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03 July 2011

Purely Scottish

National identity has been a subject of some debate in our house over the years. When I say in my house I mean in my head mainly, sometimes spilling into the wider world.

As an island we are very confused. Are we British? The Northern Irish never will be, as Great Britain doesn't include them - the United Kingdom's full title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So British doesn't mean UK. Are we United Kingdomers? Who knows?

Continue reading "Purely Scottish" »

07 April 2011

Three B Week


We've had a very interesting couple of weeks. What with barfing, building, burning… it's all been happening.

Continue reading "Three B Week" »

14 January 2011

Two small cuts

Loin of pork.

Shoulder of beef.

No? Oh dear, today's the day then. Time to watch some John Wayne movies, just to get used to how I'll be walking for the next couple of weeks.

25 December 2010

[2] Baby's first...Christmas

And of course #1's FIFTH Christmas. And our first as a complete family. And our first on our own with no extended family. Wow, big changes this year then!

Continue reading "[2] Baby's first...Christmas" »

22 December 2010

What a journey. Or several.

Looking back at how long it is (again) since the last post it's clear there's a lot happened, and mostly in the transport, or lack of, arena. From giving up, to pure determination, to feeling bad to feeling absolutely shit scared. Yes, we've had the lot.

Continue reading "What a journey. Or several." »

31 October 2010

Happy Hallowe'en from the world's worst dad

There's been a lot of coverage in the press this week about how much of another American import Hallowe'en is becoming, with one victim of this being the very British festival a few days later that is bonfire night. Elf an sayftie have a lot to answer for the demise of our ritual burning of the poor Guy Fawkes as we British, as a nation, take part in our favoured pastime of honouring failures.

But, when in Indianapolis…

Continue reading "Happy Hallowe'en from the world's worst dad" »

23 September 2010

A Monthly Report

Wow, it's been about a month since my last post, and a few things have happened, some things have just got different, and some things have just plain stopped. I'm sure I've missed a whole heap of stuff out here, but a brief run-down of what's been going on is here in this post.

Continue reading "A Monthly Report" »

28 August 2010

Waste of NHS time & money

Those who ConDemned us to a life of misery post-Labour (isn't it always the case after a Labour government?) are looking for ways to reduce public spending. Well I've got one for you, and that's to remove the completely unnecessary duplication that the NHS has put me through just recently.

There endeth the political angle. Back to the NHS.

It all started a few weeks ago with a visit to the GP...

Continue reading "Waste of NHS time & money" »

Happy Unoffical Birthday!

As I was completely unprepared to post something in time for the real birthday, here's hoping you have a happy unoffical birthday, son!

If it's good enough for Lizzie, it's good enough for you to have two too. And as today is for having your pals rather than your parents' pals round, then enjoy it.

16 August 2010

Careers advice

We've had a proper look tonight at what the big guy wants to do for a career. And after some initial encouragement both parents jumped in, back-tracking, and firmly advised against his chosen career.

Continue reading "Careers advice" »

13 July 2010

[2] All smiles

Starting with the caveat that this is based on limited experience (just like the health claims from L'Oreal's surveys of 74 women, 86% of which said their products are the best thing since sliced bread), I have to say that I have never known a baby smile so much as the wee fella does.

Continue reading "[2] All smiles" »

24 June 2010

Home Improvements

A nice family moment to share from last night. We're making some changes at for the benefit of the boys, which they are getting involved with. While the little one fell asleep in his chair and was not taken with the changes going on the big one got stuck right in.

Continue reading "Home Improvements" »

20 June 2010

Happy Daddy's Day!

Double the number of cards*, double the fun. A happy Daddy's Day indeed.

* Sets the precedent for Mother's Day next March. Although it was kind of set anyway, I had two cards bought just in case the wee fella arrived before Mother's Day. As it was he was just after so MOTS has to wait almost a full year for her first card and pressie! Hmm, gives me plenty of time to save up for something special I guess.

02 June 2010

[2] Playing with my big bruv

Very short one, but worthy of the mention. At the weekend just past we were all in what is rapidly becoming the family bed (I'm sure it was once termed a marital bed). #1 turns to #2, head in hands:

Peek-a-boo

And there he was, a few repetitions, hand movements and all. And there was the little 'un, happily smiling back at his big bruvver, clearly trying to say "thank you for playing with me".

14 May 2010

Sleep for the dentist - proud of both boys

Last night I was so proud of both my boys. I've already mentioned that the wee fella slept through last night, but the big fella also had his moment.

Continue reading "Sleep for the dentist - proud of both boys" »

[2] Baby's first...smile etc

Here he is at 8 weeks old and had a massive amount of development going on. And here I am with hardly any time to fire the PC up and record it, which is a shame because MOTS has started looking back at where number 1 was with his development. So, finger out time...

Continue reading "[2] Baby's first...smile etc" »

22 April 2010

1 month report (at 5 weeks)

It's now just over a month since Mr Luther arrived (MOTS hate me calling him this, but it suits him perfectly IMHO). So what has it been like since this hand grenade went off in the middle of our utopian family life?

Well, first and foremost, there was no such thing as utopia. Things are tough at the moment, and were before Mr Luther arrived. Endemol (hereby the name for Big Brother) is having his ups and downs, is generally better since Mr Luther arrived but still has some moments.

Continue reading "1 month report (at 5 weeks)" »

24 March 2010

[2] It's all food, food, food

Day 6 in the Big Brother House. Only because we start at day 0, which is fair enough. And since just before it all started life has been centred around pretty much nothing else but food, at whichever stage in it's journey.

Continue reading "[2] It's all food, food, food" »

19 March 2010

[2] The first day

As promised, here are the full gory details in glorious technicolor!

Warning - not for the faint-hearted!

Continue reading "[2] The first day" »

18 March 2010

[2] Two boys!

Full post to follow in due course, just a quick one before I head off to bed after a long hard day doing nothing, chilling, and listening to The Proclaimers. Again. Five hundred miles later...

We have another baby boy! And for those who voted in favour of a girl, all I can say is "LOSERS!" Oh, yeah, the details:

Weighing in at 3.600kg (that's 7lb 15oz in old money) Alex Callum made his entrance into the world at 10:16 this morning. All he'd done since is eat, sleep and cry (quantities in that order, and not much in the crying department). Baby and Mummy both fine and doing very well. #2 has beaten his older brother in his first tests, APGAR results in at 9 & 9. 10 tiny fingers, ten tiny toes, and two huge boy bits. Another chip off the old block!

Big brother adores him already, desperately wants him to come home. Hopefully for the weekend!

17 March 2010

[2] The penultimate day

With all the possible scenarios, and the worry about the logistics of looking after number 1 son, MOTS has hung on to the point neither of us ever thought we'd see. 5 days overdue.

Continue reading "[2] The penultimate day" »

12 March 2010

Tick..Tock...Tick...Tock...

The deadline looms. And nothing's happening. Yet.

At most we have less than a week to wait now. Unfortunately, it's a bit longer for "Mummy's new car coming, Mummy's new car black". Number 1 has the new car thing well and truly sorted in his head, but just doesn't talk about the fact his life as he currently knows it is about to be turned upside down.

Mind you, neither do we. We are in denial too, so we can't expect anything else from our son.

03 March 2010

Some things he gets, others he doesn't

With the Focus shifting... right, I can't finish the sentence that was going through my head now that I typed an upper case F there! As I was trying to say, with the focus shifting from number 1 to number 2 quite a lot recently, we can't forget what our little boy has been taking in. And while I started out saying "with the Focus shifting" obviously meaning the car, I got muddled. but they are linked, honestly! Time to straighten my mind out...

Continue reading "Some things he gets, others he doesn't" »

17 February 2010

Not mines!

Boy wonder is saying "not mines" when he's seen something that isn't his. And tonight, when looking in the Cow & Gate envelope MOTS got from them after registering with their website and finding the soft C&G cow he said "not mines". That's baby's. And went over to MOTS and put the cow on her tummy.

The family wagon rolls into town (not yet...)

Finally, after months of trying not to make any rash decisions like we usually do with buying cars, we have our new family wagon on order. Delivery is a few weeks away yet, and while I wait for a confirmed date I'm thinking about the other unconfirmed date that is also looming. I just hope the first delivery is as smooth as the second delivery should be.

Anyway, more details to follow when our new Sunderland built truck actually exists in a form more substantial than the few pieces of paper in which it currently does.

11 February 2010

Off to bed then?

