Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stinging Nettle

I got stung by a nettle today....and boy does it hurt!  We were all walking home from Big Boy's school when I walked up against a bunch of nettle next to the road.  I managed to contact the bush with one of calves and then rub it onto the other.  Unfortunately, as I was wearing a skirt with freshly-shoven legs I managed maximum contact!  The initial sting felt a bit like a shock and now, a few hours later, it just stings....

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I'm rediscovering how beautiful Aberdeenshire is.  I have been walking through more of my daily routine now that the baby is a bit older and I'm in better shape.  

I have walked through dense fog and autumn leaves in the last week.  I have enjoyed sun and a bit of smirr and I have tramped through a bit of mud.  I have slogged up and down many hills and along an abandoned railway line.

This has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Grocery Gripe

Why can't my grocery receipt just be one piece of paper?  Why do I need a handful of vouchers, a notice about how much I saved, and a statement regarding my grocery store loyalty points?  I can't tell what is what when I'm rushing through the till so I shove it all in my wallet and I'm getting into George Costanza territory.  Ridiculous!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sleep Training

Over the last 10 days or so, we have completed sleep training with Baby Boy.  We use the Raymond Parenting method (we attended a lecture by Ms. Raymond when Big Boy was a baby).  For more information on Kitty Raymond and her methods, here is a link:

I decided to start the training process on the first night that my husband was away on business in Dubai.  Baby Boy took to training much better than either of his two brothers.  After 3 nights he was trained up and we are finally getting some sleep!

Problem is, now Little Boy is waking up at all hours.....

Saturday, August 24, 2013


We've had a busy few days.  

On Friday Little Boy started playgroup (it would be called playschool in Canada).  It was a great success!  He had fun, he didn't cry on drop off and he had a good time.  He wasn't scared to use the toilet and he played with some of the other children.

My husband also came home on Friday.  The kids were thrilled.  

On Saturday, we went to a back to school fayre at Big Boy's school and then a fundraising fayre at Little Boy's school.  It was a busy day and we all got soaked in the downpour!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Boy Updates

Big Boy has lost another tooth, this time on the bottom....we are keeping the tooth fairy busy!

Little Boy is beside himself with excitement about starting school.

Baby Boy is on the verge of crawling.  He gets up and rocks on his knees, he just can't figure out how to "go"!  Once he does, I'm in trouble!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monogrammed Embroidered Pillowcases

I enjoy hand embroidering, so when I learned that  friend was leaving, I decided to monogram some pillowcases for her.  I used an "Aunt Martha's" pattern for the lettering and the design.  Here are some photos of the finished product:

If you are interested, here are 2 links to posts about some other embroidered items that I stitched: and

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Movie Night

Last night I did movie night with my boys.  We watched The Karate Kid and it was (as it would be...) epic!  I love the movie and every time I see it I think it's even better!

All 3 boys were interested in most of the movie.  I was surprised by how pretty the soundtrack is.

Baby Boy loves to dance (bop around in a seated position) and he had a blast during the movie.

I really love how the song at the end says "you're the best....around", it makes me giggle every time.

I bought the DVD in a set containing the first 3 movies, so next movie night we will continue...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Alone Again

I will be alone with the kids for a few days again while my husband is away on a business trip.  I plan to take advantage of this opportunity by getting a few things done:

- sort clothing for donation
- clean up the house
- sleep train the baby
- finish the novel that I'm reading with the kids

It's a long list....wish me luck!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Please! No More Clothes!!!

This is the kind of post that I often avoid.  It could hurt the feelings of some well-meaning people or it could make me seem ungrateful (which is, indeed, the case - I am most ungrateful).

I have been sorting through the kids' closets and dressers this week and it is a disaster.  I barely buy any clothes for my kids - most of their clothes are gifts.  They have received so many clothing gifts that their drawers are overflowing and difficult to close.  The volume of clothing that they own is truly ridiculous, particularly for little boys who don't much care about what they wear beyond some basic comfort issues.

After volume, the big issue is that many of their clothes are completely inappropriate for the northern Scottish climate.  Big Boy has 13 pairs of summer shorts but only 3 pairs of long trousers.  As silly as it seems, although he has far too many clothes, I will need to buy some that are appropriate for our weather.  Other examples of inappropriate clothing include jackets that are not waterproof (each boy has one) and clothing that is too warm.

The third issue is size.  My boys are big.  My 9 month old baby wears anything between 12 and 24 months right now.  My 2 year old is consistently a size 4-5.  Many of our clothing gifts run a bit small and we can only wear them for a brief period.  I am usually grateful for any outfit the baby can wear, for however short of a time, because it cuts down on the laundry, but a too-tight t-shirt or too-short trousers will not get a lot of use by the older boys.

So, I don't mean to be ungrateful, and I realize that clothing is cheap to buy and easy to ship, but we are out of control with clothing and it is not to do with my shopping habits.  The drawers are jammed with new, inappropriate clothing while I go out to buy the basics that the kids need for life here in Scotland.  We have a small house and we don't need to store extra stuff.

The fact is that the boys don't get excited about receiving a package containing clothes.  If you want to put a smile on their faces, send a hexbug. (Or other toy, book or age-appropraite activity).  Or better yet, send nothing and use the gift money to call them and make a personal connection.  Or just Skype.

First Day of Grade One!

Yesterday, Big Boy started grade 1.  What an exciting day!  He had a lot of fun and found a new friend in his class.  He learned how to use his locker and found his cubby drawer.

