Saturday, 1 October 2011

On The Mend

Oscar has been quite poorly this week, and despite his normal good humour its been quite a difficult time for him.  One panicky call to NHS 24 at midnight on Wednesday and a trip to the Doc on Thursday seems to have sorted him out and I can report he is officially on the mend.



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Monday, 26 September 2011

Tell Me Why I Don't Like Monday's

After many months of writing this blog, I have come to the realisation that Monday's and I just don't mix well. I don't keep a journal offline so I don't have a direct time-line laid out behind me any place other then here. The funny thing was of course, while I sat in the middle of the toddler chaos I then realised that it was 'ok' it was just a Monday and we don't get along, and after that, it didn't feel so bad. I doubt I am cured though, so expect plenty of Monday moans in the future, but as for today, it was alright actually.

Day 2 broccoli soup (always tastier than day 1)
Accompanied by home made bread rolls *
And homemade cookies and milk for afternoon snack
A game or two with the cat
And painting - of course


*If you make bread roll mice, expect some resistance when its time to put them into the oven. Oscar said 'NO! they are too cute' I managed to persuade him they would be happy being dunked into broccoli soup ;) Recipe For Children's Bread Rolls






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Friday, 23 September 2011

Just An Average Boy

I suppose to other people, Oscar is just an average boy. His physical development is about average and to a stranger his mental development probably seems about average. With us of course he is much more vocal and expressive and he is always showing us the new things he can do. The cry of "look at me Mama" is often met with a heart stopping moment because he is a bit of a dare-devil. We think he is advanced for his age, and not average at all, quite special in fact. But don't all parents think that about their children? Well, no actually, they don't. I was reminded of that this week when I had an awkward telephone call with my health visitor.

A little while ago Oscar started having a small problem with his eyes, nothing major but all the same I wanted it checked. I telephoned my HV and left a message asking her to contact me. The HV called back and I explained the problem and she made a referral to the eye clinic for us. In passing, I mentioned we had never seen our HV, the lady I was talking to was a stand in.  I had to call again last week with our change of address and another HV called back this week to confirm it. A rather tense call then followed, asking if everything was alright with Oscar. This HV had seen a note on the file saying NEVER seen a HV since coming to this practise when Oscar was 4 months old.  Oscar's immunisations were done by the nurse practitioner. The HV laughed nervously and said "well you are obviously the type of mum to pick up the phone when there is a problem". I could pick up on her tension very easily and I know why.  Last year a man was sentenced for 10 years for the death of a 23 month old toddler.  They were living just around the corner from where I was living for 2 years and had not seen a HV.  I actually became a little bit mad after the call. They don't know me at all, what if I wasn't a good mother, what if Oscar was at risk of danger from me or his Dad. What if Oscar wasnt an 'average' little boy at all, what if he was suffering in our hands, or was not developing normally and was being neglected.  The call ended with a high pitched "if there are any problems or anything you need to talk to us about, please call right away". What if I wasn't able to identify a possible problem, lots of parents don't know what they are meant to be looking for. Oscar has only just started playgroup, before this we were fairly insular, who would notice if things were going wrong.

My heart goes out to baby Brandon Muir, I hope that no other children are in danger the way he was. ( FULL STORY)



My average boy



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Monday, 19 September 2011

A Day Like Today

Sometimes there is no reason for it, tiredness perhaps, or more likely long term tiredness, or long term stress, nothing specific just the usual worries everyone has.  A friend I don't see very often called in for tea and chat this morning and it was lovely, so when the afternoon slumped into grumpiness and tiredness and general malady it was unexpected and yet not.  It happens a lot, Oscar was up early this morning and we were up late last night (painting the lounge doors after he was asleep). When we are all tired with no one to keep the energy going, its a difficult afternoon.
 We went in and out to the garden a lot, trying to avoid the showers but make the most of the sunshine, that always helps.
Oscar even found a slug to poke a stick at, but in the end, he squashed it (should I be worried or is that normal?).
I did what I always do though, changed nappies (again and again), made lunch, made snacks, picked up pine cones, crayons and chalks (over and over), supplied endless amounts of drinks, put wellies on, took wellies off (all afternoon), found some Pingu, read some stories, made dinner, got tearful because I forgot Daddy was going out again after dinner, got Oscar to bed, planned some TV and some knitting and read some blogs. Its not all that bad really, its just what it is, a day like today.



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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Doctor Doctor Beat(tie)

Oscar told me today that he was going to be a Doctor when he was big. After I picked myself up off the floor (did you know two and a half year old's understood the concept of when I am big?), I did what any responsible mother would do, and set him on the path to fulfilling his dreams.