Number 2 arrives sometime in the next 5 weeks or so, we have an absolute deadline but it could be any time before then. With the time since Christmas this has been a bit long for Wrinklies to go without a fix on first grandchild, so we've invited them up for a visit to squeeze only last one in as "grandparents of one".

Continue reading "Off to bed then?" »

09 February 2010

The world's most ridiculous question

I was being quizzed yesterday over MOTS' due date. "Is that a definite?"

It's definitely due then, sure. Whether it arrives then is a whole other question. And this from a father of 2!

19 January 2010

Having a giraffe!

Well, the car dealers I have spoken to over the course of the last week are all having a giraffe. As expected, all well below valuation on the Focus, all expecting too much on the replacement. But with no willingness to budge on any price, I've given up. So I'm trying it the hard way instead. Advert on Auto Trader for the Focus, and I'm willing to give Autoebid a try for the replacement. Worth a shot to not get stung by slimy dealers.

01 January 2010

Happy Twenty Ten!

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Twenty Ten!
Word for word from 2 years ago: Yes, scheduled post again, I won't be awake at midnight...

We can't believe we've just had our FOURTH Christmas with the wee fella, And it'll be the last with just the three of us, we see out 2009 as "parents of one" (I may refer back to previous ramblings of compartmentalisations by Mr Berkmann) and look forward to switching compartments to "parents of two" in a little over 2 months time.

Happy New Year for Twenty Ten!

28 December 2009

A cracking Christmas!

The wee fella has had a cracking Christmas. But nowhere near as cracking as either Grandpa or Grandma, who both ended up in A&E.

Continue reading "A cracking Christmas!" »

16 December 2009

Season of goodwill - commuting hell!

We've had our third annual trip to Bo'Ness for the long journey on the Santa Special calling only at Birkhill and the North Pole. It started out like a regular commute hell, but rapidly changed.

Continue reading "Season of goodwill - commuting hell!" »

07 December 2009

[2] The final trimester

The final trimester has begun. And what, exactly, have we done to prepare for number 2's arrival?

NOTHING.

Apathy isn't the word, nothing has been done yet. The pram is still in the garage as a pushchair gathering dust, the car seats are still in bits in the garage gathering dust, the nursery is still missing bits of border where number one has torn them off and has additional wall decorations where Daddy wasn't quick enough behind him and a handful of crayons.

Purchases to date: None. Purchases due: A new bath mat and a new changing mat. Beyond that, maybe some SMA and perhaps some Infacol. And maybe some more earplugs.

11 November 2009

Old Wives Tales

I'm hoping this post becomes quite interactive…. So get posting comments. Please...

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Closing date:
3rd March

There are a lot of old wives tales out there about working out the gender of a baby. Even the wackiest ones have a good 50/50 chance of being right. But even Grandma has her ideas, based on nothing more than the fact she's making observations that are clearly putting her in the "Old Wife" camp. So without trying to list every single on here, what I'd like to do is get some comments on the go, maybe some questions back & forth, and have a poll running from now until March to see what the general opinion is. All will be vindicated or discredited in March of course!

Continue reading "Old Wives Tales" »

26 October 2009

[2] It's a steeplechase

Right from the word go having kids is like going into a warzone. Sure, the terrible twos are an "experience", but we're not there yet - not with Wotsit at least, and with number 1 we're past it, if only in age. No, everything is geared up so that's it's a miracle that a pregnancy starts, never mind goes all the way through. And then you start thinking about post-birth illnesses, accidents etc, and wonder how on earth as a nation we are getting older.

As Wotsit's first major sporting event will the the Grand National I've taken a look at how closely a pregnancy can mirror the course at Aintree, and found some striking similarities with the hurdles that have to be cleared...

Continue reading "[2] It's a steeplechase" »

13 October 2009

Baby's first...flight

With the alarms set for oh my god o'clock on Saturday morning, how did Junior take to the rude awkening and the first time at 37,000 feet?

Continue reading "Baby's first...flight" »

23 September 2009

Advice taken (to the letter of the law)

Well stated, my favourite read is Marcus Berkmann's Fatherhood: The Truth. He knows this, the blog has seen traffic from his house. So I'll go out on a limb and say that there is one piece of advice he gives that I have recently mentioned again, but have taken quite literally over the last couple of nights. And that is not to make any jokes about pie eating.

BUT, and here's the crucial part, he does not mention that the older sibling can't say anything about our pastry topped cuisine. So when I ask number one who ate all the pies...

Mummy

And that absolves me, and Marcus, of any responsibility.

14 September 2009

[2] Looking for a new car - groundhog day has started

It had to happen, and it's happened now. We're having to revisit the old task of looking for a replacement vehicle due to the expanding family.

When MOTS said goodbye to her Bug in favour of an American piece of gutless scrap we didn't consider the possibility of a second. Which meant our requirements were OK with the hatchback. But now, with a boot full to the brim last month for camping and the very real event of needing additional space for number 2's gear, we are not going to manage to travel with just the hatch or the saloon. We are entering a new world, that of the ESTATE.

Next I'll be wearing cord patches on my elbows. An ESTATE? Me? Oh no, what have I become? Never before in a car brochure have I read how many litres of fresh air is in the boot, but it's now target number 1. Oh, how things change!! And with a tighter budget for a bigger car this is going to be a big challenge.

05 September 2009

Baby's first...foul language

It had to happen at some point. Armed with soap and water, the mouth now needs a good clean-out.

Continue reading "Baby's first...foul language" »

30 August 2009

Come fly with me. No, with me. NO, with ME.

I promised that our next flight would be with BMI Baby after their flight crew waved at the little guy from the cockpit (promise made in this post). But, alas, it won't happen. We have booked flights to go and see the Leathams so we're handing the cash over to Stelios' orange squad instead.

Not flying BMI Baby. Boooo........

Seeing the Leathams. Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaa.................

Leaving the house at 4am for the flight. Great idea. We've got a few weeks to get used to the idea. And make sure every alarm in the house is set to go off.

An Ode to Babs Windsor

Babs Windsor's best Carry On moment was probably the pinging bra in Carry On Camping. We had our own Carry On start to the week. No pinging bras (unfortunately), but a couple of nights camping.

Continue reading "An Ode to Babs Windsor" »

22 August 2009

Helping Daddy building.

I had hoped for a little bit of help building the new bed, and I got some. Not as much as I hoped for, mainly because I was busy dismantling the double bed and building the new one as soon as visitors left and both MOTS and birthday boy went back to bed.

But it was nice to have some help in tightening screws up, making sure I had done my job right. And it was fantastic seeing the birthday boy taking to the new bed like a duck to water. Straight off went the socks, heading straight for the ladder, and up and bouncing on the top. We got the ultimate rubber-stamp - he went off to get Puppy to show him the new bed. Closely followed by the blankets, Elephant, and more animals. The bed's ready, the bedroom isn't. The boy certainly is.

A hat-trick of birthdays

Happy third birthday, son!

Three already? If Victor was here I'm sure he'd being saying "I don't belieeeeeeeeve it........"

17 August 2009

And so to bed

It's here! The big bed c'est arrive. In 47,235 boxes, with 47,236 parts we're going to have fun putting this one together. And I guess there will be some more "French" spoken as we do so.

Continue reading "And so to bed" »

21 July 2009

Sleeping arrangements to change

It's going to be all change on the sleeping arrangement front very shortly. Which has some far reaching consequences, some of which will impact beyond the immediate family.

We're talking about the arrival of the big boy's bed!

Continue reading "Sleeping arrangements to change" »

22 June 2009

Budding Jimmy B Fan?

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Who's funeral is this?
Yours...
I think we have a budding Jimmy B fan living with us. Personally I'm a bigger fan of the older Bonds rather than the newer ones having lost my way with Pierce Brosnan's era. OK, I'm like a lot of Bond "fans", whereby the best bond is the one they grew up with. For me that was Roger Moore, but I do prefer the previous, even if I don't agree with Sir Sean's politics.

So what has Roger Moore's influence got that can tie in:

  1. Father's Day
  2. Gene Hunt
  3. Wings
  4. Jimmy B
  5. Mike Myers

Now there's a list of things to fry your noodle. But our boy managed the association!

Continue reading "Budding Jimmy B Fan?" »

17 June 2009

He drove the fastest milk cart in the west

That sounds suspiciously like a Benny Hill track - and you'd be right for thinking that. That's Ernie, and that's the next bad lead-in to the latest news.

ernie.jpg
Not a milk cart in sight
Ernie has come up trumps and let us know yesterday. Not the milk cart driving one, but the Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment one. Yes, the fella's premium bonds have come up!

