Sunday, 16 December 2012

Advent day 13-16

Day 13 - In the morning we had a nice time at home and when Aaron napped, Caleb and i made some Christmas cakes (which were basically just fairy cakes but we'll call them Christmas cakes for the purpose of advent blogging).

In the afternoon, Caleb's nursery class were shepherds in the whole school show. They sang a really cute song and all looked adorable. I was proud of my boy. He's on the left nearest the camera with the brown tshirt (back to me though).

Day 14 - We made our good old salt dough ornaments to hang on the tree! Flour, salt and water, easy peasey.

Day 15 - We went to the toy store 'Hamleys' in Glasgow to have brunch with Santa! We went with friends from the nursery and it was lovely. The kids all had something to eat, Santa arrived and read them a story, they coloured in some activity sheets and decorated cookies. The elves were there to help, Caleb's favourite being 'crazy' elf. They all then got to go up and speak to Santa individually and got a wonderful goody bag of  Hamleys toys. Despite all this Christmas loveliness, Caleb's favourite part of the day was the train ride up to Glasgow. I could have saved myself some money and just rode the train all day with him ;-)

Day 16 - today, we  will paint the salt dough ornaments.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Advent 8-12

This advent blogging is going well then ha ha ha

Day 8 - Caleb didnt make it to his friend's party as he wasnt feeling well. Aaron was super cranky. Saturday was a crappy day.We got the main tree up anyway and started decorating.

Day 9 - we continued decorating! Not a great picture but theres a small tree in the top left window and my hubby did a great job on the living room lights in the front right. Plus my blue and white snowflakes outside.

Day 10 - yet more decorating! I have a stitching tree this year! yay! That tree is in my kitchen and has my small collection of christmas stitching on it. I need to get a picture.
Also on day 10, Caleb had his wee friend round to make up for missing her party on day 8. He loves Isla. He told me. lol.

Day 11 - Fail. I forgot what the activity was and simply ran out of time to even look it up. After the nursery run i had to go and open up the church hall for toddlers, then rush back to pick up Caleb again. We had an hour to grab lunch at home and get sorted before heading back out for Caleb's Kinder Gym (gymnastics class). By the time we got home, after running around Largs looking for Aaron's lost shoe (which showed up eventually in the car) and dropping in at my sisters to wish her a happy birthday, it was after 4pm and my food shopping delivery arrived and i had dinner to prepare, then the kids to bath and get ready for bed. So no, i had no time to make paper snowflakes. We will, another day.

Day 12 - Do something for charity. Every year i plan to do one of those fill-a-shoe-box appeal things. Operation Christmas or whatever its called. However, every year, by the time i look it up, ive missed the deadlines which all tend to be in November. This morning however, Caleb and i had a good wee chat about Kenya. I cant even remember how the opportunity came up but it just happened and i got out my newsletter from Footsteps International (the wonderful charity some good friends of mine run) and we looked at the pictures and talked about how hard other kids have it and how Christmas is not all about 'getting toys.' Footsteps works in Kenya with street kids. Caleb was particularly drawn to a picture of a wee boy with scraps of material for shoes. Whats happened to his shoes mummy? Anyway, my little almost-4 year old agreed to donate the contents of his piggy bank (£14) to Footsteps International. Good on him. It wasn't really what i'd intended for this day, id originally planned to have them pick out some stuff we could take to a charity shop but the little chat was impromptu and felt right.

So thats my update. I work on a Wednesday and i am blissfully enjoying peace and quiet and computer time without little hands grabbing at me or trying to bash the keypad.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

First week of advent activities

Well i knew i'd be bad at this advent blogging but was expecting to be this bad! I have managed not to blog at all in December yet, haha. We have been doing our advent activities though!

Day 1 - we put up the advent calendar. Easy one! I did not, however, get the wooden one out the garage. We are decorating this weekend so it will appear then, one week late ;)

Day 2 - The Jingle Bell fun run. I took Aaron to take part in his first race haha We ran 1K. Or more precisely mummy ran 1K whilst pushing a pram dressed as Santa and it was not easy!