Yes I know, he should be saying good-bye to the pacifier - we are working on it. But in this instance it is actually a colour match ;)



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Monday, 12 September 2011

Sealife Centre St Andrews




Oscar seemed fairly contented to spend another day in his PJ's on Sunday, but the truth was, I was going a bit stir crazy.

Where last Sunday had shone bright and and beautiful (post about last Sunday HERE), this Sunday was positively dismal.



Not to be beaten we headed to St Andrews Aquarium, hoping to give Oscar an afternoon of delights, since he has never been before. And, I have to say it was absolutely.....................naf. Don't get me wrong, Oscar enjoyed the fish, but at £8 per adult (Oscar was free), I was expecting more than 10-15 minutes worth of scruffy looking tanks. Strangely for an aquarium they had some merekats which were pretty cute, especially the baby ones, but again, a few minutes is about all you needed.  Oscar seemed to have more fun playing with a bead puzzle in a cafe we went to after we came out. We did go to the Aquarium cafe but it was really grubby, even the hand rail on the stairs to/from the Loo's was sticky (ick ick ick), so we left again without ordering.


So sorry, ST Andrews Aquarium, its a thumbs down from us, we wont be back any time soon.

Incidentally, Oscar slept all the way home and avoided the old puke bag.................hooray.


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Friday, 9 September 2011

Grumpy Toddler !

Today was pretty much a blanket day, with neither of us (any of is in fact) feeling much better.  Much of this I assume was down to energy levels since Oscar was awake until just about midnight last night and was up screaming due to congestion at 6.15am. I decided to try and keep him awake during the day today to see if we cant get his sleeping pattern back on track. He has slept every afternoon this week, despite stopping his naps a good few weeks ago now.

By 4pm, both of us were pretty fed up and grumpy so I grabbed a mug of tea and headed into the garden.

After looking at the photo's you would be forgiven for thinking I/we did the right thing. But in actual fact Oscar cried the whole time. He wanted to come down the slide backwards and head first but couldn't manage it (thankfully). He didn't want to sit on the trampoline for juice he wanted at the table. The cat ran away when he charged at her and the sand was too soft for pies or castles.  We scuttled back in for his dinner at about 5 o'clock-ish and of course it tasted 'too horrible'. The bath was 'too hot' and his pyjamas were 'too tight'. I suppose though if I look in on him at 10pm and he is still asleep, it will all be worth it. Wont it?



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Thursday, 8 September 2011

No Change

We are still all feeling very poorly, and no one has all that much of an appetite either. Its funny when you are ill that you desire both healthy food (fresh juice and plenty vitamin C foods), and unhealthy food, stodge I think we call it, but usually in very small quantities. I have staggered to the kitchen each day this week and cooked up some fresh soup, today's being Pea and mint (with creme fraiche), and yesterdays was squash and carrot. To balance things up I have made brownies, plum cake and apricot slices (recipe HERE for the slices).  Today I managed jam biscuits and chocolate muffins. Oscar delved into the jammy-ness and didn't look at muffins, ah well maybe tomorrow.

And as for my knitting, I had to start again, again. Sniffle.

 Valerie

xxx


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Homemade Kite And A Pixie Hat


There is still a lot of this going on around here. Mama has more fevered brows around her than she has cool hands to soothe. Poor Oscar is swinging from hyper activity to complete exhaustion. I have had to rattle down the same 20 rows of knitting over and over and over because my concentration is shot and Duncan came home from work today snuffling like the rest of us.

Oscar managed a quick dash into the garden for a spot of (badly) home made kite flying, but it didn't last long before he was in for some hot orange juice and honey.  The 3 of us are sharing a bed right now because Oscar needs physical contact when he is ill, so we will be heading up to bed now with the communal tissue box and a super-size tub of Karvol. Speak to you all soon.

* Oscar's hat knitted from this pattern HERE sized up


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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Botanical Gardens

Even though Oscar and I were feeling poorly, we decided to get out of the house on Sunday and have a welcome break from the unpacking and sorting. Plus, the sun was shining and as we all know, there hasn't been a whole lot of that lately. A ten minute walk away from our new house is the botanical gardens, so we spent a lovely few hours there. Here some of the photos, you can see the rest over HERE



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Monday, 5 September 2011

We Are Baaaaack

Hello, Bloggy Land, oh how I missed you. 10 days without internet, how totally disgusting, it seems so long. What ever did we do without it. Especially before we had mobile phones, because since the land-line and the internet went in together it was my only media tool. Anyway, here we are, back in the city, back in the west end. Its been 2 years and 3 months since we left the west end and 3 months since we left the city. Its good to be back. We are still figuring out the quirks in the house, like the incredibly squeaky floorboards in our room (one of the only rooms not carpeted), the cutlery drawer which requires you to partly open the oven to get into it (due to the large oven door handle), and the sticky (as in gets stuck) front door. We have painted the lounge already because I figured it was best to quickly brighten it up before unpacking all the knick knacks. It was white before and we only gave it a coat of white to brighten it up, unlike the roof which was green or the cornice which was beige (they took 3 white coats). Who paints their roof green by the way?