Not enough to buy that private island we had our eye on, but a small sum nonetheless. A whole £25, the new minimum prize. Still, it'll go towards his university drinking fund, hopefully by then it'll be enough to buy him a pint!

14 June 2009

Anoraks?

We have a common saying at the moment, and that is triggered by a visual cue. That is a vapour trail, 2 or four of them depending on how many engines are producing them, resulting in the phrase

Plane in the sky!

And more recently we have been waving at the pilots, like the train drivers, but from 37,000 feet it's a bit difficult for them to see or be seen.

Continue reading "Anoraks?" »

27 May 2009

Wheel of fortune

MOTS and I have been along to Falkirk a couple of times, we think once before parenthood and once after. Either way, it's a certainty that we've been along twice, and only on it the once. Boy wonder certainly hasn't been on it so we set off this weekend to see how his sea legs are.

For the picky ones there are two main issues:


  1. His sea legs are already proven, at Blair Drummond last summer

  2. The Forth & Clyde and Union canals are canals, not sea Ah-ha! Not according to our intrepid sailor - "Boat on the sea" is what we got on arrival. And as we know, he's never wrong!


Continue reading "Wheel of fortune" »

15 May 2009

TT Races

Unfortunately, NOT the ones on the Isle of Man. More like the race to get to the lav whilst toilet training.

First full proper day at toilet training, and we have mixed reports so far. Some good and encouraging signs, and one strop over a hand wash resulting in no start given. More to follow...

16 April 2009

The Spanish Inquisition

We know that going back to see Vicki & Steve at Holestone Moor this year will be a last in some respects. Out of school holiday times may get one more shot, but we're probably on the last trip without the constant "are we nearly there yet" all the way down.

And while we've been worrying about a future event, we've taken our eye off the ball and let in others...

Continue reading "The Spanish Inquisition" »

30 March 2009

Logo Recognition #2

I've talked previously about logo recognition, and this weekend we've been on a roll. And they all lead to one thing... those blasted toot-toots!

Continue reading "Logo Recognition #2" »

Shhh, baby sleeping

With the Stevensons up this weekend we've had different routines to juggle given the age differences. JJ being the old timer that he is, and me being the sprightly 20-something.

Eh? Oh, yeah, our boys being different ages...

So when MAS went down for his kips we had to keep our monster sedated. Shhh, baby's sleeping. And it stuck, as we known he gets told the same at nursery if he's off down the opposite end with the toddlers for a quick visit. But, the absolute defining moment was when he was playing in his bedroom, with the rest of us downstairs (poor Joe at work), and MAS asleep in the room next to his. We hear a voice... then coming round the corner of the staircase there he is... "Baby, this way". Eh? "Baby, this way". And he comes over to JJ (past me and MOTS to get to him), and leads him by the hand upstairs. Why? MAS had woken up. Enter the bedroom? No. Come down and tell us? No - he told MAS's Daddy, and took him up to see him.

Fantastic! MOTS and I were amazed at this.

A great weekend

It's been all go this weekend, with visitors up from Yorkshire. There's only one true Yorkshireman among them - one Southerner, one Manc, and one proper Yorkie who doesn't know his true and proper heritage yet - but he will when he's old enough!! With enough to keep the two young lads (and their offspring) happy all weekend it's been a great few days.

Continue reading "A great weekend" »

13 February 2009

Throw me an Olive Branch

MOTS and I have been trying to meet up for lunch once a week for some time, so ensure tow things happen - firstly that we get away from our desks at least once a week, and secondly to snatch a bit of us time for ourselves.

We don't always make it, but when we do the various conversations tend to end up with one inevitable question.

Continue reading "Throw me an Olive Branch" »

11 February 2009

Socatots

Beckham? Gazza? Or just plain old Shilton?

Whoever your England star of choice is, era is, or position is, then it's just not going to happen with the boy. He's a Jock (no labrador / poodle quips from the Stevensons) so he's not likely to grace a white shirt. More blue.

The point is, he's started football training.

Continue reading "Socatots" »

06 February 2009

The Three Cs

It's normally the three Rs at school, but we're not at school yet so we're working on the three Cs.

Each C has been of some significance this week or two, with differing levels of pride, or embarrassment!

Continue reading "The Three Cs" »

17 January 2009

X-Ray vision? Nah, Zurg Vision

I was starting to wonder this evening if the boy had X-ray vision. Since we got the new fridge we've been really careful to make sure we always put the child lock on after getting water or ice, and when it's tea-time we stand between him and the machine so he can't see what's happening.

So when he got a glass, shouted "water" and pressed both levers with it, realised nothing was coming out, and started pressing buttons to unlock the child lock I started to think he could see through me.

Continue reading "X-Ray vision? Nah, Zurg Vision" »

13 January 2009

Happy New Mid January!

It's belated but here's wishing you a happy second half of January!

The start of the year was a little slow, but also busy, and a bit of a non-event for us all.

Continue reading "Happy New Mid January!" »

25 December 2008

Merry third Christmas

It's our third family Christmas! So we should be old hat at this by now, right?

Wrong!

It hasn't been a disaster on the Eastender's Queen Vic scale, but a mini-disaster nonetheless.

Continue reading "Merry third Christmas" »

19 December 2008

Terror Monday

There's something fundamentally wrong starting a post off entitled "Terror Monday" when it's Friday.

So what is it?

Hmm....

Ahh! The spelling. Terramundi!

Continue reading "Terror Monday" »

14 December 2008

Doped up on smack

That's it, I'll get the whack around the ear from MOTS right now, get it over and done with.

There, that's better. Now a full explanation over who, what and why a class A drug comes into things. And why this class A drug brought about a great day out yesterday.

Continue reading "Doped up on smack" »

He's once, twice, three times Houdini

It has begun. Houdini is in the house, ladies and gentlemen!

Continue reading "He's once, twice, three times Houdini" »

11 December 2008

Baby's first...proper conversation

This morning I had what I consider to be the first proper conversation with my son. Sure we have questions and answers, and up to three word sentences. While this wasn't a conversation about the state of the global economy, nor was it totally interactive, bi-directional, a true dialogue.

Continue reading "Baby's first...proper conversation" »

08 December 2008

I wanna walk like you, talk like you, too

We had a family trip to the zoo last weekend, the second time MOTS and I have been, and the first we've been since we became three.

I'm no fan of the zoo - any zoo. The last time there the big cats were pacing, the chimps were bored, and it was a shame to see them like that. The penguins seemed happy as Larry though. Anyway, this time was much better.

Continue reading "I wanna walk like you, talk like you, too" »

07 December 2008

2 days...2 hospital visits

Thankfully not both for the boy, but both unexpected and neither particularly pleasant (when is hospital?).

As the title suggests there have been two hospital visits made this weekend, one for Daddy, and one for the son.

Continue reading "2 days...2 hospital visits" »

02 December 2008

Planting for the future

MOTS had this wonderful idea of having a tree in the back garden for the wee fella, especially as we had a "weed" that had been growing courtesy of next door's Rowan tree [see this post]. Eventually, after some soul-searching, we thought there was no way we'd look after the sapling properly, not even after re-potting and watching it grow at a fantastic rate of knots. So it headed south, to a place where it would be looked after by a couple with a lot of time on their hands. Yes, Grandma and Grandad have the tree.

I knew it was in a better place, but I still craved to have something for him.

Continue reading "Planting for the future" »

01 December 2008

Teeth - Appropriate use & inappropriate use

To end the drought of posts recently we have a double whammy on the tooth front. One thing that's not been so good, and the other quite good. Both involve teeth, the wee fella's ownership and use of them.

Anyway, before I really forget how to use Movable Type, here I go...

Continue reading "Teeth - Appropriate use & inappropriate use" »

29 November 2008

Where have we been?

So it's a month since my last post? Where on earth did November go??

I have a list of things to get posted, so I'll make sure I get round to doing them sooner rather than later. Before I forget what those titles were all about!

For now though, the album is getting updated as I haven't put anything new up (apart from holiday photos) since, errm, before his birthday. [GULP]

Album being updated as I type (JAlbum keeps crashing on me though) and posts to follow this week. Don't hold me to the timescales though.

27 October 2008

An unfamiliar feeling returns

I've had a funny day, having been called out by work just after midnight last night and still being on the call at 6 o'clock this morning, the day's been turned on its head. But i's not work itself that this is about, oh no. It's what feelings having been up all night brought about, and how it matched a very unique situation.

