my baby turns {1}

How can it be a year already? seriously, I don’t understand it.

 

Here he is, brand new, minutes old. What a sweet boy.

When I look at this photo it takes me right back to that moment. Life was so full of unknowns. We were moving, I was waiting on an immigration interview, our flat was packed up, good-byes were looming. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was completely in love with this boy. Caring for him helped me, steadied me in the midst of all that chaos. He still steadies me! As I venture into unknown territory with my just-about-10-year-old daughter, Miles is the one that I know how to parent. I know what a baby needs. I ‘get’ babies. Pre-tween girls, that’s another story…

The week before his 1st birthday, Miles was sick. High fever, runny nose, drool, he was completely miserable. So we decided to delay his party for a week, instead we had a little family celebration.

I was feeling sentimental about it being Miles last week before being a big one year old. I was rewarded with a week with a sick baby who needed to be cuddled 24/7. I enjoyed the cuddles, but not how miserable the little guy must have felt. He’s back to tearing up the house, so he must be feeling better.

I was given a pack of monthly onesies for my baby shower, and I have loved having them. Comparing him in the 12 photos is amazing. He was such a peanut when he was born, so tiny and wrinkly. Over the months he has changed so much, I just love his cheeks!

I was hoping to write a lovely ‘dear miles’ letter, putting into words how much I have treasured his first year. How much he has steadied me when all was chaos and change around me.  But, alas, a week with a sick baby, and a few sleepless nights have turned my brain {back} into mush…

Well Miles, we are so thankful you are a part of our family. You are the perfect completion to our wild bunch. We love you, and can’t wait to see all the ways you’ll change and learn and grow this year!

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stella-isms

Stella is #3 in our line-up.

You might be concerned that as the second girl, and one of our ‘middle children’, she might get a bit lost in the mix. That she might be overshadowed by her very sociable, lovable older sister, or a bit deprived of attention because of the focus being on her sweet and sensitive older brother.

FEAR NOT.

There is nothing overshadowing Stella in our house. In fact, if she had it her way, she’d be running the show. We’d probably all have a uniform of fluffy skirts, eat chocolate chips for every meal, and follow her every whim….

Stella is a girl of extremes. She is my most loving child and my most defiant child. She is a complex little girl, and I am working very hard to understand her.

I recently checked out a copy of “The Strong Willed Child” from our local library. I thought I would skim through it first, before I purchase it. I’m only on chapter two, and already I think it’s going to be a good thing. Now that Miles is a bit older {and sleeping through the night, amen}, I’ve been able to turn more of my focus to little miss fireball. In my season of simply surviving day to day, she developed some habits, habits that need some shall we say attention. I was out of ideas and had a conversation with a friend about her strong-willed sweetie {what is it about those third children??}, and she recommended the book. I’m hoping {and need to do more praying!} that having a tool will get me out of my rut with said fireball, and move forward with her. Helping her to ‘use her powers for good”!

Since she has such a big personality, Stella has come up with some pretty hilarious observations and comments on life. I thought I’d share a few of the more recent gems.

“I wish I had a pocket {like a kangaroo}, then I could put my toys in it”

{said while running out to ride her bike} “I’d better put my helmet on, so I don’t lose my brain like mommy”

“That’s hideous” {said about anything she doesn’t like}

{while on our way home from her getting stitches, and a few weeks after my Dad had a heart attack} “… good thing it wasn’t a heart attack” {said slightly hysterically}

“This dinner is lame.”

{upon seeing that we were having pasta for dinner, this did not go over well}

“I’m going to rip it up in a million tiny pieces!!”

{in reference to a pink piece of paper she was trying to write a note on when she was told she had to go home}

She keeps me on my toes that’s for sure. Unfortunately some of the most funny things she says, are said when she’s really mad, and I have to try really hard not to laugh.

A few months ago I wrote about my struggle to adapt to Stella being gone at school. It seems like such a normal thing now, and she loves it.  We’ve only had one day where she really didn’t want to go to school…. which may have involved some help from the bus driver and a call from the Principal once she got to school. Overall school has been such a good thing. I keep expecting to get a phone call from her teacher, Stella’s very vocal about her opinions and I keep waiting for it to get her into trouble! Apparently she saves all of that for me, *sigh*.