Day 3 - If you've not heard of the Portable North Pole console, google it and do one for any kids you know!  Its amazing. Caleb and Aaron love their personalised message from Santa videos.

Day 4  - We did our 'Elf yourself' video, which Caleb loves and watches over and over. It does make me laugh.

Day  5 -  I was at work and the boys spent the day with their Canadian grandparents before they returned home to Canada. Caleb adores his Grandma and Grandpa. It was nice to get a bit of a break by having some live in babysitters for a week!

Day 6 - Letter to Santa written and posted. Royalmail have an 'address' to send letters to Santa to and he even writes back!

Dear Santa,
My name is Caleb and i am 3 years old, nearly 4. I have a brother called Aaron and he is 1 year old. We live  at.......... For Christmas, if im a good boy, i would like a didicar for playing outside, a new dvd and a new toy please. Thank-you Santa. 
Love Caleb

Day 6 - It was the nursery/p1 Christmas show 'Snowman at Sunset' and it was adorable.

We went to the Christmas carnival at the garden centre afterwards as a treat for such a good performance :-)

I had my first Christmas night out last night with my mummy friends from the nursery. It was a great night and it felt good to get all glammed up for once!

We'll be taking it easy today before i take Caleb to his friends party this afternoon. Fancy dress costume to sort out for that (boo), halloween's enough fancy dress stress for me to contend with lol

Friday, 30 November 2012

DeBloAdMo 2012

Here we are again! December Blog Advent Month. A concept designed by my friend Lori a few years ago. In fact i searched back through my blog to find Lori's original idea. Here it is:

 "Post every day in the month of December until Christmas one special idea you can do as a family, a couple or a group of friends. Of if you're really clever, post a wee thought each day about Christmas or something." 

Im doing it, for the third year. Feel free to join in! Let me know so i can follow your posts though! I can already say that im pretty sure i wont get to blog everyday but i will do my activity. I had great intentions of making our list less commercialised this year, get back to the true meaning of Christmas and all that jazz, but December has crept up on me again and im just not organised and im empty of ideas....i did throw in a few (day 12/day 19/day 23) 

Day 1 - hang up chocolate advent calendar and find the wooden advent calendar from the boxes in the garage!
Day 2 - Go to the Jingle Bell Fun Run (mummy's work) and walk 1K in Christmas clothes!
Day 3 - Message from Santa video
Day 4 - Elf ourselves
Day 5 - Have a special day with Grandpa and Grandma before they go back to Canada
Day 6 - Write and post a letter to Santa 
Day 7 - Christmas nativity concert at nursery
Day 8 - Go to Isla's birthday party
Day 9 - Get the Christmas trees up and start decorating
Day 10 -  Continue decorating!
Day 11 - Make paper snowflakes for bedroom windows
Day 12 - Do something for charity
Day 13 - Christmas whole school show
Day 14 - Make salt dough ornaments
Day 15 - Go up to Hamleys in Glasgow with friends for a special Santa brunch
Day 16 -  Paint salt dough ornaments
Day 17 - Go to Kinder Gym Christmas party
Day 18 - Make paperchains
Day 19 -  Read the nativity story
Day 20 - Nursery Christmas party and Funworld Christmas party at night with friends!
Day 21 - Have a Christmas picnic
Day 22 - Do an activity from our Usborne Christmas book
Day 23 - Sing Christmas carols and learn about baby Jesus
Day 24 - Have family round for Christmas Eve dinner, remember to put out milk and cookies for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph

Tonight we went down to the school in our village to see the lights get switched on, hear the choir sing carols and see Santa...... and its not even December yet!
Why do i look more excited than Caleb??