Continue reading "An unfamiliar feeling returns" »

16 October 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Is it Christmas already??

Oh, no, my mistake! On Monday of this week (13th October) The Dome on George Street in Edinburgh had its first batch of Christmas decorations up. And by Wednesday all the outside pillars were wrapped. So is it really too early? Well, a couple of years ago they had them up over the last weekend in September! Still, BBC Newsround viewers think it's too early - and they are the kids!

Give it a couple of months and I'll think about revisiting the topic.

13 October 2008

No more excuses!

We have reached a point where we are about to run out o excuses. Or rather MOTS is about to run out of excuses. Whenever the wee fella is grumpy, or flushed, or gumming down, “it’s his teeth”. Well, not for much longer.

Continue reading "No more excuses!" »

10 September 2008

Congratulations to the Clarks

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Congratulations!
Congratulations to the Clarks on the birth of their second son on Monday!

We can't even begin to comprehend how difficult the last few weeks have been, but hope you're all well and that you get him home soon. We're really pleased for you all to hear he's doing so well.

01 September 2008

Coining it in

Starbucks. I've covered that particular topic some time ago, but during an age when little minds weren't so decisive themselves. An age when portability meant pram, when you could have a happy baby all day long as long as the pram was moving.

That age is gone.

The time is nigh when the monster in our midst wants to have hands on everything, won't sit still in a pushchair, and as we saw yesterday knows when it's time for a coffee.

Continue reading "Coining it in" »

Wake up, time for school

I know the age old saying about kids growing up so fast these days, and I've used it myself. But imaging my horror when I got home from work last Thursday to the following greeting:

Me: "Hi, honey, I'm home"
The wee fella: "Daddeeeeeeeeee"
MOTS: "Did you have a good day? He's enrolled for school"

Continue reading "Wake up, time for school" »

22 August 2008

Happy birthday, son! Again...

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More cake, anyone?
Two years old!

It hardly seems like two minutes, never mind two years. But when we look at how much he's come along in this last year - walking, just starting to string sentences together, size 6-and-a-half shoes, two room changes in nursery, chickenpox, train obsession, Nemo obsession, fully acquainted with luxurious hotels, the list starts to look more like "how did he fit that into just a year?".

However we look at it, and I think I speak for both of us when I say that it's been a great year, one to make us very proud as parents of such a wonderful kid.

Happy birthday, son!

All our love, Mummy & Daddy.

Continue reading "Happy birthday, son! Again..." »

21 August 2008

Ready for bed?

On the eve of his second birthday, the boy's shown us that he's well and truly ready to move out of his cot and into a bed.

He's been showing us all week to be fair, but tonight was a clear line drawn in the sand.

Continue reading "Ready for bed?" »

11 August 2008

Another bovine outbreak?

We've had a major outbreak in recent history of foot & mouth disease, almost crippling the UK's livestock farming industry, affecting rural areas in terms of tourism and general movements of goods and people. Then, with the worst behind us, we have another handful of smaller outbreaks.

And has this affected us directly as a family in any way?

Continue reading "Another bovine outbreak?" »

HM Barns - how long now?

It's been a running saga between me & Vicki over the countdown to when we revisit Holestone Moor Barns, so when we were arranging payment and she asked "how many days now" she got the following reply...

"Well, it's 14 days until the boy's 2, and then...."

And then, and then I realised. TWO YEARS OLD SOON.

Where on earth did that year go? We've only just cleaned the carpet from his FIRST birthday wet BBQ.

29 July 2008

Anyway the wind blows...

And the next milestone along the journey of all things vocabulary passes us by this week. Yesterday it started, and it wasn't the usual case of try it once, leave it a while, then come back to it. It was mastered instantly, in context, repeatable, you name it.

So, in the immortal words of one Mr Freddie Mercury, we'll let you in on the secret of the last word.

Continue reading "Anyway the wind blows..." »

14 July 2008

Logo Recognition

He's not even 2 years old, but he's been sucked in by commercialism already! Am I talking about Thomas the f***ing Tank Engine? No!! Well, I suppose I could be...

Continue reading "Logo Recognition" »

26 June 2008

Chuffing nora....

Not a line from The Full Monty, but a hint at both the event and the reaction last night. Far too cryptic to solve, so what happened?

Continue reading "Chuffing nora...." »

16 June 2008

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Over 20 years since I was last in Blackpool, I'd tried to get MOTS and the boy to go last year but didn't manage it with other things on around the time of the illuminations. We're just back from a couple of days there, after finding a cracking hotel.

Continue reading "Oh I do like to be beside the seaside" »

Congratulations to the Bowes!

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Congratulations!
Congratulations to the Bowes on the birth of their second son last Sunday! Had Mr B sent the text to my personal phone rather than my work phone which has been switched off while I've been on holiday.... That has to be a record though, texts out within 25 minutes!

Hope to see the four of you soon.

09 June 2008

Vocabulary on the up!

At long last, the boy's vocabulary is starting to expand! There's nothing wrong with understanding (mental note of where the "off button" is - the bottom button on the TV), taking words in is fine, it's getting them back out again. We have now mastered the outward "ta", so not only is there a new word it's with manners too.

Although speech has been a recent worry, and he's well behind his peers, the Baby Whisperer suggests around a 10 word vocabulary at 18-24 months. He's comfotably in that, just need to read more to get those words up.

And hopefully something different to "toot-toot", AKA Thomas the Tank Engine!

31 May 2008

The family is extending!

Our family is in the process of becoming larger! I'm so chuffed!

Continue reading "The family is extending!" »

22 May 2008

Baby's first...Home Alone

It's almost 3 weeks now since we left our boy home alone for the first time.

And before social services kick up a fuss, we had legitimate reason - we were out getting drunk.

Continue reading "Baby's first...Home Alone" »

08 May 2008

A Boy for the Tree

Sorry, I mean a tree for the boy.

Our neighbours have a Rowan tree (native Scottish) at the foot of their drive, which is over the wall from our back garden. It has produced offspring, which has been growing as a weed (a weed is merely a plant growing in an unwanted place) next to our deck. The Rowan sapling as it is now is going to die where it is, it simply can't stay there.

Continue reading "A Boy for the Tree" »

23 April 2008

Three's a crowd & empathy

I had a sly chuckle to myself this weekend, a routine stop-off during a long drive turned into a gauntlet run and a major empathy session.

Continue reading "Three's a crowd & empathy" »

06 April 2008

Congratulations to the Stevensons!

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Congratulations!
Congratulations to Jared & Joe on the birth of their son Mackenzie this morning. See the three of you soon, hopefully before he's grown out of his newborn clothes. Oops, too late....

11 March 2008

A new neighbour!

Many congratulations to Allan & Lynn on the birth of our latest neighbour, Jessica, on Friday!

A long slog, puts MOTS' 27 hour session to shame - and there let the trumps begin!

05 March 2008

Party tricks

The performing seal is doing us proud, he's got a number of tricks that he performs on demand (most of the time). Some of which I've already covered as routine stuff, but here's the current run-down on the tricks.

Continue reading "Party tricks" »

26 February 2008

Spot count

It's 24 hours since we last did a spot check. If there was the slightest of doubt last night, there can be no doubt whatsoever now. He's got the pox!

They're increasing rapidly in numbers!

Counting suspended, there are more spots than unspoiled ballot papers in a Scottish election.

Rant: Budget hotels (well, their guests anyway)

Here I go, about to go off on one. For those who know my volatile temper this won't come as a big shock, but for those who don't - be warned. This post contains strong language and right-wing political views on law and order.

Although I started the post immediately after the event I have waited to post it over 3 weeks to see what the outcome was.

Continue reading "Rant: Budget hotels (well, their guests anyway)" »

Poxy development

Developing fast is today's main topic. It started out as simple check to look for the tell-tale signs for when to move from cot to bed, but ended up something entirely different. And all because of a virus!

Continue reading "Poxy development" »

06 February 2008

Baby's last...day in babies

I had an interesting day at work today, feeling rather sarcastic in a reply over what a particular error message meant. Then, as with the title of this post, the clue is in the message / title.

So we're talking about baby's first bath, right?

Continue reading "Baby's last...day in babies" »

31 January 2008

Routine, routine, routine?

In the previous post I covered being told what to do by the little fella when it comes to bedtime. This has now extended to bottle times, both his mid-morning and and his supper.

So what do we now have to do?

Continue reading "Routine, routine, routine?" »

14 January 2008

Being told what to do .... by a 17 month old

The opening of the seven seals.

The apocalypse.

