Archive for the ‘body issues’ Category

2016 as seen by the Robertsons

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

It must be said, that 2016 has been a fabulous year for my wee family. Mostly for the fact that we finally went on the holiday I’ve been dreaming of my whole life, and Bryan and I have spoken about for the 18 years since we met! When we got pregnant we declared the bump would be taken to Disney World when it was old enough, well it spent his 7th birthday in Magic Kingdom and had dinner with Mickey Mouse. Mission accomplished.

Must admit we said we were doing the “once in a lifetime” experience and our budget stretched somewhat accordingly, it was all wonderful and worth the saving up all year. However next time (oops how did that happen?!) we’ll do things differently. Hopefully next time the worst hurricane in a decade won’t delay our departure either, an extra night in Manchester doesn’t really equate with your first night at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. Luckily our ace Travel Counsellor booked us into the same hotel as some friends from home and we met them for dinner, which almost made up for it! The day I’d allocated as traveling from Universal to Disney became a Universal day and we ended up not feeling like we’d missed out much – thank goodness it didn’t mess with my Disney Fast Passes itinerary!

We had a fabulous fortnight, meeting characters and going on rides. Highlights (one day I might blog the extended version!) were Bryan’s face at high fiving Homer Simpson; Owen’s awe stricken face meeting Aladdin; me getting on stage with Captain Jack Sparrow and being sworn in as a pirate; the Star Wars fireworks; Be Our Guest dinner in the Beast’s castle; Owen’s joy at driving a car on Tomorrowland Speedway; watching the animals from our balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge; Bryan’s excitement at Princess Jasmine calling him Sultan; Merida telling Owen he had to eat 7 cakes that day as it was his 7th birthday, the last of which had his name on the top as he was presented with a specially made birthday cake after dinner that night which Kate, our Travel Counsellor, had ordered for him; Splash Mountain; all being hugged by Chewbacca; Captain America letting Owen help to hold his shield; getting my photo taken with Chip n Dale; Bryan’s goat affection; multiple crêpes in the Food and Drink Festival at Epcot for Owen and getting ”one of each” at the chocolate stall for Mummy! Yes, that really is just some highlights, the whole fortnight was magical and amazing, hence the “next time” phrase starting early in our holiday and continuing today.

First though, Bryan and I will be going to Rome in 2017 as our Travel Counsellor also pointed out a competition her company were running and, one video review of her services later, I won! So we get flights, transfers, 3 nights in a 5 star hotel and tickets to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel! Kate didn’t know I’d won till she attended her company conference and my review was played to her 16,000 colleagues on 3 massive screens, the poor things!!

Bryan’s work is going well, his company merged this year so there are changes afoot. He’s going to be attending more conferences, and in September Owen and I accompanied him to one in Miami! As his company was paying his flights and for a hotel room it seemed a shame not to take the opportunity to go, and we only had to pay for our 2 flights. So we went from never having been to America to going twice in 2 months! The trip was a good practice for long haul flights and dealing with the heat – plus the conference hotel was gorgeous with 3 pools and a beach front so we got lots of swimming done! I may have also gate crashed some of the evening entertainment and got a cuddle with a lemur…

 

All year I’d been saying I should lose weight for Disney but as soon as Bryan mentioned Miami all I could think was the Will Smith video with size zero girls in bikinis. It was great motivation and I lost half a stone before we went, for the first time I can remember I actually enjoy looking in a mirror and in November I even took part in a fashion show for a local dress hire company! I did turn 40 this year, but the distress was distracted by my super chums getting me a Meerkat Moment experience at Edinburgh Zoo, we had a lovely day out with some other chums from down there. For a glorious 30 minutes I was allowed in with the marvellous meerkats, to feed them and pose with them! I also got to meet, and stroke, an armadillo!

Jennie's photos of my Meerkat Moment at Edinburgh Zoo

My work is also going well, external hires of the Library have seen me at a Downton Abbey theme civic ceremony, watching magic shows, listening to great gigs, helping organise a marriage proposal dinner, and being put in a disappearing box by Harry Potter!! I had a work experience student all summer so it was nice to have some company as I’m usually alone in the office – and whilst he was there we finally finished cataloguing the library collection. I also stood down as Chair of the BIALL Website Committee and attended my last of their conferences as the time has come to face up to the fact I’m not really a Librarian anymore.

Owen is also doing well at school, although he’s in Primary 3 he now does maths and literacy with the P4-7 class. Usually in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) kids are not introduced to English until P4, but when Owen told his teacher about the Road Dahl and JK Rowling books he’d read in the summer holidays they decided he was probably ready! He is a voracious reader, one Friday night I took him to the public library for new books, as I tucked him into bed I suggested that maybe he could let me sleep a little past 7 in the morning. Bryan and I awoke the next morning at 9.45 and I went through and found he was happily reading – “I’ve finished 2 books so far Mum” he says! It is embarrassing when he asks for help with maths and I have to get a calculator out though! He now goes to a football club after school on a Tuesday and he’s just passed level 2B in swimming classes. Oh and I’ve become a Parent Advisor for Gaelic education in Aberdeen.

I also managed to find myself on the committee for Fèis Obar Dheathain (traditional music tuition and a Gaelic arts experience for young people). We ran an event at the May Festival and a stand alone session in November, now planning a “proper” 3 day event at the February half term. Owen attended both Fèis this year and really enjoyed them so fingers crossed for the next one!