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Ornament for son number1

Im quite proud that i've been organised enough to start early on my Christmas stitching! Ive finished Caleb's ornament this week. Of course i now have to stitch the back (i always like to stitch a message) and then make it into an ornament, so there's still a bit of work left to do but hey, the front is complete anyway! I stitch an ornament every year for the boys. Here's 2009, 2010, 2011

Its a Prairie Schooler design.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lest we forget

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Going Galoshans

Galoshans. There's a good ole Scottish word for ye. It means 'guising' or trick or treating to use the now popular Americanism. Galoshans is a pretty local term, this part of Inverclyde is one of the few places in Scotland that still uses it apparently. In Scotland, it's tradition not just to go round houses collecting sweets but you have to 'perform'  as well. I like that part. Where i grew up in England, trick or treating for teenagers in particular was literally 'give us a treat or we'll throw an egg at your house,'  for little ones it was just going round sweet grabbing. In Scotland, kids are expected to tell a joke or sing a song. Its fun.

Did i just say FUN? For those that know me, i am NOT a fan of Halloween, it is not an occasion that sits comfortably with me. We're Christians, we go to church and im not comfortable with the evil, sinister side of Halloween. As well as that, i just dont get it! What is it celebrating? What's the point of it? Our country never used to be into it this much! On top of all that, i quite simply don't like the colour orange :)

However, i have kids now and there is no avoiding Halloween. Calebs school is decorated, they've been hearing stories about witches and such like for the past week and had a party yesterday. I was against 'celebrating' Halloween in anyway until i seen the pure joy in Calebs face at the thought of dressing up, going out with his friends in the dark and getting sweets lol On Tuesday he even told me he felt sad we had no Halloween decorations up. So....all of a sudden i became Halloween-ised (and yes, i know that's not a word).

We carved our pumpkin (i would have done this anyway, even before kids Matthew and i had a pumpkin each)

We made paper bats, painted them and hung them on the window.

We had a Halloween dinner of  Ghosts (breaded turkey steaks cut into gingerbread man shapes), blood (tomato ketchup) and guts (baked beans)

We went out trick or treating with friends

and look at the mummy who 'hates' Halloween. Yeah, that big smile clearly shows how much i hate it lol

Caleb had a blast, came home with bags and bags of sweets and went to bed exhausted. We live in a great neighbourhood for this. The street was buzzing last night with at least 30 wee kiddies out and about with their parents. It was lovely actually. Even the houses without kids welcomed them in, had turned their living rooms into proper displays and enjoyed playing host. 

Now if Halloween's good for nothing else at least we can say it forged friendships and deepened the community spirit of the neighbourhood. So its not all bad!

Caleb's joke:
What do witches put on their hair at Halloween?

Not to leave Aaron out, he had his pumpkin tshirt on for the day

So whilst you wont hear me wish anyone a 'Happy Halloween' i've come round to the idea a little bit. 'Happy Dress up Day' :-)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Cross stitch blogging world

When i started blogging back in 2007 it really became all about stitching. Wips/ufos/stash/wish lists/exchanges. Now i look back though, im not interested in reading about a chart 'i really wanted' at that time or a wip picture with a few more stitches in it than the last wip picture. Im blogging now for me and my family, to record some memories and im not so bothered about how many comments i can get from cross stitch world. Life has changed!

Saying that however, i am part of a cross stitch world. I love cross stitching and my blog is the best way for me to record my work! I love other cross stitch blogs. I love getting comments. I feel i have 'friends' out there from all this cross stitching blogging malarky. I just like my blog being about other things in life too. That's what i look for in other blogs now too. Im not so interested in the blogs that are purely about stitching with no bits of life thrown in.

What got me thinking about all this was looking through my google reader list this morning and seeing how many bloggers ive followed for years that are not there anymore. Those i find the most intriguing. Where did they go? Are they alright? Its so disappointing to follow someones life for years and then all of a sudden they never post again. You just hope nothing bad has happened. I hate not knowing! Then there are those that used to post so regularly and be so involved in all things cross stitch world and they are now only posting once every few months. Life changes for people, i get that., but i do always wonder what's going on, where they are, what they're doing now. It fascinates me. In my 'favourites' section on google reader, over half of those i subscribe to are now no longer blogging!