Bedtime.

Probably in the order that most parents want to face these three events with their toddler. And before MOTS starts bleating on, yes I know he's still in the baby room at nursery. Why do I know this? MOTS hasn't been in floods of tears that her baby is all grown up.

So, bedtime. Hell in all it's fury. Right?

Continue reading "Being told what to do .... by a 17 month old" »

Some conversations you just don't want to have

MOTS has already told me in no uncertain terms that it's my job when it comes to explaining the birds and the bees. And as he's taken an interest in watching me go to the loo (a possibly early indicator for potty training?) then there's clearly more to be had.

What else could there be? I had one with Snoopy this evening...

Continue reading "Some conversations you just don't want to have" »

10 January 2008

Swimming in circles

It's just over two years now since the little fella first arrived on the scene. MOTS was knocked up just before Christmas 2005, and with a possibility of impending arrival becoming more of a question mark while we had visitors, the test was delayed until after the New Year of 2006 once we were alone again. In that two years there has been a remarkable development, which takes him full circle to exactly where he was then. But now, not then. Oh read on and see what I'm babbling on about.

Continue reading "Swimming in circles" »

01 January 2008

2008! Happy New Year!

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2008!
I'm ahead of myself this year, typing this on Boxing Day. Yes, scheduled post again, I won't be awake at midnight...

I am looking back at what life was like a year ago so find it appropriate to schedule this post now for then. Or then for now, whichever way you like to handle post/future tense ramblings.

What a difference we can see when looking back 12 months, something not fully appreciated on a day by day basis. The only constant is change, so long may change stay at a constantly high rate. It's been a brilliant year for watching the wee fella growing up, so I look forward to welcoming the changes that 2008 has to offer. I hope your changes are as adventerous, as enjoyable.

Happy New Year for 2008!

26 December 2007

All aboard...

I was sat here yesterday, on Christmas Day, wondering what I hadn't posted. A topic that had slipped my mind. What was it?

The arrival yesterday of the 10:45 Mallard service from Darton Central didn't remind me, nor did the MIL's tale of Grand Central's maiden voyage from Sunderland to London resulting in a breakdown and no further service (poor sods only have one train). I have no idea why, but there was a train from Plymouth to Edinburgh running yesterday, and it was the sight of that the reminded me. Yes, Junior met Santa the other weekend!

Continue reading "All aboard..." »

25 December 2007

Mummy's best Christmas Present

Was it the White & Company luxurious bathrobe? Was it the Nintendo DS with More Brain Training? Or was it the Chanel Chance?

No, it was something far cheaper than any of those.

Continue reading "Mummy's best Christmas Present" »

06 December 2007

Buy ICI shares

Just a little bit of investment advice. If your pension fund has gone down the tubes thanks to the pillaging it got from Gordon Brown, then here's a sure-fire way to make money:

Buy ICI shares.

Continue reading "Buy ICI shares" »

28 November 2007

Baby's first...parent's evening

Always one parents will dread is parents evening, will Little Johnny be the disruptive one, or will he turn out to be teacher's pet? Will he be looked upon by other in the same way his parents do? Can he do no wrong in our eyes but be a little git in reality?

So we invented "parents evenings" to find out the truth. Or so it seems.

Continue reading "Baby's first...parent's evening" »

26 November 2007

What goes up...

Gravity? Milk? Nah, can't be milk, in the early days that's a case of what goes down must come back up.

So what's our latest worry?

Continue reading "What goes up..." »

20 November 2007

Trust HM Government with your kids?

Well if anyone wants their bank details out in the open, please leave them in a comment here. Alternatively, have kids, claim Child Benefit, and let HM R&C lose them for you.

This country is run by Waldorf and Statler!

09 November 2007

A Wee Cough

With apologies to any Scot with a tickly throught, we've had a week off work this week. As it was a break from the norm, what did we get up to?

Continue reading "A Wee Cough" »

Baby's first...second things

We're onto the first lot of Baby's second... This is a frightening thought, especially as we head rapidly towards his second Christmas.

Continue reading "Baby's first...second things" »

25 October 2007

A drought of new posts

I apologise for the drought of new posts over the last few weeks, it's been a little busy around these parts. What with chasing after Forest Gump here ("run, Forest, run") and dealing with the worst nappies I've ever seen in my puff (for 3 weeks) and having the winter vomiting virus spread through the house (and guests), the blog has suffered a little.

Which is a shame because we've had some really memorable moments.

Continue reading "A drought of new posts" »

07 September 2007

Holestone Moor Barns

We had our first family holiday at Holestone Moor Barns, with the Bowes family kindly coming along to help keep us on the straight and narrow.

So where did we go, and how was it? Was it suitable for us? With two young children in tow? And one of those just on his feet?

Continue reading "Holestone Moor Barns" »

Baby's first...Holiday

The first family holiday has been booked for quite a while, and we'd invited the Bowes along for good measure, sanity, and a sneak peek into the life and times of a two-and-a-half year old. So what did we get up to, and more importantly did the little 'un enjoy it?

First holiday, first night away from home, first steps just before going, first time leaving the house without enough food packed to see us through 'til we get home. Surely it was a disaster?

Continue reading "Baby's first...Holiday" »

Time off work? Let me get back for a break, please.

It's been a funny old couple of weeks, what with being off work but actually going back for a rest. There's been lots going on, and no doubt I'll lose plenty along the way, but here we go anyway. First up, the unique horror that was the first birthday party.

Continue reading "Time off work? Let me get back for a break, please." »

22 August 2007

Happy birthday son!

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Birthday? Already? Blimey...

Continue reading "Happy birthday son!" »

21 August 2007

The unique horror that was the first birthday party

In The Unique Horror post about the forthcoming birthday party we discussed the options for the MO for the day. Now it's over and done with what was it really like?

Continue reading "The unique horror that was the first birthday party" »

17 August 2007

Knowing your place in the pecking order

Why is the man of the household referred to as the "head of the family"? OK, that's a little old fashioned, but there is compelling evidence that this is history.

The evidence in our house was presented to me on Tuesday night. Not only did it suggest I wasn't on the top spot, not that I ever thought I was, but explicitly stated I was right at the bottom of the rankings I never knew existed.

Continue reading "Knowing your place in the pecking order" »

01 August 2007

If you're happy and you know it

With all the recent excitement (if excitement is the right word) we sort of missed out on the real goings-on this weekend, and that was the next step in learning to copy what mum & dad do.

Continue reading "If you're happy and you know it" »

29 July 2007

Baby's first...Trip to A&E

It was inevitable. You can't go through life with kids and not rush to A&E at the children's hospital at some stage. We know of trips involving nothing more than a cold, through to raisins stuck up the nose and onto broken bones. Ours, this morning, was for a smashed tooth.

Continue reading "Baby's first...Trip to A&E" »

26 July 2007

Latest pic of the boy

Here's the latest picture of the boy, for those who don't have access to his online album.

Continue reading "Latest pic of the boy" »

17 July 2007

The unique horror that is the first birthday party

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Until we drop
Not my words, but Berkmann's. I've had a look for Marcus tonight but can't find him. DISASTER, my bible has vanished. And there's a couple of newbie dads to be I know out there who could use him. Perhaps I should cut this lending Marcus out crap and just get them to buy their own copies?

Back to the party. It's coming, and I'm really looking forward to it. Here's my 10 step plan to maintaining peace, tranquility and serenity.

Continue reading "The unique horror that is the first birthday party" »

15 July 2007

Changing a nappy - a guide from birth to one

As we approach baby's first birthday (the invitation's in the post) I'm starting to reflect back at the last year. As I sit here on a pleasant Sunday morning I can smell that all too familiar indicator that a nappy needs to be changed. This paragraph is actually the last one I've written, only because I got the whiff! I'm about to hand over to MOTS so I can get dresssed to go swimming, so perfect timing, lad!

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Get the hang of ...changing
Changing a nappy is the same trauma every time. It doesn't matter how many you change, there's always a drama. It's an ever-changing process, so here's the run-down of the various stages of changing the nappy of a baby from birth to one.`

Continue reading "Changing a nappy - a guide from birth to one" »

Daddy's first...Trip away from home

I've just had my first trip away from home, so my first night away from Junior. Almost 11 months now, and with MOTS having had hers what seems like ages ago, it was my turn to enjoy a night away.

Apart from I was at work, at the office in the Village.

