Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tyre Puncture

Last Thursday I had a puncture in my tyre (note, it was in my "tyre" not my "tire" because I live here in the UK).  It happened on the way to picking up Little Boy at nursery.  I made it to nursery before I figured out what was wrong.

Initially I had a big scramble trying to figure out who to call and what to do and the nursery was kind enough to let me stay inside in poor weather.  My husband came and picked up Little Boy and I and brought us home.  He then took one of my summer tyre and put it onto my care at the nursery.  He came and picked me up and I picked up the car with him.

A couple of days later we took the punctured tyre to an autoshop and they fixed it in a jiffy.  Then my husband put it back onto the car.

This could have been a difficult situation but it was not too bad at all!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bye Bye Moses Basket

A couple of nights ago we moved Baby Boy from his Moses basket into a crib.  He was far too big for the Moses basket, but we wanted to make it work as long as possible - from here on in, space will be cramped in the sleeping areas of our home.

I was worried about this transition, but it turns out that Baby Boy isn't fussed about where he sleeps.  He slept just fine in the crib - he didn't even seem to notice the difference!

Last night we had another "growing up moment" with Baby Boy - he slept through the night for the first time!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Tooth Fairy Visit

It’s been a while since Big Boy lost his first tooth.  I wrote in my post on January 9, 2013 (read it here: about how we have to be careful about the Tooth Fairy “situation” because it will be precedent setting in our household.  I was very nervous about what to do.

As it happened, I had a lot of time to think about it.  Big Boy did not want to put his tooth under his pillow the first night, or the next couple of nights after that.  Then the tooth was forgotten for a few nights and then a second tooth fell out.  At that point I had a talk with Big Boy about why he was not interested in putting the teeth under his pillow.  He explained to me that he did not want to give up the teeth to the Tooth Fairy.  They were his teeth and he wanted to keep them.

This created a dilemma for us.  We didn’t much care if Big Boy kept his teeth, but how were we to handle the Tooth Fairy visiting?  I decided to further fabricate the Tooth Fairy story and I told Big Boy that I had heard of a boy who asked the Tooth Fairy if he could keep his teeth.  The Tooth Fairy let him keep the teeth, but he had to leave the teeth on his nightstand when they fell out so that she could count them and leave him a reward. 

Big Boy thought this was a great idea.  So I bought a small metal container for Big Boy to keep the teeth in.  (It’s really a tea tin, but it was the right size and right price).  I helped Big Boy to write a letter to the Tooth Fairy asking her if he could keep his teeth.  Then I wrote a letter back from the Tooth Fairy  (hey – if Santa can write to my kids, why can’t the Tooth Fairy?) to Big Boy explaining that he could keep his teeth and she had brought him a box to keep his teeth in.  She further told him that he would need to leave his teeth out for her to count.

Big Boy left the letter in a specially decorated envelope along with the teeth.  My husband took away the letter to the Tooth Fairy in its envelope and left big boy the letter from the Tooth Fairy, the special box, the teeth and a £1 coin for each tooth.

This morning, Big Boy was delighted with his £2 and his special box.  He was not so delighted to have to read the letter from the Tooth Fairy - but that's life when you're learning to read!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dad's Cookies

This weekend I revived an old recipe that I have not made in a long while.  Dad's Cookies are a favourite in our house - they always disappear quickly.  To me they are the perfect combination of sweet, moist, chewy and delicious!  I love the blend of oats and coconut.  Each cookie tastes like childhood....awwww.

I normally add chocolate chips for a bit of fun, and this time I also added toffee chunks from the baking section of the supermarket.  They didn't add much to the cookies, I probably won't use them next time.

Mmmmm....cookie perfection!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Burns Supper and Ceilidh

Last night we went to our second Burns Supper and Ceilidh.  Now that we have Baby Boy, our babysitting arrangements were a bit complicated - I took Baby Boy to a friend's house while Big Boy and Little Boy stayed home with a sitter.  It was our first time leaving Baby Boy for the evening and it went really well.

My husband rented a kilt again and, once again, it took ages for him to get dressed.  I think he looks very handsome in a kilt.  

A taxi picked us up and drove us to Ardoe House Hotel.  We started off with champagne in the foyer, and then moved into the main supper room.

