Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Movember

I'm tired today, so it's a very short post.

Each year when November/Movember rolls around, I am reminded of how much I hate moustaches.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Udder Covers Nursing Cover


When I was pregnant, my friend gave me an “Udder Covers” nursing cover (the “Elsa” model).  Here is a link to their website: https://www.uddercovers.com/content/home

I have had a few nursing covers before, but this one is by far the best I’ve ever used.  The cover has a rounded, stiff neckline that lets you look down at the baby while still maintaining your privacy (and dignity!).  To me, the ability to keep my eye on the baby has made the first few day of nursing much easier.  This stiff neckline is easier to use than the “mesh top” poncho models of other brands of nursing covers because those do not stand away from your body so you are looking down at the baby using an awkward angle.

The cover is large enough to cover the baby and your stomach and the fabric is lightweight so that the baby does not get too hot.  (The fabric of one nursing cover that I had was really hot and the baby would sweat and fuss when I tried to use it – needless to say I didn’t use it for long).

The neckline is made from a similar material to men’s collar stiffners and it is washable.  I love the print of my cover (I love anything floral…the Cath Kidston store is my idea of heaven) and how easily it adjusts.  It folds up to a very small size and is easy to stow in my diaper bag.

I know this cover is a bit pricey - but in my opinion it is worth every penny!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Crathes Castle - Enchanted Castle Event


Last night we went out to Crathes Castle, to see the Enchanted Castle.  Here is a web link regarding this event:  http://www.theenchantedcastle.info/

Crathes Caste is about 20 minutes from our house.  When we arrived at the castle, our group was directed into two different carparks.  I was with my husband in the Range Rover and we were directed to the “large car” lot, while the Mini Cooper was sent to a different lot.  Our lot was a pit of mud.  The car in front of us was sliding all over the place and even our truck slid a bit.  I had a lot of trouble pushing our stroller with Little Boy inside through the mud.  When we exited the lot, a lot of people were complaining about the mud.  Later in the evening when we were leaving the event to go home, the attendant apologized to us for sending us there to park and told us a tractor would be along shortly to start pulling out cars.  Luckily we made it out with no trouble. 

But…on to the actual event…

This year, the theme of the Enchanted Castle is “Fantasia.”  The trees near the walkways around the castle are lit up in various colours and some of the lights have movement associated with them as well.  We were all given glow necklaces as we walked in.

When we entered the castle grounds we saw a fire-eater.  This fascinated Big Boy, but I found it difficult to watch.  When we initially arrived they were broadcasting pictures of people at the even through a projector onto the side of the castle.  There was a roving wizard entertaining the children and also a fire juggler.

After a short while, the main show started on the castle.   A film set to the music of the film Fantasia (but not the film  Disney’s Fantasia) was broadcast onto the side of the castle.  Little Boy was fascinated by this, so we watched for quite a while, probably longer than we would have without his enthusiasm.

Later we walked through the castle gardens and they were set up as a slightly scary enchanted garden.  Big Boy did not seem to cotton on to the fact that the gardens were meant to be scary, which was good, because lately he is afraid of everything.  In the gardens were some whimsical vignettes such as sparkly toadstools with a fairy doing juggling tricks.

The inside of the castle was also open to walk through.

We had great weather – mild and clear – for the evening and for our family, the event was fun and a success. 

We took a few pictures, here they are:

Projections on the castle wall.



The lit-up trees on the castle grounds.

Friday, November 23, 2012

First Outing


Yesterday Baby Boy was 3 days old and we decided to take him on his first trip into town to register his birth. We packed him into his bucket car seat and drove downtown. We parked and walked over to the gorgeous Marischal College building in Aberdeen.  This is the local services and registry building for Aberdeen. Here is a link to some photos: http://www.scottish-places.info/features/moregpix1482.html

I drive by Marischal College frequently but I'd never been inside before yesterday.  I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in the interior d├ęcor.  It was austere, clean and spare - thoroughly modern.

The waiting priority system was incredibly efficient.  In no time we were interviewed by a clerk who made out the birth certificate.  We were quickly on our way and Baby Boy slept the entire time!

Then we walked over to Back Wynd to the photographers where we had previously had Canadian passport photos taken.  Unfortunately, they refused to take photos of an infant so young - the reason that they gave was that "they think it's not right". Puzzlingly, even though they refused to do our photos on moral grounds, they referred us to another photographer on George Street.

We drove over to George Street and the photographer took the photos immediately.  It went really well.  She had a little bed to lay the baby in, so we woke him up and she took the photos. After a couple of pictures she had a good shot.

I fed the baby while the photographer cropped the photos and then we paid and went home.

A successful first outing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Welcome


It has been a while since my last post, and that is because something dramatic has happened in our household.

On Sunday night, Big Boy woke me up complaining of a nosebleed.  I noticed at the time that I was not feeling very well either.  After much discussion and telephone calls to the appropriate NHS services, it was decided that my husband would take me to the hospital.

Later that morning, at 5:50 a.m. we welcomed our new baby boy into the world!  He is a belter, weighting in at 9 lbs. and  2.4 oz. and he is 54 cm long.  He was born our biggest boy yet.

After an overnight stay on an observation ward we were discharged and we are now at home, resting comfortably, as they say. 

For the purposes of this blog, and until he outgrows it, I christen him “Baby Boy.”

Over the next few days and possibly weeks, many of my posts will be on a theme of pregnancy and childbirth in Scotland compared to Canada. 

For now, I’m off to get some rest!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

John Lewis Fashion Consultation


Last week I had the enjoyable experience of accompanying a friend to a fashion consultation at John Lewis.  Basically, the idea is that you book an appointment to go to the John Lewis department store and one of their fashion advisors assists you in selecting new clothing.  You have the use of a private change room and the consultation takes between 90 and 120 minutes.  There are different types of appointments ranging in price from free to £20 (I believe).  The basic advice is free and for £10 you can be served coffee and cakes and for a bit more cash outlay (I believe £20), you can be served lunch.

Prior to the appointment my friend filled in a form containing her pertinent details including size, what occasion she was shopping for and other preferences and limitations.  At the beginning of the appointment, the fashion consultant talked to her about her preferences and needs and then left us in the change room while she pulled some clothing for my friend to try on.  The first few items were a bit “hit and miss” as the consultant honed in on my friend’s taste, needs and fit.  The consultant continued to bring fresh items into the change room throughout the appointment and she was very helpful with regards to addressing questions surrounding how to wear certain items and how to combine pieces into outfits.

My friend selected some pieces and purchased them, but I would not have characterized the consultation as a “high pressure” sales situation.  She bought only things she really loved and that were attractive and would fit into her lifestyle.  John Lewis is a major department store here, and has a very good returns policy (in my experience their customer service is exceptional, and I have blogged about this before:  http://janiceljlj.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/great-customer-service.html), so if my friend changes her mind before she wears something (or if her husband hates a piece) she can always return it.  Also, the consultant brought her many pieces that were on sale, and made it clear what the price reductions would be and how long the sale prices were available.

I thought the consultant was respectful, helpful, flexible and knowledgeable about clothing and fit.  The biggest change that she made with my friend was to guide her toward better fitting clothing – which is always a positive change.  She did not push my friend into uncomfortable styles or try to influence her taste.

I don’t currently need to refresh my wardrobe, but when I do, I will book a consultation for myself.  My only concern is that in John Lewis I have not generally seen the type of clothing I prefer to wear (more of a boho-casual style), but if I find the clothing to stuffy or formal, I can always choose not to buy it!