Continue reading "Daddy's first...Trip away from home" »

25 June 2007

Triple horror bill this weekend

Three events this week that show our little boy is just that, rather than a baby. Every couple of weeks it is the same - "he's really come on in the last couple of weeks". This weekend we had three things showing us yet again that he's growing up. And as these are horrifying, I'll put them against horror films.

Continue reading "Triple horror bill this weekend" »

20 June 2007

I wonder about that boy

I do wonder about that boy of mine sometimes. He shows signs of real intelligence, then follows it up with something really dumb. Tonight's mutterings show both of these in one act.

Continue reading "I wonder about that boy" »

17 June 2007

Daddy's first...Father's Day

Happy father's day out there to all dads, especially to the first timers like myself, and those not quite there but know they'll be celebrating it next year. For those in the latter category, ie Graham, congratulations!

Continue reading "Daddy's first...Father's Day" »

10 June 2007

Tale of two blinds

Junior's room faces slightly North-West, getting full sun at this time of year from mid afternoon into early evening before the sun drops behind the trees of the local wood. Needless to say it gets a bit warm in there, and very light, which isn't too great for a 9 month old trying to sleep.

So blackouts are the answer?

Continue reading "Tale of two blinds" »

31 May 2007

Haemorrhaging cash

It's a constant process of handing over the plastic, punching in the four digits, and waiting for the bill to arrive. I've become so uninterested in even seeing the bill I have set it up to leave by direct debit. The big things make a huge impact for a short time, but the little things just keep on coming.

Continue reading "Haemorrhaging cash" »

29 May 2007

Baby's first...Day in nursery

Monday 21st May saw Junior's first day in nursery. With MOTS' return to work imminent there's some time between the start of nursery and the return to work, just to help the transition.

Continue reading "Baby's first...Day in nursery" »

10 May 2007

Birth is only the half of it

I'm bordering absessive on dates, half-way markers, % until x sort of thing. which is why, when MOTS truned 27, I gave her constant abuse for being 90% of the way to 30.

So, today marks a major milestone for Junior. The time since his birth is equalled by the time before his birth. He's been with us equally inside and outside the womb, making his date of birth the mid-point of his life.

04 May 2007

Baby's first...tooth (2)

Teeth are like buses. You wait ages and ages for one and then two come along at once.

Number two through today.

02 May 2007

Seeing things through different eyes

Last year, with MOTS only a couple of months pregnant, we went to Glasgow's SECC to The Baby Show. This year, with junior around 8 months old and MOTS most certainly not pregnant, we went through again.

And what a difference.

Continue reading "Seeing things through different eyes" »

26 April 2007

A touching moment...

From a very early age Junior has shown pleasure at seeing his Dad come home from work in an evening. But this Monday was something else.

Continue reading "A touching moment..." »

01 April 2007

Bye bye baby

In the immortal words of the Bay City Rollers, "Bye Bye Baby".

There have been many things along the way, a lot have been written about here, that show our baby is growing up, but yesterday I realised we've lost our baby forever.

How?

We met Gent Junior for the first time. And with the two together at just over 2 weeks and just over 7 months, our monster is huge! Bye bye, baby!

20 March 2007

Mobile

One small milestone for baby, one giant worry for parentkind.

That's the transition from having this small screaming thing to having this small screaming thing that moves. Quickly.

Continue reading "Mobile" »

17 March 2007

Mealtime = Funtime!

Times they are a changing, and at present this is most notable at mealtimes. Sure, Junior is rolling over at will now (we've actually seen it this afternoon, so know he's not "Jack Jack"*), but mealtimes are the biggest changes we're seeing just now.

Continue reading "Mealtime = Funtime!" »

14 March 2007

Congratulations the Gs

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Well done the Gs!
Congratulations to the Gs!

Many congratulations to the Gents on becoming parents in the small hours this morning, and to the two sets of seniors on becoming grandparents.

Today will be magical, long, tiring, and even better if someone makes Dad a bacon roll when he gets home!!

Can't wait to see the three of you.

08 March 2007

39 Weeks on Saturday!

39 Weeks on Saturday, the baby is due a week on Sunday, at some point shortly this is no longer going to be about a bump but rather a living breathing person! Here's a brief summary of the most recent goings on....

Continue reading "39 Weeks on Saturday!" »

27 February 2007

Its now 37 weeks...

Yup it is now 37 weeks since Sarah and I had one too many wines on a warm summers night. 37 weeks on Saturday past to be precise. Time goes by extremely quickly when you are waiting around and counting down the days. I have no idea how to sum up what the past month or two have been like as quite simply they have been a blur..

Continue reading "Its now 37 weeks..." »

20 February 2007

Interim Appraisal time

Here it is, the interim appraisal. Common in the workplace, also known as the "6 month review".

Is it that time already? But we haven't even got our objectives set yet!!!!!

So here's the ratings:

Continue reading "Interim Appraisal time" »

12 February 2007

Piss, Shit & Vomit

In an early post I briefly mentioned that in Berkmann's book "Fatherhood: The Truth" a brief chapter covered "Piss, Shit & Vomit". I also added, with a sense of expectation, that it was possible that the ratio of chapter:book was not in fact related to the book:reality ratio. How correct I was.

Continue reading "Piss, Shit & Vomit" »

24 January 2007

From here to Maternity

Ok so I covered my classes in the last post, but Sarah has also been to a couple of antenatals and we have both been a tour of the maternity ward. Sarahs antenatals have been women only and covered labor and breast feeding. Standard ante-natal stuff. The tour of the ward on the other hand was pretty intense.

Continue reading "From here to Maternity" »

Again...did I mention it's all getting VERY real?

I cannot believe that it is less than 2 months until junior arrives (should our ETA be correct). The best way to describe how I am feeling at the moment is excited and wanting to speed up time, along with totally unprepared and wanting it to slow down. A vast array of emotions but the over riding one is of antcipation. I am looking forward to the coming years with a real sense of purpose. Will there be hard times, sure, any regrets, not a chance. And having seen the effect Iain has had on Lee and Debs it just makes me more excited about the future. Back to being unprepared though - well the antenatals and Dads 2 be classes have started so...

Continue reading "Again...did I mention it's all getting VERY real?" »

NHS Postcode Lottery

I've mentioned before that there is a postcode lottery when it comes to maternity care in the NHS. So far this has been in and out of the press at a trust level, but what about getting into a trust and looking to see if there's a postcode lottery within a trust, rather than just between trusts?

For the smart cookies amongst us you will have figured out by now that as I'm doing a post on the subject there must be. So what have we uncovered so far?

Continue reading "NHS Postcode Lottery" »

08 January 2007

We are having a baby THIS year.

We always had Christmas and New Year to think about before the birth - not any longer. Dont get me wrong, this is not a bad thing but it is, well, another milestone on the journey.

All of a sudden it's not next year this and next year that, it's this year all the way. Have I said yet this is going fasssst. I cant wait and yet feel like I am still ill prepared!...

Continue reading "We are having a baby THIS year." »

01 January 2007

Happy New Year

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2007!
When we embarked upon 2006 we had an expectation of what was to come. We sort of knew at the start of the year that we'd be parents, but didn't confirm this until after we had the house back to ourselves. And from early 2006 to the end of 2006 it has been an incredible journey. So as I sit here on Hogmanay, wondering why I'm sat in front of a PC rather than out on the town (hmm, that wind might be one reason) I look back and wonder if it was all worth it.

EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

So whether you're part way on your own journey, in the departures lounge, or still trying to buy a ticket, my family wishes you a very Happy New Year!

26 December 2006

So this is Christmas, and what have you done?

Apolgies Lee, it has been far too long since I managed to get onto the site and do my "weekly" update! I had had big plans, every Saturday morning I would grab an hour and update everyone on how Sarah is doing with Junior Gent, every Saturday I would find myself either in Babies R Us, Mothercare, Homebase or on my way to Glasgow to some Pram Centre that a certain Curtis family told my wife about - thanks for that guys! :o) And so it is that I now find myself in the third trimester and I have the whole of the 2nd one to summarise in a shortish post! A lot has happened...

Continue reading "So this is Christmas, and what have you done?" »

23 December 2006

Merry (first) Christmas

We're almost set for Christmas, the decks are being cleared ready for the invasion. Sounds a bit like Dunkirk, just hope it's not! Poor Jared, having a house full and no baby's first Christmas as an excuse. That's what you get for sending me pictures of pints of Tetley's and Seabrooks crisps!!!!

Anyway, here we go, all systems ready, all rooms tidy, I'm looking forward to this, all pigs fed and ready to fly.

Merry Christmas to all and see you on the other side..