So i was blog surfing this morning, looking for some new blogs to follow and found some lovely ones. Hope to go surfing again soon to find some more! Things have changed since 2007! Any suggestions feel free to let me know

Friday, 19 October 2012

A Dipsy party

As predicted, i never did get Aaron's birth sampler finished for his 1st birthday. I have, however, been making good progress recently. These dark nights are good for stitching at least. Maybe by Christmas? HA, i doubt that, ive got their Christmas ornaments to stitch soon. Note to self: pick charts for Christmas ornaments soon!

We had a lovely weekend celebrating our boy's 1st birthday. On his actual birthday, the Friday, we opened pressies in the morning, then when Caleb got home from nursery we went for a quick look around the boat show at the marina and then to Macdonalds for tea. On the Saturday we had his party, which went really well. My house didn't get trashed by the 12 kids + parents. The kids all played great together. He had a teletubbie themed party (actually just Dipsy). He doesn't even watch teletubbies (is it even on anymore?) but ages ago someone gave him a Dipsy toy and a free promotional dvd and he LOVES it. He kisses Dipsy all the time and sits enamoured by the dvd. So a Dispy 1st birthday party it was...i even handmade the party bags but forgot to take a picture of those.
The sheer joy at receiving a new teletubbies dvd
Dipsy cake

Some of the party Food! 

Thank-you Pinterest for this rainbow fruit idea!

As for this 'Palm tree,' it was supposed to be 2 but when i got up in the morning the boys had eaten all but 1 banana, I quite liked it (another pinterest idea) but have now gone off it since my friend with the dirty mind described it as 'a bit phallic' hahahahaha

So we have a quieter weekend ahead this weekend. Matthew normally bikes on a Saturday morning with his friends from church and Caleb has a birthday party in the afternoon. That's about all i think! Hope to squeeze a good long run in seeing as the forecast looks good.

Friday, 12 October 2012

My baby is 1!

Our first picture of Aaron, taken one year ago today! Ive even "scheduled" this post for 12.46pm, his time of birth :-)

Now look at him!

My big, beautiful, cheery, affectionate, lovely, mummy's boy. What a joy this year has been. Love this boy very, very much

Friday, 28 September 2012

Getting organised

The school year has just begun and im thinking about the end already. I bought this chart to stitch for Caleb's teacher. Knowing how long it takes me to stitch anything i thought i'd just get organised and start now in the hope that it'll be stitched and finished into something by the end of June :) I can do that, right?!

I haven't posted in a few weeks mainly because we were without internet at home for over a week. I sure realised how much i rely on it; for food shopping, paying bills, contacting friends....i was lost without it!

Lets see, what have we been doing...

I ran another 10K race and got a new PB! 60minutes 7 seconds. Im documenting it here so i dont forget. I have no more races planned until May now.

We took a long weekend break to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary back at the beginning of the month. We travelled just an hour over the water to Drimsynie and had a nice wee time together. The views were beautiful and it was nice to break the cycle of the norm! 4 days was enough though, we started to feel a bit cooped up in the caravan with 2 small kids.

I completed my Jogscotland Jogleaders training and i am now qualified. I have started up my own business called Just Jog and am starting my first running group on Monday. Lets hope some people turn up! See my previous post for the link to the facebook page, go like it :)

I have some work on the horizon which i am super excited about; some sessional work with a charity that encourages active/healthy lifestyles through jogging. Totally perfect for me! Ive had a year off now and im ready to do something else. 1 or 2 days a week would be good.

Caleb is enjoying his new nursery and ive made a great new group of mummy friends there. We've got lots of social things planned in the next few months as a group; dinosaur digs at the science centre, a disco/party night for us mums, a party with Santa at the famous toy store Hamleys for mums and kids. Its gonna be great.

Its my baby boys 1st Birthday 2 weeks today!! Where has that year gone? I am having a 1st Birthday party lunch for him and other wee baby friends so i need to start thinking about that.