In a lot of ways Stella is my favourite {gasp, I know we’re not supposed to have favourites!!}, maybe it’s because she’s my most challenging, and I love a challenge. {I wonder where she gets it from…} But seriously, each of my children are in some way my favourite. Each one is such an individual, such a unique GIFT. I only hope I’m not screwing them up too badly. I want Stella to express all of that emotion she feels, not keep it bottled up inside, it’s part of what makes her such an incredible little person. But man, it’s such a challenge to teach her to do that AND be respectful and a joy to be around.

I love you Stella, my strong & beautiful & sweet fireball.

it’s quiet

My goodness it’s quiet around here today.

The big kids are at school {which I’m still getting used to}, Stella is at her first full day of Kindergarten, & Miles is sleeping. I’m trying to enjoy it. I watched TV during the day {gasp!}, tidied up {and 30 minutes later it’s still tidy!}, painted a chair {without a little person trying to help}, ate breakfast {all by myself}. All of these things would normally delight me, but I’m feeling kind of…. lost I guess. I keep thinking about Stella eating lunch on her own at school.

Change stresses me out. Not a big surprise right? This is the case for most people I think. The problem is that this life of mine, it’s always changing. A week ago, a month ago, 6 months ago, a year ago – all very different from today. And tomorrow will be too.

Life goes on. People change, they move away, babies grow up, start walking and talking. Cars break down, house are sold, summer ends.

I wish I was one of those people that finds all this change exciting. I’m simply not. It scares me, I feel left behind, forgotten, small.

The thing is I am small, but not forgotten.

I just wish everything didn’t scare me so much. I want to make friends, be involved at school, do a bible study, heck, why don’t I just go crazy and sign up for a half-marathon too? {incidentally I have in fact gone crazy and signed up for said half-marathon} These things paralyze me with fear. I’m 34 years old for crying out loud. Isn’t it time to just get it? {ps. anybody know what ‘it’ actually is?}

I really don’t have any answers, or a tidy conclusion to these thoughts.

I miss my life in Glasgow, or at least the picture I have of it in my head. That snapshot of happiness. I miss Stella with a fierceness that only she can bring out. I’m used to the idea of the big kids being at school all day, I’ve had a few years to do that. But this whole Stella-gone-all-day-at-school-thing, it’s going to take me some time.

I may have to homeschool Miles.

I think I hear the baby stirring {yay!}, I need to think of an errand to run so I can escape this for a little while, and an iced coffee can’t hurt.

How about you, do you like change? Does it excite you, or terrify you?

jx

uh oh

I’ve been working on getting ready for baby, and one of the final things was getting a new buggy. Our old one doesn’t accommodate a newborn, and I may have a *slight* obsession with strollers, I don’t even want to admit how many we’ve been through with our 3 kids. We finally decided on one, and I found a great deal on e-bay for about £50 less than anywhere else. It arrived yesterday, hurray!

new buggy!

The only downside is that Stella proceeded to have a total meltdown once we took it out of the box and put it together. She was just so *mad* that it wasn’t for her, she even hit it. Uh-oh. I have been blissfully unaware of any jealousy on her part towards this baby. I have a whole stockpile of baby things that I’ve been collecting and making. This is the first time she’s been upset about any of it.

So Mike came up with the great idea to make a ‘baby survival kit’ for our kids. Something for them to open up and enjoy while we’re at the hospital. So far we’re thinking a note to each of them, sweets, books and a small toy. Putting that together will give me something to keep me busy for a wee while. I’m at 38+ weeks and already feeling the ‘am I ever going to have this baby?’ Just think of how bad it’s going to get if I’m late… Perish the thought!

Happy Weekend!

mastering the art of procrastination

I could write a book about this. How to push things back, find a million ‘more important’ things to do, “forget”, avoid… the list goes on. I’m not so proud to say yesterday I gave my daughter a lesson in this fine art. Now not a literal lesson of course, more of a lesson by example, which are unfortunately the most effective kind.