12 December 2006

Growing up so fast

It never really sank in when people used to say "enjot it while it lasts" because you hear that so often in so many contexts. But when it comes to the newborn child it couldn't be more true.

At 16 weeks old, Junior is growing so fast, both in size and as a person. Yes, a person!

Continue reading "Growing up so fast" »

08 December 2006

Fathers - needed for health?

Health is always a worry, especially for someone who eats too much, exercises too little, and is a prime candidate for diabetes due to the sedentary lifestyle. Is it lifestyle, or hereditary, or what? Well, I just keep the blinkers on and take the line "it depends what books you read".

So the news I got last night that my father is in intensive care with pancreatitis was first and foremost met with fear, a fear for my son. The multitude of "what if..." scenarios went through my head with respect to hereditary ailments. Thankfully, it doesn't look like I have too much to worry about on that score for Junior after looking it up, but being under exercised and over weight I decided to go for a diabetes test today, mainly prompted by the news my father has been borderline for the last 2 years.

Continue reading "Fathers - needed for health?" »

31 October 2006

Santa List

MOTS has started a Santa List for Junior. There's a few things there just now just to get it going. Not holding out much hope for a new Beamer, but you never know.

I'm not posting the URL here, so if you would like it please email me or leave a comment asking for it.

28 October 2006

Algebra in parenthood

Can you remember the formulae for calculating the area and circumference of a circle from the radius? Working it backwards? Did you ever think at school "this is a waste of time"?

Well, it is vital you know how to do this when looking at playpens. I kid you not!

Continue reading "Algebra in parenthood" »

Resumption of the sex life post-birth

Why is it that when you have a baby the first thing they ask about in hospital is whether you've thought about contraception? Even at the six week review the doctor was at it. So after 24 hours of induced labour, a cut & shut, and 6 sleepless weeks do they honestly think there's any bedroom action going on?

Paging the men in white coats...

Continue reading "Resumption of the sex life post-birth" »

18 October 2006

Lets get a travel buggy car seat pram..eh?

No doubt about it, it has got to be the most confusing purchase you will make as you prepare for your kids birth. What will it travel in, be it pram, buggy or car seat. Do you go for seperates and have a pram, then move onto a buggy, have car seat and then another in 9 months for when it outgrows its first...or do you go for a "Travel System". Like Transfomers these are in disguise! It's a pram, it's a buggy AND a car seat....my head hurts, lets go home...

Continue reading "Lets get a travel buggy car seat pram..eh?" »

Two more Lamb Bhunas over here...

Seeing was believing at week 14 when I had the high of watching my child to be moving around in the womb. As it moonwalked up the womb and danced around the umbilical cord it hit home, I'm having a kid. This is real. Since then as Sarah has not really started to show properly (we are now around 18 weeks into the pregnancy) it really has been the calm after the storm. It sounds silly but you begin to think, was it real, was that really in there? Well hearing is believing in the 2nd trimester.

Continue reading "Two more Lamb Bhunas over here..." »

Full list of jabs

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Small scratch. Small?
We have the latest immunisation leaflet available, and had to wait for this as the health trust were in the process of changing it. This was due to a new introduction, which Junior will get but there is a catch-up for the under-2s who didn't get it. Thus proving the programme is dynamic. Even the tuberculosis jab is NOT standard any more. No more six pricks on the wrist followed by the big scar on the left arm. No siree, that's only for the "vulnerable" groups now. So what do we get and what don't we get? Full and current routine list below:

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13 October 2006

Smiles more to say

I've just had a couple of very precious days off work, with everything going Pete Tong at work days off are very difficult to get. But, two scheduled days off this week brought about mixed feelings.

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03 October 2006

The 2nd trimester so far...

Having summarised the 1st trimester I'll now try to touch on the main things that have happened in the past 4 or so weeks since we began the 2nd trimester. That will bring me bang up to date. So what's happened since the 2nd trimester arrived with its promise of new found energy for Sarah....

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The rest of the 1st trimester

I'll try to summarise the rest of the 1st trimester as briefly as I can, it should not be too hard as it literally flew by. In fact it felt more like a fortnight rather than 12 weeks, but it did have one of those experiences I would bet any mother and father to be would say is a memory they'll treasure for good, the scan...

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23 September 2006

When to tell people?!!

So you've found out your are going to have a child, its exciting and you are bursting to tell the world. Your parents are going to become Grandparents, and my one remaining Grandparent is going to become a Great-grandparent! You want to tell your siblings, I want to see my sisters face when she finds out she's to become an Aunt. And our friends will be over the moon!! Choosing not to tell people is extremely difficult, but there are good reasons. We compromised.

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The 1st trimester - Thats err, definitely a line!

As I mentioned I'll break down the 1st trimester into sections and then try to get up to present day so I can start giving you a blow by blow account of the 2nd trimester as it happens (already a couple of weeks into it so need to get cracking!). I'll begin by reliving the moment we found out we were going to have a young whipper snapper.

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16 September 2006

1st Trimester - who's the daddy?

I never thought it would happen, I thought I would put it off until well after it was humanly possible to concieve, I've always thought its for people for a few more years of experience in life. Well a few months back I decided enough was enough, these were merely excuses....

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15 September 2006

Reader becoming a dad!

In true radio phone-in style I have a "long time listener, first time caller" on the line. One of my foreign readers has been in touch to say he's recently found out he's going to be a dad (many congratulations). Hopefully, if we can get through the language barrier, and if he's willing and able, I'll be asking him to post up the entries I never had chance to given I never got the blog going until MOTS was in the third trimester. If it all works out we may have some dual posting going on - sets for earlier pregnancy and sets for my little 'uns progress.

08 September 2006

Kids grow up so fast

A couple of weeks in, and a couple of signs already that kids grow so quickly. One is actually quite frightening, the other is at the moment kinda cute, but will soon wear thin.

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06 September 2006

Modern birth certificates, what a let-down

Last week I got junior registered, so he now officially exists, has a number and all that. Only thing is, the modern birth certificates are a major let-down. Progress, particularly of the computerised kind, is not always a good thing.

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Why the crying?

I'm a logical sort of person, for all actions a person takes there must be a reason for doing so, otherwise there is no point in doing it. Even if the action is inaction. So when junior starts to scream the place down for no apparent reason I'm a little bit out of my depth.

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04 September 2006

Back to work...

I never felt like I had a proper stretch of time off work with Junior's arrival. Work is hectic at the moment, there's a series of major projects on the go with a common, and very visible, deadline. And time will not slip just for the birth of one child, so I've been dialling in to work from home. The first day after the family came home I was in the office, with the rest of the week spent dialled-in part time. Needless to say the strains have been quite intense.

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03 September 2006

Rant: Ingnorance, pure ignorance

We've had our first shopping trip out today with Junior, and it's amazing to see from the other side how ignorant some people really are.

I've always considered myself to at least try and be considerate towards others, and feel bad when I've made a bit of a faux par. But some others just seem to relish in their own indulgent egotistical sense of self importance.

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01 September 2006

The first week @ home

The first week at home has been completed, but was it "successfully" completed? It depends on your exit criteria whether or not the week was a "success" or not. As we went into the week with no measure of success, then I suppose it has been by default.

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The homecoming

Now that my family have been home for a week I thought it was about time to get the homecoming written up. It was meant to be a joyous occasion, but as implied by the phrase "meant to be" I'm sure the seeds of doubt are there already - "errm wasn't it joyous then?"

No, it wasn't. It was about as joyous an occasion as a trip to the dentist for a root canal. So what went wrong?

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30 August 2006

The birth - it's a marathon not a sprint

Here we go with starting to try and catch up on the happenings last weekend. Although Ripley is no more, it's a good thing, and Iain now has his own very distinct identity. With reference to the bump it shall be Ripley, to the baby it shall be Iain. And that's rule number one, broken already by slip(s) of the tongue, but a rule nonetheless.

So what happened with Ripley on Friday then?

Continue reading "The birth - it's a marathon not a sprint" »

24 August 2006

Week 40: Skipping School

Just to make complete the series of four ante-natal classes, here's post number 4 of 4.

I need a note from my mummy as I missed school. Probably one of the most useful of the four classes and we couldn't make it. For those who have no idea why not, WHY NOT? Read the week 39 summary!

I did leave a message with a "schoolmate" to tell teacher we wouldn't be there though, so I guess we won't get called by the headmistress for a caning.

I will get round to the updates at some point, though not any time soon.

