trees. I know, I know it's April but our christmas tree has been resurrected in to a bird table. It is ace - a few branches have been left on to hang seed containers and a piece of wood attached around the trunk for bread etc. The birds love it. I am so delighted about this new addition to our garden I am going to do a post on it in the next couple of days .....

Special Times

Busy cafe’s, happy laughter makes for merry days.
The pattering feet of wobbly toddlers
who’s early years pass in a haze.
It’s great to be a busy bee, to chat away for hours
but sometimes it is wonderful to just stop.
Stay at home, bake a cake and watch the birds outside
sit and dream or eat ice-cream
and go to play on the slide.
Life is precious, hold it close
moments made of ice.
Time melts away
and toddlers grow
thrown in the world like dice.
Take time now 
enjoy each day
love the babble and tea.
Cherish each moment
of dribble and goo and
remember each scratch of the knee.
This is a special time.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Things I am grateful for...

I have decided to join this wonderful blog hop from Maxabella Loves and am going to post one or two (maybe even three) things I am grateful for each week. I have had a wonderful time this week - enjoying the weather and great company so here goes......

This week I am grateful for:

1. Daffodils. These flowers always make me smile and remind me of birthdays in spring. Yesterday a friend and I took our wee ones to a local park and sat them in the daffs for photos (to follow). Great fun and loveley memories.
2. Moving away from friends and family. Slightly ironic as I miss Cornwall very much but I am grateful for the opportunities to meet new people and am definitely a stronger, more rounded person.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Fingerprint Jewellery

Fingerprint Heart pendant
Image taken from Pickle and Pumpkin

My Mum is fairly devastated that we now live 600 miles away and she doesn't get to see her grandson as much as she would like. With this in mind I decided something with LD's fingerprint would keep him close to her even though we are far away and ordered a heart pendant from Pickle and Pumpkin for Mother's Day.

I would really recommend this as a unique present for a loved one. The pendant is 1.5mm thick fine silver on a sturdy yet beautiful chain. There is room for the child's name on the front with the fingerprint and a short message on the back.

The service from the company was spot on. I was delighted when the fingerprint impressions kit arrived within a couple of days and the instructions were clear and easy to follow, even with my acute baby brainitis. Thankfully they are also mindful that wee ones are wriggly little things and provided enough mould material for three fingerprint attempts. (I had my greatest success when LD was sleepy).

My concerns that the necklace wouldn't arrive in time to post to Cornwall for the big day were ill founded. I was thoroughly impressed my order was returned well under their recommended two weeks. Yeah! Gold star for me this year!

I hope a lovely day was had by all yesterday and a huge thank you to my very clever son for the fabulous yellow roses and wonderful homemade card - oh yes big gold star for Daddy too!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Liebster Award

I have only been blogging for a mere week or so and am soo grateful to be nomintated for this award by Lynne over at ooh baby - all things cuteable.

Lynne and I are met at our local 'mummy group' whilst we were both paddling about in that murky puddle of new mumminess. We have shared many large lattes and significantly fewer cocktails (which we are endeavouring to rectify). Watching Lynne's blog blossom has inspired me to start my own. Thank you Lynne for being so supportive of my blog and thanks in advance for all the blogging wisdom I will surely gleen from you in the future.

The Liebster Award is for bloggers with less than 300 followers/subscibers to share blog love and spread the word.

The rules are:

1. Post displaying the award (done), linking back to the person who awarded you (done).
2. Choose your own blog picks (below) and let them know they are awarded (that'll take a while).
3. Hope everyone discovers some new favourites.
4. Revel in the blog love!

And so, my nominees are:

notes-inside-my-head because I love her writing style and her posts always make me laugh.

Flower Fairies and Fairy Cakes again because it is beautifully written and makes me laugh. Her reasons for starting a blog are similar to my own and I love the name!

So please support these blogs and show some love. Oh and if anyone knows who this award originated from please can you let the nominated know so we can credit them.

Silent Sunday

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yummy Cookies

In my ideal world I would like to be the wholesome kinda earth mother who makes and cooks all things wondeful for her growing brood. In my quest for wholesome nutritious treats I made Annabel Karmel's Oat Cookies and we all loved them so much I feel I need to share the recipe.

They took minutes to make and both Daddy and F thought they were YUM. I used sultanas instead of raisins (that is what we had in the cupboard) and plan to try chocolate chips, dried blueberries and whatever else I can get my hands on to experiment with in the very near future ...

Oat Cookies (taken from Annabel Karmel's 'Weaning')

75g wholemeal flour
55g rolled oats
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g unsalted butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
55g raisins, chopped dried apricots or whatever else you fancy

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan), gas 4. Put all the ingredients, except the fruit, in to the food processor and whizz for 1-2 minutes until the mixture forms large clumps of dough. Add the dried fruit and pulse briefly.

2. Rolled heaped teaspoons of the dough in to 20 walnut-sized balls and arrange on two parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten to a 5mm thickness with the back of a wet spoon.

3. Bake in the oven for 12-15 mins (I cooked them for 12 minutes in my gas oven and they were perfect).

4. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. If you can resist eating them all before they cool then store in an airtight container.

Annabel Karmel states they are suitable from 10 months and provide carbohydrates, protein, B vitamins and iron.

Happy baking!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Little swimmer

We have been taking Finley to 'Water Babies' since he was four months old. He loved it from the off. I often chuckled to myself as I looked around at the other Mums in the group and it became clear that we were paying money for us to be trained. The babies' natural diving reflex allows them to naturally hold their breath. Apparently this is the case until they are eighteen months old and is amazing to watch. Ha ha I must add at this point that the Daddy's in the group seem to have considerably less of a problem with throwing their 'mini me's' in to the water - I guess it is all part of the balance of parenthood.