Supper consisted of 4 courses:  Scotch broth; haggis, neeps and tatties; roast beef; and apple tart tatin.  It was lovely to eat a hot meal without any antics and I enjoyed my food very much.  

The evening entertainment was the same as last year - the haggis was addressed; we enjoyed a pipe band; I was impressed by highland dancers; and an historian gave a presentation on the life of Burns.  All of this was followed by a Ceilidh.  We stayed for a few songs and then made a dash to relieve the babysitters. 

I am now sporting a Ceilidh-related injury - I was stepped on with a pointy high heel and now I have a swollen bruise on the top of my foot!  Make no mistake, I am entirely at fault for this injury - my dancing is clumsy and I was having trouble learning the steps!

All of the ladies at the Supper took away a lovely gift:  a "red red rose" in a vase alone with a thistle.  Here are some pictures: 

The bag is beautiful, but excessive in size!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snowy Drive

Today I took a drive through the snow.  Here are a couple of pictures of the gorgeous Foggieton Forest.  I was not driving when I took these photos, I stopped and pulled over.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snow Day!!!

Yesterday our school was closed due to the snowfall and the boys and I had a proper snow day.  It was so fun!  Here are some of our snowy pictures, enjoy!

An appropriate ride for a Canadian baby.

The storm clouds before the snow.

The clouds a bit later in the afternoon.


Little Boy:  "All done, finish, no more."

Me:  "Are you done your toast?"

Little Boy:  "Yesh!"

Me:  "[Big Boy], do you want a half piece of toast?  He's done."

Big Boy:  "Sure."  

Big Boy grabs for the toast.

Little Boy:  "MINE!"

Little Boy lunges and grabs toast and stuffs it into his face.

Me:  "Aye...this is going to be a long day."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I love snow, and we have plenty of it!  It is falling in big, swirly flakes.  The snow here is fluffy (not good for snow balls or snow men yet) with a layer of ice underneath - a pretty but dangerous combination.

I'm lucky - I don't have to drive anywhere today and I have enough groceries for a few days.  But I will be very worried about my husband and other people I know who have to drive around in this beautiful but treacherous weather.

If it's not too windy, I can take the kids sledging after school!

Monday, January 21, 2013


During my pregnancy, I was in pain on three specific and distinct occasions.  My other pregnancies were less eventful and I was a bit surprised by my discomfort over the course of this pregnancy.  I am currently relatively pain-free and I thought it was a good time to write about my pregnancy pain “incidents.”


When I was just over 20 weeks pregnant I started to have pain in my hip joint on one side.  It felt like “grinding” and I could relieve the pain by sitting or lying down.  Walking and standing both caused me a great deal of discomfort.

I went to the doctor in Edmonton and he diagnosed bursitis.  He told me to take a low dosage Tylenol and off I went to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy some.  The Tylenol was completely effective for my bursitis pain.  I didn’t want to take it all the time, so I would limit myself to 1 or 2 per day during the periods of time when I had no choice but to be active and on my feet.  I could feel the Tylenol wear off – the pain would return.

After a few weeks, the bursitis cleared up and I felt much better.


Just as I was beginning my third trimester, I started to have a burning pain on the skin of my waist.  It felt like my skin was on fire, but only in a very small area.  I noticed the pressure from the waistband of my trousers would provide some relief to the burning sensation so I started to wear a pregnancy support tube over the painful area.

Eventually a rash developed in the effected area.  I called our surgery for an appointment but none were immediately available so I took one for 2 weeks into the future.  A couple of days after I made my appointment, I had a fall and ended up going into the maternity hospital to be checked out.  There were no injuries to the baby or me from the fall, but the skin of my entire belly felt like it was on fire.  The midwives had a doctor look at me and I was diagnosed with Shingles.  Unfortunately I was also told that there was nothing they could do for me – no drug or medicine that I could take during pregnancy would provide any relief.

I really suffered with this illness – I spent a few weeks dealing with this “burning skin” pain and I would wake up if I rolled over and the blankets touched my skin “wrong.”  Eventually this went away as well.


During my last few weeks of pregnancy, due to some issues with the discs in my back, I suffered from sciatic nerve pain.  I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that to me, sciatica is far more painful than childbirth.  I experienced both within 3 weeks of each other and this is my honest conclusion.