We think we finally have the hot tub settled. It leaks constantly but we’ve had the bathroom floor and walls treated so this shouldn’t cause any problems. We finally got a complete bill from the engineer and got paid up so we no longer have that debt hanging over us. It’s temperamental and will continue to have issues but when it’s working you don’t care, it is a fab thing to sit in…for hours…

I’m still loving my concerts, this year Bryan and I escaped to Glasgow for a weekend at the County 2 Country music festival and I enjoyed wearing cowboy boots! We saw some fab performers and have again bought each other tickets for Christmas so we can go next Spring. For my birthday, my parents took me to see Nashville Live in Glasgow, was the first time I’ve been to a concert with my Dad and a great night. I also had a birthday night out with some chums to see Kathryn Joseph, which was quite an experience! I worked at the Enjoy Music Festival again and was put in charge of the ticket collector team, it was a fun day – and I enjoyed the last few acts once the gates were shut at 9pm! Through Gig Shot website I managed to get free review passes for a few concerts and saw Ronan Keating, Stereophonics, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The View and Newton Faulkner. I also helped at the door of a few gigs my friends organised through their Flares and Seagulls music blog, saw quite a variety of different bands (and got chatted up by a drummer!). Owen was thrilled to come to two Best Girl Athlete concerts in my Library. At the first he got to meet the band, turns out Katie the lead singer went to his school, and the drummer even gave him a go on his drums! He was hanging out in the “green room” with the American bands who were also playing that night and spoke some Gaelic to them, which one in particular appreciated. I won tickets to see Red Hot Chili Peppers down in Glasgow so had a fun road trip with our cousin Nicole who’s quite a fan! I did try to actually buy tickets to see Busted, but a lovely Twitter chum set me up with free ones, with awesome seats that meant we were really close to the boys for 3 songs! We had another family trip to Party at the Palace and enjoyed our beloved Proclaimers again, as well as Gun, Bootleg Beatles and Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5.

I know 2016 hasn’t been as kind to everyone but I hope you had some happy times and go into 2017 with a good bank of memories. Here’s hoping the year ahead treats us all kindly.

Pox Boy

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

One week to the day after the Tuesday afternoon call from nursery about Owen having a head injury comes another call from them.  This time he had chicken pox and I was to take him home.
'I so so sore'

At least we have now got that over and done with, before he’s at school age.  Also apparently it gets worse the older you are so its better to get it young.  Hopefully he won’t have it again, although I believe that is possible!

So we had 2 weeks of juggling jobs and Pox Boy.  Luckily he seemed to like being green when smothered in Aloe Vera cream, and enjoyed many bicarbonate of soda baths which also seemed to help lots.  He was such a good boy with it, there was only 1 night he didn’t sleep well, and he’s admitted he had a “little scratch 2 times”.  It’s so hard watching your wee one in pain or discomfort though.  Mostly I stayed home with him although he had one day of Daddy, one day of Uncle Lee, and even one day of coming to my work and helping me!  I actually got a lot more done than I thought I might and even he did some work, sorting out my white and red rubber bands into seperate piles. He really enjoyed a picnic lunch on my office floor complete with tea party with our lovely cups etc.
Picnic lunch and pretend tea party at Mummy's work

Once he was over the worst, and no longer contagious, we even had a trip out.  I probably could have put him back to nursery but he still wasn’t himself and I didn’t want to rush things and make him worse.  He went back last Friday for one day so he had the weekend to recover as nursery is tiring and then he’s been back full time this week.

Our trip out was even more sucessful than I had hoped.  I’d told him we’d go to the Disney Store and Maritime Museum and he seemed excited about both.  We got a lift in with Bryan so were in town super early and went straight to Disney.  They hadn’t opened yet but when they did the ladies asked Owen if he would like to open the store, so he got to help turn a huge key and then watch all the lights come on and the animations around the walls start, with the sunrise first.  They then gave him a replica of the key to take home!  So exciting!!
Opening ceremony
Disney key in pride of place on new bedroom door

He wasn’t quite so taken with the Maritime Museum, not enough pirates apparently…!  Although he did like seeing the huge model of an oil rig as that is where Grandda works and I showed him where all the helicopters that fly over our house land, so that was good.
We think this one is a pirate ship - it even has treasure!

It was quite nice that we got to spend lots of time in his new bedroom just after he moved in as well. He had been in the smaller of our 3 bedrooms with a Finding Nemo theme. However whilst Lee was staying with us Bryan got used to not having a big “den” so when his brother moved out we redecorated that room with a Toy Story theme and moved Owen into it. The smaller room is now a spare room/computer room. Of course not all the time that Owen spent in his new room was spent appreciating our decorating efforts bless him…
This might be why he didn't come when I called him for lunch

Happily the pox marks are now fading and I’m not aware of any scars remaining so we may have got off lightly, and the scar on his head seems to be healing up nicely as well.  More excitingly, yesterday (Tuesday) passed without any phone calls from nursery!

First A&E trip

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Monday afternoon came the phone call you dread.  “Nursery” came up on the screen and I took a deep breath and answered it.  “Don’t panic but Owen’s had a fall, please can you come and take him to A&E for stitches in a cut on his head”.  ARGH!!  My baby!!  etc.