Its the newest house we have lived in, being built in the late 60s early 70s and its also the largest. We are still marveling at the space. I suspect I will have things moved around quite a few times over the next few months, not by me though, I still have a broken big toe and dodgy toenail.

Both Oscar and me have developed some sort of lurgy right now and both feel dreadful. Oscar has slept on the sofa for 2 hours and counting so it looks like we will be having a late night. I am sitting with the laptop some herbal tea and the oscillating fan right now. I am blaming you 'C' I know you had it first ;)

I have a few pictures to share from the last week, but none of the house really, I promise to take some when the last of the boxes are cleared away.

Please do say hello in the comments, I have missed you all in Bloggland.


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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Goodbye Peter Pan






With one thing and another today and yesterday have been quite difficult days for both Oscar and myself.  This will be my last 'live' post from this house because I think the internet will be going off some time soon, and we have not heard when its going on again in the new house.  Its time to concentrate on my family and my new home now, so have a lovely weekend everyone. See you at the other end.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Final Countdown

3 - Days until we move into our new house.

10 - Weeks since we moved into this house.

74 - The number of hours until the removal vans arrive

100's - The number of things still to be packed.

4 - The number of boxes still to be unpacked from the last move.

17 - The number of miles from this house to the city centre.

1.75 - The number of miles from the new house to the city centre.

1 or 2 - The number of hours sleep without stress I am likely to get in the next week.

1 - The number of 2 year olds likely to hold up the packing by demanding carboard box city be built in the dining room.

2 - The number of cats likely to exercise bladder spasms due to the stress of moving (grrrr)

1 - The number of older children likely to be sulky over the enforced older child labour required in a house move.

2 - The number of beds which have broken in the past 3 days (I cant explain it).

54 - Mbps, the speed my internet claims to be running at.

12 - The speed my rural BT/Virgin media internet is probably going at.

5 - The number of schedualed post I have written for next week when my internet is off.

1 - People with cars who have offered to help us move.

 Oh and while we are at it

123 - Days until Christmas 'Ho-H0-H0'




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Friday, 19 August 2011

When A Woman Makes Up Her Mind




In the grand scheme of things, our time here will possibly be remembered as a blink. As in, blink and you missed it. I am ultimately relieved that we are moving back to the city, but that doesn't mean I am plowing on ahead with no regards to anyone else. Aimee I am not too worried about, in fact due to Aimee having learning disabilities she tends to be reclusive and this quiet place possibly accommodates that too well.

My husband though has to endure the stress of moving again (financially, emotionally and physically), at a time when his work commitments are pressing down on him. So much so, his boss has told him he is pleased we are moving back, so he can start early and work late, (I am wearing a scowl at this comment).

Oscar of course I worry about, maybe the most. If you have been reading my blog since the beginning you may realise that Oscar is my whole world, and his well-being is a very high (but not exclusive) priority.  Oscar not having a suitable nursery and not being able to travel without being sick are 2 of the main reasons for moving. I have been criticised for this, I know certain people close to me think Oscar is spoilt. They think I am giving him too much control over our lives. What can I say? I am parenting the best I can. This is what feels right to my husband and I. Oscar is disciplined, as much as we feel is appropriate for a 2 year old.

I  worry about my fluctuating moods lately and the effect they have had on him. It doesn't make me soft on him, it makes me anxious. Oscar has developed a blinking/eye squinting habit, and although common sense is telling me its a habit he picked up when he was extra tired (we have 99% eliminated his afternoon nap), I cant help but worry its a nervous reaction to my moods and the past changes and threats of changes to come.



What I dont need right now is to feel critised and to know that people are saying I havent given it a chance, I should stay longer, I am pandering to a 2 year old, I am wasting money, I am thinking of myself and not Duncan.

The lease is signed, the money has been transferred, I have began packing. We ARE moving.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

We Are Going Home !

 




Re: yesterdays post. Yes we do. We signed for the house tonight, we get the keys in 10 days time. 10 days to get this whole house packed up. 10 days to transfer all of our paperwork, banking, medical services, and home providers (must not forget TV license this time). 10 days until we go home..........'sigh' with relief.




Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Green Birkenstock Shoes





I went to look at another house today, in the same area as yesterday (a lovely area). The house this time was much larger inside but a 1960s build as opposed to a period property. I have to say its not my usual choice of house, but the room sizes, big garden and river views drew me in. The owner and her daughter showed me around and as we were chatting about floor coverings I pointed out my footwear. It was pouring from the heavens today so green birkens were quite inappropriate, but since I have a broken toe, they are about the only shoes I can wear. I didn't want them to think I was some sort of crazy in sandals in the rain. The conversation went,

owner -'but they are green'

me - 'yes I have a thing for green shoes, actually green is my favorite colour'

owner - 'oh my goodnes, you are a Sagittarius

me - 'em, yes I am actually'

owner - 'I knew it, so am I'

me - 'oh right ok'

owner - 'oh I knew we just clicked, I like you so much, you can have the house if your references are good. When would you like to move in?'

me - 'um, next week?'

owner - 'sure, no problem'

me - ' um'



So, I think we have a house, although I cant be sure, can I?

Valerie

xxx




Monday, 15 August 2011

Visiting Dundee

 




Today we took a trip into the city to see a house. Oscar vomited in spectacular style on the bus, and we had the vague whiff of sick on us for the rest of the day. Ever single time, it re-affirms my reasons for moving.

The house we saw was in my favorite (most expensive) area, and needless to say I really liked it. Keep your fingers crossed it works out for us.

 Since we were in town we decided to have lunch with my older daughter, Mum, sister and niece. Oscar loved it, he really is a social creature.







Friday, 12 August 2011

Ketchup



 





It is not all crafting here. Despite the weather and the vomit inducing journey, we did take the little guy on a lunch date this week. Oscar isn't a big eater, but who doesn't like burger with a side order of felt tip pens (he doesn't get pens at home, if you are a mama you will know why).

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Sleeping Aids



I don't wish to talk in a negative fashion about anyone on my blog, especially my own husband, but for the background on this post, I have to point out MAN can that guy snore. I have been using the gel type ear plugs for a while now (Oscar calls them 'mummy's yucks', cute and gross at the same time), but they always fall out, get lost under the bed and appear with fluff and hair stuck to them. On Friday night, or should I say 2.30am Saturday morning, I was at my most grumpy wits end when his snoring was keeping me awake. I decided then, to look for new ear plugs.

Inevitably, an internet search brought up this lovely picture, above


Well obviously I liked the idea of pretending I was a party girl sleeping off my hectic social life, as opposed to a grumpy unglamorous mama with a husband who snores, (who doesn't want to look a bit like Audrey sometimes?).

So off mouse clicking I went and turned up these
And they were a very reasonable price too (LINKY), £5.99, so I bought them and began looking for the eye mask. It took a while but I did eventually find one

 But I couldn't believe the price (LINKY),  at £19 + postage, I am afraid I just couldn't do it. I mean £19, come off it.

So I searched on good old Ebay, and purchased a plain turquoise eye mask for £1.99 and I also picked up some gold ribbon at the wool shop for 80p, and made my own for the sum of £2.79 who can argue with that.

Right, I am off to catch up on my beauty sleep darlings, see you all at my place after 10pm for cocktails.

Valerie

xxx


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Headbanging Piano Playing Barbie Doll


  • We are spending much of our time trawling through the classifieds and property websites looking for a new house. We have 2 viewings lined up for 8th August which look very promising, 3 beds, dining kitchen, large lounge, period properties, private gardens, only a bitty over our ideal budget. We cant afford to sit back for a week and wait though, we lost a house from one afternoon to the next morning last week because we didnt get in to view fast enough.

  • I have been super organised this week and made out a weekly food menu and shopped for that menu (are you proud of me? eh? eh?). This weeks cook book is


  Good Food: 101 Budget Dishes: Triple-tested Recipes

by Jane Hornby, I tend to stick to one book a week so I dont have to go looking through a pile of books. Tonight Mr B is cooking Aubergine creamy curry for us (nom nom).


  • I have started a planner so I can get to grips with the chaos around me. I have been ill for quite a while now more info here, and not to mention stressed, so things have really slid into a bit of a mess. My aim this week is to identify the problems and list ways to fix them


  • Oscar and Mr B have had some lovely Father - Son time. I wouldn't call it bonding time, they are already pretty bonded as it is.

Fresh home made pasta

  • And today....... I dropped the sofa (moving furniture again) on my foot, ripped my big toenail off and broke 2 toes....... ouchy-flippin-ouch. Now I am stuck on the sofa, the bloomin offender, oh the irony of it.


Since I hate leaving on a low note, ahem, check out the link to my first video upload. I love that boy SO much.





My first video upload