I was out at a birthday party Saturday night and another parent of a girl in Olivia’s grade asked how her project was going, or something to that effect. Hmmm, what project exactly? Now this is where one of my key elements of procrastination comes in, I don’t lie about it {I don’t say oh it’s going well, all the while thinking oh dear we haven’t even started!}, I’m pretty honest about it {what assignment? Woopsie, guess we better get started!}. Sure enough, I found the assignment paper later that night, buried in her bag where it was left after I read it several weeks ago. Choose a famous Scot that you admire, create a report about this person… Now my daughter doesn’t exactly know of enough Scots to have one that she admires, so I may have chosen for her, and found a bunch of pictures to take up space enhance her report. I’ll give you some hints;  Missionary, Africa, Victoria Falls, Malaria. Any guesses?

David Livingstone!

He really was an amazing person, you can read up on him here if you’re curious!

So I learned a few lessons from this experience, first of all, DO homework as soon as it is assigned. This was the lesson I learned over and over again in High School and in University. Apparently I still am! I was also struck {again} by the fact that this parenting gig is hard work, and comes with a lot of responsibility! I want my daughter to be a hard worker, to be responsible with her tasks, and most of all to try her best. My job is to help her learn how to do all of those things. This was the first of *many* assignments I will be helping her with I’m sure, and I think we both learned a few things, not only about David Livingstone, but also about how not fun it is to cram the assignment in the day before. Hopefully we’ll do better next time!

ice cream – for medicinal purposes only

It’s been a week of runny noses, coughs, and sneezes at our flat. I’m kind of sick and tired of it to be honest. I’ve been wanting to get at that £15 chair {I know if I leave it too long it’ll make it’s way to the back lane}, but haven’t wanted to rip apart old, dusty cushions with my sick children around. The kids have kept me busy {no shocker there} and it’s been a week of found time with them. Today’s adventure was papier mache. Noah’s class was making viking helmets today and so, not wanting him to miss out, I said ‘let’s do this at home!’ I did not anticipate the lack of enthusiasm on the part of my children when it came to actually putting their hands IN the paste! I ended up doing most of Noah & Stella’s, and part of Olivia’s just so I could clean it up! They’re still drying, I have no idea if we did it right, but I sure hope so!

Noah *lovin* the paste

 

the finished product drying - fingers crossed it works!

It’s {hopefully} back to school tomorrow!

So I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a ‘what we ate’ posting on here. I’ve seen a few blogs that do the ‘what I wore’ post, but I figure what I’m preparing for dinner is a lot more interesting that what i’m wearing {jeans, wool of some sort, boots, *repeat}. This week has been a combination of new recipes {Thai coconut noodles, Jamie Oliver’s fish bake} and oldies {costco’s chicken strips which my children adore, slow cooked pork chops with caramelized onions}, but I haven’t taken a single photo of a dish. So next weeks challenge: ‘what we ate’. I also need to learn to use our dslr, but that’s another story. I do have tomorrow’s dinner planned, this pasta, using huge shrimp{prawns} that I found in the frozen section at Costco, they’re my new addiction. Well enough babbling for me, I’m off to enjoy my ice-cream {to treat my sore throat of course!}. xx

60 P1s and celtic music.

 

Today I had the chance to go on a field trip with Noah and his class. I love going on trips with Noah. I get to see him interact with his friends, I get to see his teacher interact with the kids, and 5 year olds crack me up. Today Noah’s class and the other P1 class (hence the 60 kids) took the subway into town, and then got to see a variety of Celtic music performed at the Royal Concert hall. I have to admit getting there was a bit stressful, but they are lovely children and did well. Watching the kids enjoy the show was really good fun. They were clapping, and dancing, and really enjoying themselves. Except for possibly Noah, he wanted to snuggle up instead, I didn’t mind. There are two things I took away from today. First, Celtic music is really fantastic! The whistle in particular is my favourite. It feels fairy-like. Second, Noah has a really great teacher. At one point she said to me she gets emotional seeing the children enjoy the show so much. How fantastic is that? She is incredibly patient yet firm and in control. And Noah adores her. By the time we got back to Hyndland Primary I was exhausted, I really don’t know how she does it all day long. But I am so thankful that Noah has such a fabulous teacher, and that he got to enjoy something today that he wouldn’t have if we were in America. x