I phoned Bryan and we both raced to nursery, him in the car and me by foot.  I got there first and went in to find Owen calmly sitting with the manageress pinching the wound to help it set in place.  I was told he had screamed and cried for a bit when it happened – a good thing apparently as it means he was not unconcious at all.  I was told the doctor’s surgery may be able to handle it but when I phoned they told me to go to A&E.  By this time the car was outside so we went out to meet Daddy.  First the staff apologetically got me to sign a letter about head injuries to say they had indeed given me a letter about head injuries.  They kept the Accident Report Form for the next morning when I was rather more composed!  It’s sad that there is so much paperwork in the way of child care these days, the staff would much rather spend more time with the kids – or let you out the door to the hospital faster!  However it is all deemed necessary by the powers that be so it must be done!
On way to A&E after falling at nursery

Aberdeen has a seperate A&E for children so we took Owen in there (same reception as when he had his hip problems so it wasn’t too new and scary).  Owen declared “I got sore bit” to help the receptionist and pointed to his head.  A short wait later a nice male doctor came and took us through to one of the wee rooms and had a look at him.  He cleaned the wound, gave us a second handout about head injuries, and said a nurse would be through to glue Owen together.  Another wee wait (“where’s the man?” “I get glue?”) and the nurse came in, talking about Humpty Dumpty much to Owen’s pleasure!  We were asked to lay him on the bed and they squirted some glue and sent us home – with a handout of course!  This one was on the gluing procedure and its aftercare.
Super star sticker for being good boy whilst glued together

Owen was most excited to get a sticker – and some chocolate from Daddy, and off we went home.  We have to keep it dry for 5 days to allow it time to work and then it should fall off and that will be that.  Not as scary as first trip to A&E could have been but unfortunately it is unlikely to be the last trip!  Still if he’s as brave as he was with this it won’t be too traumatic for Mummy!!  The doctor did say it will probably scar but should fade in time, so here’s hoping that’s right.  Still, who hasn’t got a scar from some incident or other when they were wee?!

Mother’s Day

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Last week was a bit tiresome.  Poor Owen caught a virus at his wee chum’s birthday party the weekend before.
Huge bouncy castle and glitter ball

So he was off nursery, and Bryan and I had to juggle who stayed with him between our work commitments.  Not easy as I had functions on Monday evening, Tuesday lunchtime, Wednesday evening and Thursday lunchtime.  By Friday I was glad to stay home the entire day!

Poor wee Owen really wasn’t himself – huge temperature, runny bum and nose, off his food.  Then on Wednesday Bryan came down with it too!  Yikes!  This was my Wednesday afternoon…
Sick boy position

On Saturday Owen was a bit perkier so I took him off to Doonies Farm so that Bryan could have some time alone – and I was hopeful we’d see some lambs (we didn’t *sigh*).
Owen offers the pig a piece of carrot, just the one

However we did manage to have a nice Mother’s Day as a family.  It was a glorious day up here so we went down to the beach and had a picnic lunch and Owen collected shells and we made a pattern with them in the sunshine.
Ernest worker
Shell picture

My special treat was that Bryan cooked us a roast beef and Yorkshire pud dinner, with chocolate cake for dinner.  Yum.  Then when dropping Owen at nursery this morning I found a wonderful piece of artwork in the form of a Mother’s Day card.  I presume he made it before being off sick, but I’ll need to check that when I pick him up…!

Mother’s Day got me thinking though, about how ace it is to be a Mum.  I had a sad wee think about Bryan’s Mum who is sadly missed, and about my 2 wee babies that were not to be and didn’t make it past being embryos. 

Just one look at wee Owen when he smiles his gorgeous smile and nothing else in the world really matters (sorry everyone else!).  Amazing the bond between mother and child – alarming and fantastic.  Lots of my friends were posting photos of the presents and cards they got but I have to admit I got the best present I could ever get when Bryan handed me our little gooey newborn baby.  Love you always and forever my family.

2011 round up

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Still being naughty and not blogging much so thought I could share the letter I sent with Christmas cards as a bit of a round up of last year (may edit it a bit to allow for public consumption):

So 2011, what have you been to me?  Great in the main – or is that just my family that’s great?!  I’m still loving being a Mum although I can’t believe Owen is 2 already.  He’s fascinating right now as he learns new words and meets new things “oooh what’s that?”.  He is super cute and awesomely intelligent (not that I’m biased at all obviously.)  The other day I counted to 5 and then he said “6, 7”.  Of course show him 2 or more of something and its “2” or “more 2” – yes, he’s still learning!  Obsessions seem to be: “heigh ho” – that’s anything to do with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; “yo ho me” – that’s pirates and his shortened version of the song “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”; “buk buk egg” – chickens say, so are called, buk buk and he loves collecting their eggs when I take him to Creagan to see his doting Grandparents; and, usually linked to his Dad and Grandda “football” – he could kick and dribble a ball long before he could talk very well.  One thing I hadn’t expected to come with being a parent is the amazing feeling when you watch your husband, parents and in-laws with your wee one and see the effect they have on each other, it overawes me frequently.

Bryan’s brother Lee is still living with us – we even had his 4 kids visit for a while in the summer which was ace.  Owen didn’t sleep very well as he was so excited to see his cousins but they helped with him so it worked out fine – and it was lovely to get some quality time with them.  Lee now has Access Rights sorted but its not easy as they moved to Hastings earlier in the year.

Bryan’s work took on a big new contract so he’s been working hard on that, whilst mine has continued to provide me with a varied and enjoyable social life all in the name of “work”.  I even got a bus trip to Pitlochry Festival Theatre to have lunch and see My Fair Lady in September.  It was so fab I got my parents tickets for their birthdays and they loved it too. 