So thats about it. Apologies for this rather bitty post, ive written it over the course of about a week, adding a few lines here and there. Have a good weekend :-)

Monday, 24 September 2012

My New Venture

I will be back with a proper blog post soon but please take a look and like my new venture!

Just Jog

I am now a qualified Jogscotland Jogleader and will be leading beginner walk-run jogging groups in the West of Scotland!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Start with courage, Finish with Pride

Im in that crowd somewhere! On Sunday i ran the Great Scottish Run 10K In Glasgow and achieved a PB! 10K (6.2miles) in 1 hour 1minute and 59 seconds. Im very proud of myself! 

Im pretty sure i would've broken the hour had i not been stuck in this crowd heading up St Vincents Street in Glasgow City Centre. I just couldnt get going and i think that cost me a few minutes!

Here i am at the finish! Number 5936, hands on hips, blue tshirt. Ignore the clock, the start is staggered so we dont all start at 0. 8000 people starting all at once would be slightly chaotic! There was a chip on the back of my number which gave me my actual my time. 

My dad took me up to the city centre, waved me off and waited for me at the end. I loved the morning and the slogan of the race was very apt; Start with courage, Finish with Pride.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Birth Sampler

To show that i do stitch, here's my latest progress on Aaron's birth sampler. I'd really like to have it finished for his 1st birthday in October but im thinking that might be too optimistic.

Im suddenly having a panic about my nephews birth sampler that i put into the framers over 2 months ago! I just remembered. I have got to chase that up this week. Imagine they've lost it or something horrifying?! Eeeek.

Caleb has started his preschool nursery year and his first week was a big success. He loves it. Mummy loves it.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Summer wrap up

We've made it!!! *cheers* The end of the summer holidays. I am so very very glad. That was a long 7 weeks trying to entertain two small children. Caleb needs to go back to nursery; he's bored, Aaron annoys him and his behaviour has gradually deteriorated through the course of the 7 weeks. Last week was a hellish week i have to say (he wasn't well). He's excited about starting his new preschool nursery and seeing his friends. I am excited to be getting back into a routine and not having to come up with morning and afternoon activities day after day (he's only there 9-11.30, but it's a great help!)

After saying all that, we have had fun and kept very busy.

We spent a lot of time:

At various parks

Out walking

In the garden

In the sunshine (there was some sunny weather!)

A few trips (to Loch Lomond and the Fire Engine Museum)

And to the local soft playcentre (which made a small fortune through July with all the wet weather)

Of course we also spent a lot of time at friends houses (i'd have been lost without my friends Bev and Becky this summer), had people over to play, got to know our neighbours better and spent time with family.

This week Matthew is away on business so im prepared for a busy, exhausting week ahead but at least every morning will be tantrum-throwing-toddler free! Now just to off load the baby somewhere ;-)

p.s Do you know how hard some of your blogs are to comment on? The settings are crazy and the cryptic word codes impossible to read at times!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

50 things to do before you are 11 ¾.

"Research shows that fewer than one in ten of today's children have played in a wild place compared to half of their parents' generation."

Isnt that crazy? And sad? 

Here's the National Trust's 50 things to do before you are 11 ¾ list designed to inspire both parents and kids alike. I like it!

For Caleb (age 3), we're doing not too bad....

1. Climb a tree

2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skim a stone 
6. Run around in the rain 
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
10. Play conkers 
11. Throw some snow 
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach 
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Go sledging 
16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide
21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island 
24. Feel like you're flying in the wind 
25. Make a grass trumpet 
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up 
28. Climb a huge hill 
29. Get behind a waterfall
30. Feed a bird from your hand
31. Hunt for bugs 
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what's in a pond
36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it 
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting
44. Light a fire without matches
45. Find your way with a map and compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache (this weekend hopefully!)
50. Canoe down a river

We're off to Loch Lomond today to have some more outdoor adventures!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Moany mum