(photos thanks to Waterbabies Scotland)

Six months later we are still going to our weekly class with enthusiasm. Finley can hold on to the side of the pool on his own, swim through a hoop underwater and hold on to a float. Us Mum's are more relaxed and all is going well.

My husband and I both grew up by the sea and hope that surfing and water sports will be something the wee man will enjoy too. We keep meaning to find to go swimming as family (as well as the Water Babies class) but others things seem to get in the way. I guess it is not too much of a problem but when we did all go together it cracked 
him up seeing both Mummy and Daddy getting wet!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oops another trip to A and E

Why do these things always happen when my husband is at work and out of telephone range?

Finley and I had a 'quiet' afternoon at home on monday so by 3pm the living room looked a bit like a plastic zoo. Delighted with his ever improving ability to stand and cruise around the furniture, the wee man is now practising one handed holding on and bending to pick up toys. This has rather limited success and has resulted in several bumps to the head...

3.15pm: Finley fell (not spectacularly) and hit his head on the coffee table. He didn't cry and all seemed fine.

3.30 pm: He was really tired so I put him down for a nap. I was very pleased when he didn't cry as I left his room and put the immediate sleep down to a busy day playing and a very short morning nap. (Yes I know tiredness is a sign of concussion and not to let people with head injuries sleep but the bang on the head was so uneventful I had almost forgotten all about it.)

3.35 pm: A little voice popped in to my head; "What if Finley is concussed?" With a small trickle of cold sweat developing I checked  him every other minute but all is fine. He did, however, have the beginnings of a bruise on his forehead.

5.30 pm; The little guy woke up SCREAMING! This is not normal for Finley at all. He was inconsolable. He cheeks were a little red so it could have been his teeth but I just didn't know. He had no interest in his supper, playing, bouncing - nothing would console him - again not normal for Finley.

5.45 pm: I phoned NHS 24 who were amazing and advised me to go to A and E.

6.30 pm: We arrived at hospital. The car journey had settled Finley and he was smiling again - a huge relief to me but did make me feel ever so slightly like a paranoid first time mum.

7 pm: Finley was absolutely delighted by the wonderful selection of toys to play with in the paediatric waiting room and was turbo crawling with glee.

7.15 pm: The same kind and friendly nurse we saw last time we had a bump on the head came and gave wee man the all clear. He either has a particularly good memory or we are particularly memorable as he new exactly who we were!

8 pm: Home to bed - Mummy peaceful in the knowledge that all is well.

My Mum is forever saying; "Don't take any chances" and my own knowledge as a Horse Riding Instructor tells me that heads are precious and it is better to take the trip to hospital to feel a bit like you are paranoid then to regret it for ever more.

The staff at Crosshouse Accident and Emergency and NHS 24 are amazing. I would like to thank them for their patience and kindness with not only first time mums but worries parents of all ages.

I am pleased to say that Finley is absolutely no worse for wear and hardly even had a bruise by tuesday morning.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Fine Discovery

What a day. Poor wee man is teething again. I'm not sure if it is because of this, or a mere occupational habit of being nearly 11 months old, but he cannot bear to be away from me for a second. Flattering but exhausting.

Amazingly, hubby and I managed a big spring clean of the garage whilst Finley sat watching intently from his buggy but when the time came for me to cook dinner he had resumed his position dangling from my trouser leg. That's when I made my brilliant discovery - frozen vegetables direct from the freezer make teething babies very happy! I have tried the teething rings that you cool in the fridge, and sticks of cool cucumber etc and frankly they didn't help much at all whilst gnawing on a frozen piece of broccoli made a sore little boy very happy. Whoop whoop.

Here's to a peaceful night and healthy teeth!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

All Normal Here.

Today we trotted off the the Health Visitor for a 10 month check and was pleased to discover that all is normal. This led me to ponder 'hmm, normal ...'

Is a baby not normal because it doesn't tick all the boxes in the little red book by it's designated stage? Thankfully the child development professionals appear to be sensible about it in this area and I hope that is the case for everyone. We all know that every baby is an individual and will develop different things at varying rates and I am pleased this is supported by our Health Visitors.

Our local town has an amazing network of mummy groups. First Year Group, affectionately named Troon Mum's by my neighbour, has been an amazing support throughout the past 10 months. It's a group run by a Health Visitor where we just go with our babies and hang out. Aileen comes every week in her own time just to be there for us, we can  ask questions, get the wee ones weighed or simply just sit and be. This group has been a real life-line for me and on those days when you really question if you or your baby are actually normal (I am sure most parents know what I mean) having a network of other mums to chat, and often laugh at yourself with, is something I am tremendously grateful for. As my time at First Year Group comes to an end I hope I have made some lifelong friends to help keep me normal as we all step in to the future.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello out there!

Hello am welcome to my blog. I am a mummy, who, in a previous life, worked hard to establish myself as a freelance writer only to have an extreme onset of writers block (yeah yeah I know it's a myth) since the end of 2009! Ha ha no honestly, well actually we relocated from Cornwall to Scotland at Christmas '09 when I was 25 weeks pregnant and I embraced doing not a lot - perhaps a bit too much ....

Wee Finley Andrew is now nearly 11 months old and I am ready and raring to give the old grey matter a bit of a work out. My blog is about the wonderful adventure that is life, sharing the things that make us laugh (and cry) and logging the things that make parenthood so amazing.....