I can now strike “Join a Committee” off my bucket list.  I have attended meetings in London and Birmingham accordingly and met some lovely people.  I’ve even written an article for a professional journal so may soon be a “published writer” as well.

For the first time since our honeymoon Bryan suggested we have a “summer holiday” together this year.  Given the choice of the whole world…I booked us a week in Carnoustie (east coast of Scotland!).  We had an ace time, with Owen and I making full use of the pool.  We had trips to St Andrews Aquarium, Camperdown Wildlife Park in Dundee, Carnoustie beach, Arbroath beach (and cool miniature railway!) and Brechin Castle centre where they have those huge bouncy pillow things.  And the best bit was…Bryan talked about “our next holiday” – hurrah!

I have toned down my concert going somewhat but still managed: The Script, McFly, The View, Take That, Noah and the Whale, Katy Perry, Bryan Adams and Kasabian.  Theatre wise I saw: Cinderella by Scottish Ballet, History Boys, Avenue Q, Jekyll and Hyde, Sleepless in Seaton (local student show), Thriller, My Fair Lady, Flying Pigs doing The Silence of the Bams and I went to 2 fashion shows!  I also had a lovely couple of weekends away with my “gal pals”, one on Loch Tay and one near St Andrews.  Whilst I was out gallivanting Bryan obviously had some bonding time with Owen – and dedicated a few hours to his Xbox and Playstation addictions. 

As a family we went to see Beauty and The Beast (darling Owen was good as gold for the whole 3 hours in the theatre!) and Disney on Ice – which was amazing.  Other things we did as a family were to take Owen to Edinburgh zoo, a Baby Boogie in a nightclub (actually Daddy didn’t make that one for some reason…), a ride on a steam train made up to look like Thomas the Tank Engine, a steam fair (“tractor” was one of Owen’s first distinguishable words!), a farm open day when we got to sit in a tractor and a combine harvester (not sure who enjoyed that more, him or me!), Christmas tree light turning on carol service, and we went to Blair Drummond safari park with my parents on Dad’s 60th birthday.  Yes, that’s Dad joined Mum in the OAP bracket now – scary!

Health wise the boys are good.  Owen was at the hospital again about his eye, he was born with an underdeveloped tear duct and we’ve been keeping an eye on it but it was deemed unworthy of putting him through an operation, thankfully.  It seems to have got better since then too so hopefully we’ll just be able to cancel next year’s appointment when it comes and forget all about it!  I am finally happy about my weight and body – not something I expected to happen after having a baby, but something I am doing my best to enjoy to the full.  I even wore a mini skirt recently – and I bought shorts this summer!  I’ve had some health issues but it’s nothing unusual after giving birth and getting older apparently! 

Talking of birth – Bryan’s cousin Ray and his wife Nicole now have a boy and a girl – perfect set.  I’ve managed to have a few lovely baby cuddles with Maya – and its ace watching Lucas and Owen interacting with each other. 

Hope this finds you and yours well, and that any 2011 was good to you too.

My 2010 in 10 Photos

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Okay, so I have totally stolen this idea from someone else but his is cool so I wanted to copy him.  Someone posted a link to his blog post on Twitter and I liked it so decided to nick the idea, but I’m so rude I also forgot who posted the link and where the blog post was.  If someone would like to remind me I will give full credit, but in the mean time – here is my year in 10 photos. 

First off I would like to say that although this sounds like a great idea, its actually a really hard thing to do!  Especially when (a) you take as many photos as I do and (b) your husband says you’re allowed a maximum of 2 of your beloved baby Owen around whom your life revolves.  I was tempted to cheat and use photos of things to do with Owen but not of Owen (ie his report card from nursery the day he took his first unaided steps there) but I knew that was cheating so I have tried not to do that.  Although I’m not promising his name won’t appear in my reasons for choosing certain photos, but this is my blog and I’ll bend the rules if I want to!  I was going to do the photos in chronological order but I think as I’ve just used the O word several times we’ll start with him and take it from there!

That's me that is

Photo 1 – Owen!  Yes this year my life revolved very much around this little chap.  I had the first 6 months off work on maternity leave to look after him and try and work out this being a Mum thing.  I’ve had an amazing time watching him grow and develop: from the first tooth, to the first time he stood up clutching at the coffee table, to his first toddle.  He started nursery in June and loves it, he started solid food in March and loves it even more!  He can now give hugs and kisses, put things in the bin, stroke the cats nicely, say a few words, shake/nod his head meaning no/yes, say “uh-oh” when he does something naughty (so hard to keep a straight face) and he loves books.  He sleeps well most of the time, smiles a lot and is generally amazing and wonderful.  Everyone told me that a baby changes your life and that idea used to scare me but I’m glad I came round to it as the love you have for your own wee person is just phenomenal, and the resulting deeper love you have for the man that made it possible and is there by your side through it all is just about as fantastic.  I think the other important “parenting” lesson I’ve learnt is that there is no right way.  Every baby and parent and situation is different and once you accept that life gets a lot easier.  Online social networking sites are great in this as well, I met some fab Mums when Owen and I were on maternity leave and able to go to things like Kids & Co and Mainly Music groups at the church but once I went back to work I didn’t have the chance to do these things.  However I had added several of the Mums as friends on Facebookand now I can keep in touch with all the lovely ladies, and get advice on things from time to time from them or other parents I’ve met online.  So hurrah for all my Twitter and Facebook buddies – thank you!