I had to sneak back into the school to drop something off about an hour into the school day, and the kids were enthusiastically engaged in active learning!  Teachers are amazing at capturing the attention and focusing the energy of a roomful of squirmy, excited kids.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Room on the Broom, Jamie's Italian, and More Toothy News

Room on the Broom

Today I took the kids to a performance of "Room on the Broom."  The show is a live musical adaptation of the book and it was wonderful!  The set was beautiful and the story was cute.  The performers were extremely talented and the boys were well-behaved.  The run time of the show was 55 minutes and Little Boy got a bit restless at the very end.

Here is more information on the show if you are interested:

Jamie's Italian

Following the show we traipsed down Union Street for lunch at Jamie's Italian.  We had a great lunch - my boys scarfed some spaghetti bolognese and I enjoyed a spicy prawn pasta.  We used up a credit that I had been given after having an issue with the restaurant on a previous visit.

This was my second visit to the restaurant and I have to commend the staff on their professionalism when faced with a table of 5 kids all aged 6 and under with only 2 adults.  My husband said it would be their worst nightmare, but everyone (including the kids) handled it well.

Toothy News

Baby Boy cut his third tooth today.  It is his first top tooth and it looks incredibly painful.  He is a trooper and is not complaining too much.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Good News and a Funny

Good News

I like to be proactive, so instead of just moaning about the end of Sainsbury's babyccino on my blog (, I decided to drop Sainsbury's a quick note via email letting them know that I will miss the drink and the tradition.

I got an email response today and I was amazed - it seems that they were able to programme the cash register to charge for a babyccino in our local Sainsbury's (Garthdee).  So, the babyccino will not appear on the menu, but we can still order them!  Back to our tradition!  I can't wait to take my boys.

I am very impressed with Sainbury's - I am truly a satisfied customer!

A Funny

This evening, Big Boy consented to having one of his front teeth "coaxed" out.  It was hanging by a thread, almost falling out and my husband just helped it the rest of the way along.  To gain Big Boy's compliance, my husband promised a special surprise to both Big Boy and Little Boy if the tooth came out.

The tooth was pulled and each boy "earned" a Ninja Turtle prize.

Little Boy asked "does [Big Boy] have any more teeth we can pull out?"

Clever lad.

The fourth tooth to go!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The End of a Tradition

Today I am sad.  I will no longer be able to continue a tradition with my boys.  Since we moved to Scotland, I have been treating my sons to a "babyccino" at Sainsbury's Cafe each time we shop for groceries (if they behave during the shopping trip).  The kids are crazy about these adult-styled drinks which are basically a cappuccino without the espresso.  I have tried to replicate them at home with foamed milk, but nothing comes to close to a proper steamer.

The boys liked the ceremony of it all.  We could all drink our 'ccinos and lick the foam off of our spoons.  We used to sit and have a chat and just enjoy each other's company over our special treat.  

I brought my mom to go out for babyccino's and she experience the "magic" of that time with Little Boy.  He felt grown up and would engage in conversation with us.  It was a pause from the rest of the day.

Today I was crushed to find out (when I ordered), that Sainsbury's no longer does babyccinos.  To me, it is definitely the end of an era.  I will no longer be stopping for a coffee after my grocery shopping - it won't be the same and I don't fancy sitting around moaning about how there is no babyccino and no other option.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Relaxing Saturday

Today we had a relaxing day.  We slept in (residual jet lag) and then we took a trip to Costco.

After our chores were done we decided to have lunch out at the Garlogie Inn.  Mine was delicious....I had a lovely fish pie.  The boys were incredibly well behaved and ate very well.

After naps I made some cornflake cookies (reviving an old school recipe!) and the kids played outside with my husband.  The weather was nice but not hot.

Supper is going to be low effort - salad and leftovers. relaxing with the family!


Friday, August 9, 2013

The Singing Kettle: Rumble in the Jungle

Today was a big day.  I took all 3 of my boys to the Singing Kettle concert at His Majesty's Theatre here in Aberdeen.  It was Little Boy's first concert and he handled it very well.

We had really good seats (4th row) and the kids all had decent sight lines.  The boys settled in for the show and Little Boy spent the whole first half watching with huge eyes.  After the interval he started to participate in the singing and dancing.  Big Boy participated enthusiastically the entire time.  Baby Boy watched and then napped.

The concert was good.  Cilla and Artie have retired from the group and have been replaced with Anya. Little Boy thought Anya was wonderful.  Midway through the show he whispered to me that he loved her.  During the last song of the show Little Boy fell asleep - the excitement was a bit too much for him!

I was very proud of my kids.  They were polite and well behaved during the show.  They participated appropriately during the concert and had fun.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home Again

Hello blog....I'm back home again and I will now have the time and technology to devote to publishing blog entries.  

We have had a very busy few weeks.  Generally, we finished up our summer holiday in Edmonton and flew back to Scotland.  We are getting over the time difference and unpacking our things.  I have been re-filling the pantry and re-stocking the freezer.

Big Boy finished his third week of summer camp and Little Boy had a nice visit with his cousin.  Baby Boy saw the doctor one last time so that we could get renewal prescriptions for his "miracle" drugs.

Now we are home and back to Scotland's "moderate" but sunny weather (it's sunny but rarely warm enough to wear shorts).  The kids have been spending loads of time outside and I have tried a bunch of new recipes.  We are going to get back into our regular routine next week.