The sciatic pain that I experienced started in one spot on my hip and shot down my leg to my foot.  It was on the opposite side to where I felt bursitis pain.  This pain was excruciating and the only position that offered some relief was standing in a certain “pose.”  There was nothing that was safe during pregnancy that I could take to relieve this pain.

This pain definitely took over my life for a brief period.  I could not focus for long periods of time and I was not interested in eating (I actually lost weight).  My skin turned a “greyish” colour and my face was constantly a bit pinched.  I did not want to do anything besides find a comfortable position to temporarily relieve the pain.

I visited the doctor who referred me to a physiotherapist.  I made an appointment for a couple of weeks later (the first available).  Then, one day, after weeks of agony I took a nap and when I woke up the pain was gone.  The doctor and physiotherapist explained that the baby had shifted and the pressure on my disc changed so the pressure on the nerve was alleviated.

I now have a new understanding of the suffering experienced by people who live in constant pain.  It must be a daily struggle to move forward and not become consumed by your physical pain.   

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Supper Ideas?

I have a pretty boring dinner rotation going right now....any new ideas for me?

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Body Shop - Wild Rose Nourishing Hand Butter

Normally, I use Wild Rose Nourishing Hand Butter from The Body Shop (here is a link:  I keep a tub of it in the kitchen and use it as needed - about once a day.  Normally, I don't notice my hands. 

If you clicked the link you will have noticed that the cream is quite pricey.  I usually buy it in the sale, but it's still pretty dear.  So when my last tub ran out I decided to use a cheaper brand from the grocery store.  Now my hands are a nightmare!  My fingers are chapped and cracking and I apply the cheaper cream constantly!  

But, I'm too frugal to throw out the remaining "bad" cream....after it's gone I will switch back.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Clinical Pilates

Yesterday I attended my first session of Clinical Pilates.  This is a class offered at our local physiotherapist.  It is different from regular Pilates because it is instructed by a physiotherapist and a physiotherapist guides each attendee through the exercises to ensure that the exercises are being done correctly and-the attendees are not harming themselves.

I loved the class.  It was extremely challenging for me (I will chalk that up to the fact that I just had a baby!) and I am feeling "good" pain - my muscles feel like they were stretched out but I don't feel injured.

The class I am taking is specifically tailored to post natal ladies trying to correct issues with posture and trying to get their bodies back to "normal."  The physiotherapist who lead the class was mindful of the fact that we all had recently given birth and was sure not to push us inappropriately.

The purpose of each exercise was explained clearly with references to muscles and joints and the class seemed more "science-based" than yoga classes I have attended.  (I know I am basically comparing apples and oranges, but I personally have no other basis for comparison).

I have signed up for an entire semester so I will periodically update you as to how it is going!


Baby Boy had his first immunizations yesterday (he is 8 weeks old).  There was no drama, we attended at the clinic, he had his shots and cried briefly and then we went home.  I seem to recall needles are always easier when they are very young.  Little Boy came to the clinic with us and was jealous that Baby Boy was going to have "noodles" until he saw what the "noodles" really were! ("needles" if you didn't get it)

This afternoon it struck me that Aberdeenshire is really beautiful.  Here are some pictures that do not do it justice.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Yesterday we had a beautiful sunset here in Aberdeen.  These two pictures were taken as the sun went down - around 3:10 p.m.!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


We are warm and toasty now....for the time being. Let's hope it lasts!

I'm trying not to be bitter despite the bitter cold.....

Our house was too cold to stay in last night because our boiler stopped working.  Also, we have no hot water.  The only solution provided by the management company was to drop off 4 space heaters and inform me that they were safe to use in kid's rooms....really - that's interesting and goes against all logic.  I was also informed that it is safe to use space heaters around children as long as they don't touch the hot part....

Anyways, one space heater was too heavy for me to bring upstairs so it's still in the hall.  One did not work and one worked but was inadequate for our room sizes.  Only one was effective but it is fire-y hot - totally inappropriate to have around kids.

We tried to go to a hotel for the night, but we called loads of them and all of them were fully booked due to a bunch of flights being cancelled because of the weather.  Thank goodness our good friends took us in for the night!