I picked this particular photo as it was an idea I nicked (yes I do that a lot, sorry!) from a free PixiFotophoto shoot at Mothercare, so as well as being of the wee man it signifies all the free stuff you can get when you have a baby: from the benefits the government give you, to the things like Bounty packs of “useful items” they hope you’ll then buy lots of (well done Petit Filous, that worked with us!).  Also the building blocks were borrowed from Lucas, Ray and Nicole’s little boy.  Borrowing his stuff is also something we do a lot, and something we really appreciate.  Babies grow out of clothes and toys so quickly so being able to use someone else’s is a wonderful thing.  Lucas lends us lots of his things and its wonderful to have access to his “cast offs”!  We are also very lucky in having fab friends and neighbours who pass us lots of toys and clothes as well, save us a fortune!  And once we’ve finished with them we can pass them onto one of our friends with a smaller baby and save them money too.

Anyway, enough about Owen, there must be more to life…?!

Dad catches a guinea pig for Owen to see

Photo 2 – my parents, the proud Grandparents!  This photo was taken in February when Owen (oops did I mention him again?!) and I went and spent a week with my parents.  We had a lovely holiday: going to Auchingarrich Wildlife Park and stroking various animals, going to Loch Katrine for a walk, going to a local fete so Mum could show off her grandson to the locals, just chilling out and smiling at Owen!  The best bit was that my parents weren’t working, they were able to just enjoy themselves and our company.  So nice to see them out the house doing “normal” things.

As for the guinea pig, well a certain young man loves animals and points whenever we are out for a walk and see a dog.  He can make a Woof noise and the other day was looking at a pig picture and Oinked!  Bless him! 

But yes, grandparents.  Mine will only have one grandchild as I am an only child and so will Owen be, so it was predicted they might be a bit doting, which they seem to be fulfilling nicely!  Bryan’s Mum unfortunately died at Easter due to a brain tumour, so Owen only met her once before going to her funeral and sadly won’t remember her.  Although he does see photos of her regularly so won’t forget her any more than the rest of us.  Bryan’s Dad and his wife Sasina see Owen fairly regularly and every time he seems to get a present as well as lots of cuddles – so obviously Reg hasn’t tired of grandchildren even though Owen is his fifth!

Cinnamon toast I requested this morning

Photo 3 – food!  As anyone who follows my flickr page knows, I occasionally photograph nice food before I eat it.  This is partly due to my intense love of food and partly due to participating in an online group collecting photos of food (good excuse I thought!).  Anyway I chose this photo to represent the ones I’ve taken in the past year as it was tasty, pretty, and made by my own pet chef Bryan!  This year he has made some yummy things (I particularly liked when he went through a phase of trying to make the perfect chocolate cake) and his kitchen talents have grown somewhat.  I am happily taste testing anything he passes in my direction. 

So that takes me to another hidden meaning behind a photo – its ironic given Bryan’s developing cooking skills that 2010 should be the year that I finally make it down under 10 stone.  I think I’ve hated my weight since my early teens and had several issues to go with that along the way.  Today I’m not toying with making a New Year Resolution to myself to loose weight, for the first time in a long time.  Its such a lovely feeling.  As is standing on the scales any morning I want and them not hitting double figures.  As to how I managed this, well, I’m not sure!  I’d got down to 10 stone 4 before getting pregnant with Owen and I lost most of the pregnancy weight through birth and breastfeeding, as you do with first babies.  Then I think its been a combination of trying to juggle work, housework and mothering – just carrying around a 2 stone little boy is good exercise never mind the fact you are always on the go.  Think the main thing was some of the germs he brought me home from nursery though – one week I had a sickness bug, two weeks later diarrhea and then three weeks after that we all had the winter vomiting virus.  Just the last one made me loose 3 pounds overnight!!  Anyway, however it happened I love it – just need to get sale shopping for some new clothes as my size 14 wardrobe just hangs off me now  *cheesy grin*!  The day of the AGM at work I realised my trousers were actually indecent so I had to run to M&S at lunchtime and buy some size 12 trousers ready for the meeting that evening!

THe Hillside Posse and resulting kiddies

Photo 4 – friends!  This group is the majority of the Hillside Posse who we lived with in Edinburgh when we went to visit in May, Ray and Nicole being the other couple that came out of that flat share.  We miss all our friends from Edinburgh now we live in Aberdeen and we didn’t manage to see these ones much in 2010 unfortunately.  We did however have a lovely weekend with them at Creagan in November when my parents went on holiday and asked us to house-sit.  Nice getting to use a hotel as self catering!  And Bryan had quite a fun time in the big kitchen too – we had a lovely 3 course dinner on the Friday night!  During the weekend we also found out that Iain and Laura were giving Rose a new brother or sister in June (ish).  Lovely news!  We’re obviously “that age”, most of our friends have or are having babies and a few joined the crowd in 2010 – including two sets of twins, one to my cousin Dave and his wife Bec and the other set to my friend Tony and his wife.  Unfortunately I still haven’t met either set but I have seen lots of photos!

Evening ride

Photo 5 – Brighton carousel!  In June I had to go back to work after maternity leave.  I managed to organise it that my first day back at work I was actually at a conference in Brighton.  The downside was that after spending all my time with Owen I was going to be away from him for several days, the upside was that I have several Twitter friends and they were lovely enough to agree to having a night out on the Saturday night as my conference finished at lunchtime.  It meant staying away from Owen an extra night, but I knew he’d be fine with Daddy!  It was actually a good way of going “cold turkey” from him ready to go to work the following week, leaving him at nursery for eight hours was nothing!  The conference was also shock treatment to get my brain working again ready for thinking of Society matters rather than mushy banana and dirty nappies!  The night out with Twitter folks was great fun and proved that it is possible to meet some lovely people online, some of them I’d been speaking to for over a year so I was quite sure I knew them well enough to know they weren’t the stereotypical axe wielding maniacs your Dad warned you about meeting online!