As of the end of July, the wee one was crawling. Boy, does life get harder! Suddenly i appreciate how much easier newborn babies are. Sitting on the couch, watching tv and feeding baby for hours sounds like total bliss now. This crawling/pulling himself up to standing/falling over/bumping his head and crying coz that hurts phase is sooo hard! I cant divert my eyes for a minute. He's also at that age where i cant be out his sight for 30 seconds without starting to moan, crawling to find me and climbing up my legs until i pick him up (which sounds quite cute now im writing this but is actually a pain in the butt when im trying to make lunch or dinner etc) Plus he's teething, which doesn't help. He has 4 teeth now, the last of which just came in this week and i thought we'd get some respite before the others start to arrive but no, today i see more coming along the bottom. Give me strength. In addition to all those moans, the older one has been hard work, probably because so much of my time/attention is taken up dealing with Aaron. Im glad nursery school starts back next week, we are in need of our routine back again and Caleb needs more stimulation.

Oh and im still up through the night with Aaron and he's been waking for the day at 5.30am which, quite frankly, is killing me and turning me into a grumpy cow by 7pm. On the plus side, both my kids were sound asleep by 6.30pm tonight which is great. Shame im too tired to do anything with my time though....

Moan, moan, moan.

However, im grateful for my boys and i love them very much. Look at these faces! Too cute. Im just tired, busy, hormonal and grumpy :)
edit: My moaning must've been heard. Aaron slept alllllll night and mummy slept 9.30pm-6am! Hurrah

Monday, 6 August 2012

If you're in the Glasgow/west coast area...

Contact me for more information!

Monday, 30 July 2012


July seems to have flown by. We're keeping busy in the holidays, despite the terrible summer weather we are having. I spent a week at our church youth camp, which was fab! We had a great group of girls and it was the first year in a long time without any major hassles. I never thought id consider camp a holiday but it really was, i enjoyed it and had the benefit of sleeping at home each night too lol.

Ive signed up for the Great Scottish Run (10K) on 2nd September, which i ran 2 years ago. So im busy trying to train for that again! I do love running.

On Friday we seen a whale washed up on our local beach! It was dead and pretty gross (its tongue had swollen to an unbelievable balloon like size) so i will refrain from posting a picture but it was still really cool to see. We watched it get lifted from the beach onto a truck, which now sounds quite morbid but i didnt tell Caleb it was dead. There's  a Fireman Sam episode in which Sam saves a washed up whale so i think he thought that was what was going on :) He kept talking about how they needed to get the double harness on it :)

Just having a relaxing Monday after a busy but great weekend. I had dinner with 5 friends on Friday night, took Caleb for his first ever trip to the cinema on Saturday (we seen The Lorax) and had some good friends over after church on Sunday. Oh and we've been trying to watch as much of The Olympics as and when we can, i really enjoy the swimming. London has done a great job of hosting so far! Gotta love this guy.... Ryan Lochte, for his swimming ability, obviously ;)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Queen in town

On the 4th July the Queen and Prince Philip came to town! What a lovely day and a lovely event to happen in Inverclyde. This town could always do with some cheer. She looked lovely in her hot pink outfit and we got a great view of her
haha yeah right, that was not our view! This was my view (see below). I was so busy waving to her and actually watching all that was going on with my eyes rather than through a small screen, that my camera was pointing in the wrong direction. See the car wheels? Thats her ride. So we were really close and a got a good wave, you'll just have to take my word for it!
Calebs favourite bit was all the accompanying police and the royal helicopter. We positioned ourselves in the park where we knew she would be leaving from so we got to see the helicopter land, waited for her car (and all the police escorts) to arrive and then seen her take off in it. We were so close we got the downdraft of the helicopter, both boys were fascinated! The pilot spun around so that the Queen was facing the crowd and we got one final wave. It was great, a historic moment for Inverclyde.
You can see the Queen just behind the helicopter.

So, boys, if you ever look back at Mummys blog when you're older, Caleb (3.5 years) and Aaron (9 months) you "met" HR Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on 4th July 2012, her diamond jubilee year.

One final historic note, boys, tomorrow sees the first British (Scottish) male to get to a Wimbledon Tennis Final in 74 years. Go Andy Murray!