I'm trying to keep a positive attitude as I shiver in my house wearing multiple pairs of wool socks and two sweaters.  I just put Little Boy down for a nap in a room only 6 degrees higher in temperature than our refrigerator!  Its a good thing he has cozy clothes and covers!

Oh yeah....and the toilet seats are freezing cold!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oh aye...

but it's a fine day to be without heating...

Day 12

....brings a flood. And the boiler is kaput. So no heat or hot water at all.....and the rain is pouring down!

A great start to the week.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 11

For us it is day 11 of having no reliable heat and hot water.  And we live in Scotland.  Brrrrr.

About 11 days ago our boiler stopped working properly.  Of course it took us a couple of days to figure out what was going on, so 9 days ago I brought this to the attention of our property management company.  It's.  Still.  Not.  Working.

I am very very irritated.  I have been in contact with our property manager constantly since we discovered the fault.  We have had a repairman out repeatedly and the problem is not yet solved.  For me the issue is that we have been the victims of extremely poor communication and this has extended the problem and added to my irritation.  

We can get the boiler to work for a bit less than an hour if we pressurize it.  So don't worry about our safety.  I'm just very annoyed at the predicament.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Foggieton Forest

Foggieton Forest is one of our favourite places to go for a walk on the weekend.  If it is raining there is a lot of protection from the treetops and you can still have a pleasant walk.  Now that Little Boy is growing up, we walk at his speed, meaning that our walks are slower and shorter, but it is great fun.

Here are some photos taken in Foggieton Forest on a "so-so" weather day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lost Tooth!

Last night (January 9, 2013), Big Boy was eating his bed-time snack after swimming lessons and he lost his first tooth!  It is one of the lower front teeth, meaning the cute pictures might have to wait.

I'm not sure why, but I see this a major "growing up" event.  He seems to be getting older so fast!

Now I will have to decide what the "tooth fairy" tradition in our house will be.  I have to consider my options carefully because it will set a precedent for all 3 boys.  I am on a deadline - he wants to put the tooth under his pillow tonight!

New Favourite T-Shirt

On Boxing Day I bought a top that is a little bit outside of my familiar territory.  You see, I hate animal print clothing.  And here in the UK, they take animal print to tasteless extremes.  There was a shop on Oxford Street featuring a dress in its window that looked like purple leopard print, but when you got closer the leopard spots were really lips!

Anyways, I bought this top at Dorothy Perkins, and while it is not really "animal print" it is a print of an animal!  I just love this top and I'm sure my family and friends will be sick of it soon!  This could have been a  "the salesclerk made me buy it" situation, but I'm very pleased with my purchase.  (For those of you who don't get the "Cathy" reference, look here: )

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Phone Call

Yesterday I got a surprising telephone call.  I am certain that this would not have happened in Canada.  

The nurse from our surgery called and asked if I would be home in the afternoon.  She had noticed that I would be in later in the week with Baby Boy.  She wanted to know if she could come by in the afternoon and weight and measure Baby Boy so that during the appointment my discussion with the doctor was not disrupted with these tasks.  She came to my house and we comfortably weighted and measured Baby Boy using equipment that she brought with her.  She saved me a bunch of hassle at the clinic and helped to streamline my appointment - what amazing service!  

For anyone keeping track, Baby Boy's stats are as follows:

- weight:  12 pounds, 7 ounces (75th percentile)
- height:  58.5 cm (75th percentile)
- head circumference:  40 cm (91st percentile)

He is healthy and growing!

Monday, January 7, 2013


I am one of those people who can't stand it when little kids call an adult by his or her given (first/Christian) name.  I think it is rude and inappropriately familiar.  I think that it shows a lack of respect.

So, I usually get around this at home by having my kids call adults in their personal life “Aunty X” or “Uncle Y” despite a lack of the proper relationship.  At daycare, Big Boy called the workers “Miss.”

It is different here in Scotland because we live in an international community.  Many of our friends are American, specifically from Houston.  They do not call non-related adults “Aunt” or “Uncle,” they use the term “Mister” or “Miss.”

So, since we have moved here we have adopted these monikers as well.  I really don’t love them, and when we go back home we will change back.  It does feel very "Dallas" to use those terms....