Oh, and I went on the carousel on Brighton beach with Law Librarian friends during the day and Twitter folks in the evening.  I do love carousels after all!

T in the Park 2010 - Mumford and Sons

Photo 6 – T in the Park / Mumford and Sons!  Being a terrible mother, obviously, I left Owen with his Dad for another weekend in July and went to my beloved T in the Park music festival with my chum Lydia.  We had perfect accommodation as my poor cousin hadn’t sold her flat and was kind enough to let us use it so we had showers and a kettle – much better than the campsite in the muddy field with all the drunken folks!  It was the only concert I attended in 2010 which is a big weird for me (I’ve got 3 tickets so far for 2011 so don’t cry for me) but it was fab.  Especially Mumford and Sons, as shown, think Bryan and I have almost worn out their CD as we listen to it so much.

Pristine white

Photo 7 – abandoned stuff!  Again, if you follow my flickr pages you will have seen various pictures of random abandoned items.  You may have thought “what is she up to?”.  Or you may be @sianz or @special_noodles and know that I am just trying to be a bit creative and have been inspired by your work!  It’s amazing seeing what people leave lying around – and what they throw out, and sometimes these things can make quite cool photos, nice change from fluffy kittens and chubby babies anyway.  Also, it makes you walk around with your eyes wide open, you never know where you might see the next thing for the collection – makes walking to work far more interesting!

Away oot!

Photo 8 – weekend with Jennie!  Ah yes, so I left Owen with Daddy – again!  This time I had a weekend in Edinburgh with my chum Jennie.  Saturday was shopping all day – with a lunch break to meet up with our friends Lorna and David…and then a pub break to meet up with Kieron and Lyndsay (from photo 4!)..and then back to the shops again.  Then we took Lorna home, got her dolled up and went back to Jennie’s and we got dolled up before we hit George Street (for a while anyway, shopping is tiring!).  Was nice to just chill out and be girly. 

Jennie and I made a pact when we left Edinburgh that we would try to see each other every 3 months, obviously that’s not always possible but we do what we can!  She was in Brighton for the night out as well and we spent the Sunday together afterwards, but usually we take it in turns to visit each other.  Poor lass, one time she was up she ended up hoovering my entire house for me and another I was ill so she ended up just sending me back to bed every time I surfaced.  Hopefully in 2011 I can be as fabby a friend to her as she has been to me in 2010..if she dares see me again that is!

I am outnumbered by mens!

Photo 9 – my lovely Robertson boys!  Okay so Benson and the one who’s name starts with O whom I’m not to mention too much aren’t in this photo but my year has been very much about this lot of chaps.  Obviously Bryan is my hubby and I love him very much and I think this has grown somewhat over the past year watching him with our son.  George and Benson have been our cats for almost 4 years now and are very much part of the family, they are ace with Owen and very accepting of all they have to put up with from him.  Lee has always been Bryan’s brother (obviously!) but the last couple of months he’s been staying with us and we’ve been enjoying having him around and having the chance to get to know him better.  I also love it when he brings my nieces and nephews to visit – they were one of the main reasons we moved up here after all, we’re just hopeless at arranging to go visiting ourselves so this way we can be our usual lazy selves but still get to see them all!  Boxing Day was lovely as Lee and the kids were here, as were Reg and Sasina, and we all swapped gifts and then played with all the toys all afternoon – just what Christmas is about!

Growing up in a hotel I feel more comfortable with a fully loaded sofa, and when its with such lovely chaps one can’t help but thank one’s lucky stars.

And so to my last photo of 2010, which just has to be of…

Sun rise on Boxing Day

Photo 10 – snow!  Yes 2010 has definitely been the year for snow, I think we had it up to March and then it came back in November and stayed.  I don’t know anyone who was left “dreaming of a white Christmas” and I think I was one of the only ones that was genuinely sad when it thawed.  I almost got upset about it when it looked like I wouldn’t see my parents for Christmas but then Dad phoned and said they could come to us as we couldn’t risk being stuck in a snow drift with a baby in the car, so they came up on 23rd and spent Christmas Eve with Owen and I.  We did our present giving in the morning before Bryan went to work so it meant we got pressies early too – woohoo!! 

This photo was taken from the house on Boxing Day morning as the sun was rising in gorgeous colours.  Aberdeen gets some gorgeous sun rises it must be said, another reason why I love it.  I also love the area where we live, happy surburban life so this photo signifies that as well.

So that’s it, my 2010 in 10 photos (with apologies if I mentioned Owen too often…oops, I just did it again didn’t I…?!).  I kinda feel there should have been a photo of my beloved iPhone4, without which my 2010 would not have contained as much photography or social networking, and it would have been a sad, sad place…

Toddler alert!

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Well that’s Owen walking now, video proof here.  He’s so cute about it, been building up to more and more steps unaided but sometimes still needs a finger to hold onto.  Not a whole hand, just a finger, he is a big boy after all!  On Saturday Bryan and I spent quite some time at opposite sides of the lounge going “come give me a hug Owen” and he toddled from one to the other of us, hugged us and then walked to the next person and hugged them.  So cute, I had a lump in my throat a couple of times.  Oh and he can do kisses now, sticks his lips out as far as he can – unless he’s blowing a kiss in which case he whacks himself in the face (see video of this too!).

Owen now has 6 teeth, 4 up top and 2 down bottom and likes all sorts of different foods.  Give him a whole apple and he’s happy for ages…and the lounge gets littered with bits of reguritated apple skin!!  Generally he eats well, and anything we give him.  There are favourites – such as banana, blueberries, chocolate buttons (yes he’s mine!) and haggis!  When he first discovered lasagne and garlic bread he literally giggled with delight through the entire meal.  He no longer has bottles, although he still has some milk before bed but just normal cow’s milk, we’ve finished with that super-expensive, annoying to make formula stuff!

Trying to think what other major developments I should report on..  He says Da, Ta, Ma and versions of Duck, Cat and Tractor.  The other day his Uncle Lee spotted that he’d said Tractor with a Devon accent – no idea where he got that from… (for those who don’t know I was born in Devon and lived there till I was 8 which is where my love of tractors came from.  Owen has a John Deere calender in his room which one of my Twitter friends gave me and the first time he said tractor was when we were changing it to November and seeing what the new picture was.  Proud moment, and luckily Dad heard it from the next room so it was verified!). 

Owen does some cool things, like tonight it got past 7pm and suddenly he just crawled to the bottom of the stairs, waited for me to follow him, then went up the stairs, into his room (once I opened the door) and stood up next to his cot.  Yes Mummy, bed time now.  Bless him!  He has ways of making you do what he wants, like when he brings you a book and then turns round and sits on your lap – or if you’re not on the floor stands between your legs and reaches up the way so you pick him up.  A lot of the time he points at things he wants – like the bubble machine in the bath, he loves baths and bubbles.  He does sometimes cry if he doesn’t get what he wants, can understand how kids become spoilt brats as giving them what they want shuts them up but we try not to give in too often – especially if the cheeky brat points at my chocolate!!  Generally though he’s a happy, smily wee guy.  The other morning he woke up giggling and kept giggling whilst we got up and ready for nursery.  Oh and nursery, he loves nursery and the ladies that look after him.  The other night with all the snow we offered one of the ladies a lift home and he was sooooo delighted that she was getting in his car, just giggled and smiled.  So nice to know he’s happy there, much easier to leave him in the morning when he’s all excited to be there and see all his wee friends.

We had a long weekend booked last weekend to go to Edinburgh and attend 2 birthday parties of our friends (a 3rd birthday and a 31st!).  Unfortunately with all the snow we decided it was best not to go.  I grabbed the chance to take Owen to Codona’s Winter Wonderland so he could meet Santa.  Good time to go too on the Friday as there was hardly anyone there so we could take our time and let him have the chance to examine things in his careful considering way.  Not that Santa got any smiles, it must be said.  But once we moved through to see the reindeer there were huge smiles – and would he let go of his present?  Nope!  He didn’t open it either, just gripped it in front of him as if his life depended on it.  Was a bit of a mission getting his snow suit back on and getting him in and out of his car seat to go home!! 
We met Santa Loving the reindeer and his pressie from Santa

As for us, well we’re fine.  We’ve both had various bugs and stuff that comes from having a wee one at nursery but we’re coping!  I’ve benefitted indeed, as I finally lost the weight I always wanted to and am less than 10 stone (for possibly the first time since I was in my early teens!).  Not sure I enjoyed the sickness bug, diarrea bug, winter vomiting bug etc etc that got me here but at least they all had a silver lining!

Last month we had a week off work, which was lovely.  My parents were on holiday in South Carolina so we went and housesat their house.  Nice to get away for a bit, and it gave me the chance to see some pals and Bryan the chance to play in the big kitchen! 
Owen takes a nap in the 4 poster bed room
The added benefit of parents owning a hotel is that we could have some friends to stay whilst we were there, so we’d invited all our Hillside buddies for the weekend.  Bryan cooked us a 3 course meal ready for their arrival on the Friday night and I laid up the Baronial dining room, so once the kids went to bed we all had a yummy dinner.  We also indulged in cooked breakfasts both mornings, naughty but nice!  On the Saturday night Bryan had help in the kitchen, all we could hear was Kieron yelling “yes chef”, “right away chef”, “is this how you want it chef”, in his role of commis!
Creagan Visit

Anyway, must get to bed, Owen doesn’t always manage to sleep quite as long as we’d like and I can’t cope with 6am starts if I’m late to bed!  Hope that’s brought you up to date with us a wee bit though, couldn’t miss blogging that our baby is officially a toddler now though could I?!

Togetherness is a wonderful thing

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

So this morning I watched Bryan get a vasectomy.  I was planning on sitting in the waiting room and doing the dutiful wife thing of driving him home but then the doctor said “come on in, its a once in a lifetime opportunity” and it seemed rude not to go.  I did check with Bryan that he was okay about it, and I did stay at the head end – same as he did at the birth!  Still saw quite a lot though, most interesting!  Togetherness is a wonderful thing.

I did manage to resist saying “sucks to be you” as the doctor went snip snip.  This is one of the helpful things Bryan said to me after about 2 hours of trying to push our big baby out, so it seemed only fair to say it to him.  My time might come now the anesthetic has worn off of course.  And we both knew I was thinking it – in a caring way obviously!

It was really rather interesting watching them at work, I don’t like blood and stuff but coped quite well – and Bryan was a Big Brave Boy and coped very well.  Considering I just had to sit on a stool it was quite nice of him to check if I was feeling faint at all part way through!

Anyway that’s that done.  I did drive him home afterwards, stopping off at Asda for a ton of painkillers and a Kinder Egg.  That’ll take care of him.  The nurse told us that Bryan shouldn’t bounce Owen on his knee for the next couple of days, and the doctor added that no one should bounce on his knee tonight, so I will be in charge of Owen for a wee while – at least I have the car today so can drive him home instead of having to try and amuse him on the bus, much easier!

I just phoned Bryan to check how he’s getting on and he’s lying on the sofa playing PS3 or XBox so I think he’s going to make it through today.

What a relief I feel though.  I know you have to wait till its confirmed that its worked and stuff but just knowing that we’re nearer to being safe and sound is a lovely feeling.  Felt quite bad when I was grinning estatically when we popped by his work to collect the laptop so he could work from home if needed.  I have been stressing about getting pregnant again though, just can’t face it all again.  And Owen is such a perfect little boy I couldn’t want for more even if I tried.  I love my family, just the way it is.  Togetherness is a wonderful thing.
Happy family!

Secret no more

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

As you will know if you read my blog much, I don’t keep things secret much.  Only when there’s a really good reason – or of course if its someone else’s secret that isn’t mine to tell.  Anyway there’s something I’ve not blogged about and for ages we didn’t tell anyone but now I’m fed up of trying to remember who I’ve told and not told.  Also, I’m past being upset by talking about it and I don’t see the point in keeping it to ourselves anymore.

So I’m gonna tell you and then its done.  I don’t need responses or replies, I just need to unleash the secret so its not weighing on my mind anymore and making me feel guilty I haven’t told people.  Especially my Twitter friends who have been so fab and wonderful over the past couple of years since I met them.

Its not a nice or happy secret, so if you’re reading in great intregue or excitement, please stop now.  Its just one of those things that happen and it happened to us and at the time we couldn’t tell folk.

Anyway here it is – I was actually pregnant 3 times. 

Some people asked why we were taking so long getting pregnant – well we weren’t, we just didn’t manage to hold onto the first 2.  We lost both little beans about the 7 or 8 week point so they had not yet become much more than the size of a bean.  The first time I think my body just didn’t know what to do, the second time I think I got pregnant far too fast after the first time (when I asked the doctor when we should start again after the first one his answer was “when you get home”). 

The second time it happened Bryan and I looked at each other and declared “third time lucky”.  We then enjoyed Christmas and New Year before trying again.  Owen is our third time lucky baby and the moment I saw him I knew everything before had happened for the perfect reason of bringing the wonder of him into our lives.  I will never forget those 2 little ones I never got to meet but I will also never regret that Owen was the one that stuck in there!

Anyway I won’t go into details of what happened and how and when and stuff.  If anyone wants to ask me about it I really don’t mind, miscarriage is a statistically common thing in the first 12 weeks which we had been warned about by a kind friend.  But that’s why I was so happy when I finally got to tell people!  It also explains the hidden bit behind this blog post.  We’d had about 26 weeks of pregnancy before we could tell anyone that we were 12 weeks pregnant.  And that’s part of why Owen will be an only child.  We can’t go through all that again, I’m just so glad I had Bryan beside me all the way through, he was amazing.  I’m so lucky to have him and Owen and I’ll never forget that.

So there you go, secret no more.

Bad Mummy

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Poor wee Owen.  As if a throat and ear infection isn’t enough to cope with, Mummy then decided that his favourite comforter was too germ ridden and needed a wash.  And then had the gall to try and put him to bed without it!  You what?!
Bad Mummy!

Bunny Babbit is usually in Owen’s cot and is usually cuddled as he goes to sleep.  Last night though, he was in the washing machine getting dizzy and I felt like such an awful Mummy watching Owen searching his cot for him.  No matter how many other teddies I gave him, the crying continued until finally he managed to get to sleep.  Normally we put Owen in his cot and he may gurn for a wee minute but that’s it, last night he was crying like the world was ending.  It wasn’t enjoyable!

Tonight it didn’t take as long, although he was obviously looking for Babbity.  I think it helped that he decided he wanted to go find Daddy who was upstairs so climbed the entire staircase!  I was close behind him but he managed the whole of the stairs on his own – must have helped tire him out!

Health wise, he is definately getting over his infection.  Seems a lot happier.  However, I did have to give a parental signature today for his first Accident Report at nursery.  Poor wee chap!  He and one of the wee ones both wanted the same toy, and it ended up giving him a wee cut on his chin as they fought over it.  Apparently he hardly cried about it but it was bleeding for a wee while.  I’m quite glad I missed his first blood – not an essential “first” to be part of!  I probably would have cried more than he did!!  Talking of nursery, it was so sweet when I went in with him this morning.  3 of the wee ones came over to the door to say hello to him and one wee girl even brought him a yellow ball, was so sweet!!  He did look like he might cry when I was leaving though – makes such mixed emotions, you don’t want them to be unhappy but you do like that they want you with them!  He did look pleased when I collected him tonight, started waving at me with a huge grin as soon as he saw me!  He’s just mastering waving as a concept so every wave seems special!  As we got home we had a chat to one of the neighbours and as she was saying goodbye to him he did a 2 handed wave, which I hadn’t seen him do before, it was really cute!!  It may have been his wave of approving her suggestion that she babysit for us sometime – at least I may persuade myself of that now that the new A Team movie is out….oooooh!