22 August 2006

The wait is over

Just a mega quick post with the abridged version of events this weekend. If we can remember the full-blown version then I'll post it up, there are some horror stories in there and some nice moments too. But it is true, I've forgotten the horror moments as I type with a son of 6 hours old.

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20 August 2006

Week 39: Almost there

Another week done with, the end is in sight, or is it? It's not like a bus where you know it's going to be late, unless it's the last one then it'll be early. Not even the Virgin Trains Timewarp (ask me to explain that one at some stage) is of any relevance now we are just sitting back waiting.

So what has really happened this week?

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17 August 2006

All paperwork and no play

Even since before we started trying for Ripley it's been paperwork all the way. From the word go there was a doctor's appointment just to say we're going for it, that resulted in the first lot. Blood tests, associated consent forms and results pages, which eventually ended up in the notes. Nothing much else until the blue line appeared, and then the deluge started.

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16 August 2006

Week 39: Ante-natal continues

Week 3 of 4 on the ante-natal classes and what’s been in store this week?

The first two weeks covered the delicate subject of labour, this week is the World Health Organisation endorsed lecture on breastfeeding.

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14 August 2006

Map reading

Route-planning. Not a favourite subject of the Fat Lady, so when it comes to getting from A to B it's pretty much left up to me. I have a TomTom satellite navigation system, with maps a little out of date. I have an up to date hardback AA atlas, conveniently located on the breakfast bar in the kitchen. But I know my way from home to the hospital, or so I thought.

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Week 38: Round-up (a day early, practice?)

In the week 37 round-up I pointed out that we had no more "creative accounting" to do.

I apologise, I had missed one. I hang my head in shame for it.

The Fat Lady had her last day in the office on Friday, which makes Monday of the 38th week her first day of maternity leave. WRONG. This is officially a week's holiday, her last official day at work is Friday 18th August. Which means we're a week ahead, maternity doesn't start for another week, thus delaying that milestone. So, on to the usual points now we have an extra week before the inevitable...

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10 August 2006

New HCC record!

Orange Wednesdays? Pah, we have Hormonal Wednesdays now. Last night saw a new HCC record of 4 (four) in one night!

So what brought on the tears? A mixture of dead animals and birth - talk about opposite ends of the spectrum of life!

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09 August 2006

Week 38: Ante-natal continues

Week 2 of 4 on the ante-natal classes, and what's been in store this week?

Last week we had early labour, so this week we're prepared for the second and third stages. I'm getting visions of one of Dave's gory horror flicks, so how did it compare? Well, I'll start off with the same questions as last time.

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07 August 2006

Week 37: Round-up

I've started week 37's post with a gestation of 35+6. Always like to be a little early, catching the worm and all that. Week 36 wasn't anything spectacular but generated a big post. So it'll be interesting to see how this post pans out before I publish it. Sitting here writing it a week before publish date hoping I don't balls up my past & future tense is the least of my worries.

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03 August 2006

Having kids, got cats

Conflicting views are out there on having kids and cats in the same house at the same time. I'd sell my first born child* before getting rid of my cats, so we have to make some adjustments.

* Open to offers, currently sorting out some legal nonesense with eBay about the listing.

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02 August 2006

What's the sex?

We haven't been asked this for a while now, thankfully, but it was clearly one of those life events that everyone needs to know.

Now that Richard and Zoe are getting hitched, they'll be getting those questions. Well, not that particular question, as it's not a shotgun job. Theirs will be "when, where, can Auntie Mable's pet dog's breeder sit with her at the reception". They have my sympathy.

I thought I'd covered this topic in the 20 week scan post, but hadn't.

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Week 37: Ante-natal starts

Today's the day the ante-natal classes started. We already knew in advance what the topics would be - weeks 1 & 2 for labour, week 3 for feeding and week 4 for bringing baby home. So this was part 1 of 2 on labour. And our survey said...

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30 July 2006

Week 36: Sitting, waiting

Another week, another set of kicking sessions. And for what? Well, I’m another 7 days closer to becoming that E-Class (no reminder this time). Beyond that it’s just as the title suggests.

So what about the highs & lows?

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26 July 2006

Clean Hospital?

The Edinburgh Royal Infirmary's maternity provision seems to be a target for the Edinburgh Evening News this week. In Week 35: Getting more real I posted a comment about the story they published regarding transfers. Today's topic is MRSA and the neo-natal unit's record for last year.

So what is their angle?

Continue reading "Clean Hospital?" »

25 July 2006

Week 35: Getting more real

Today is 34+6, which makes tomorrow 35+0. So as the 35th week comes to a close, what's in store for the immediate future? And the next 5 weeks?

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24 July 2006

Baby suppliers - moans & praise (Part 2)

Part 2 of the moans and praise "franchise". I must ask Richard what constitutes a "franchise" in the movie world (eg Pirates of the Carribean) when a "franchise" may have the same production team....

I digress. As seen in M&P Part 1 (NOT to be confused with M&P of the Mamas & Papas trademark variety) I had the bar raised on customer service by Glasgow Pram Centre. Well, this weekend it was held up there, possibly creeping higher. Hence their very own entry!

Continue reading "Baby suppliers - moans & praise (Part 2)" »

14 July 2006

Baby suppliers - moans & praise (Part 1)

Baby products are big business, so shouldn’t companies who sell baby products be geared up for excellent customer service in order to win repeat business? So far we can’t fault a number of stores, but then there’s others, large and small, that need to learn a thing or two about customer service.

So who are the winners and losers in our world?

As one of the winners is on the back of a loser, I’ll go for the losers first. No doubt there will be many more along the way, hence this is “Part 1”.

Continue reading "Baby suppliers - moans & praise (Part 1)" »

Hear Say (not just a bad 'pop' group)

How many of the horror stories relating to childbirth are actually true? Everyone knows someone who knows someone who.... well, you know the drill.

The Fat Lady got the dates for the NHS ante-natal classes the other day, and we're [a little] worried by the anecdotal tales of early births when we look at the class dates.

Continue reading "Hear Say (not just a bad 'pop' group)" »

11 July 2006

NCT Classes

For a first-time set of parents the ante-natal classes should be the lifeline that answers the “what are we doing” questions. Or so I think they should, sitting here not having been through them yet. What I expect and what will happen may be two different things entirely, and at least if prepared with this in mind then I guess it can’t be so bad, for either of us.

We were advised to go to the NCT classes as these were really good. So we looked them up and tried to book a place.

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What's in a name?

Name choices will stick with Junior for quite some time, hopefully beyond the 3 score year and ten marker. So I can see why there can be some degree of agony to get through when it comes to picking a name for a newborn child.

I’m going through this for the first time with The Fat Lady and would hate to think anyone with 2,3 or more have this much grief with subsequent children.

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09 July 2006

Week 20: Ultrasound Scans

The NHS recommend that mums get ultrasound scans twice during pregnancy, around the 13 and 20 week markers. The exact dates can vary from trust to trust. The NHS like to stress these are optional and are only offered. However, I’d like to have been “offered” a 20 week scan. But our NHS trust is run by penny-pinching busybodies.

Now I always thought the problem was a Scottish one, but this was my ignorance due to only having had experience of one NHS trust north of the border. It turns out it’s a Lothian problem.

Continue reading "Week 20: Ultrasound Scans" »

Week 15: Blood Tests

One major decision we had to make was the blood tests offered around the 15 week marker. These are to determine the risk of Downs and Edwards syndromes.

The NHS is very keen on saying these blood tests are not conclusive but only give an indication. Most literature will say that around 1 in 20 tests will come back high risk, and further tests are required. If this happens, don’t panic, it may need a scan or at worst an amniocentesis. The chances are these will come back OK, the odds are certainly in your favour. Put it this way, if it was a horse you’d be stupid not to back it.

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07 July 2006

Hormonal Cry Chart

So what do the dads do to occupy themselves while the mums are pregnant? For me it's the "Hormonal Cry Chart".

The chart is something of an icon in our kitchen, sometimes having frequent "chalk-ups" and other times going without for quite some time.

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06 July 2006

Is the teaching of basic manners dead?

Yesterday I had my first chest-puffing experience as a protective dad.

Just to set the background, The Fat Lady is still travelling First Class on the train, whereas I'm not sure of my base yet, so I'm slumming it. Last night on the way home The Fat Lady decided to keep me company in the ghetto, considering Virgin Trains have no real First Class service. So, there we are at the platform 20 minutes before departure, with the train in at the platform and the doors locked awaiting crew.

Continue reading "Is the teaching of basic manners dead?" »

27 June 2006

First time Dad

With the impending arrival of Ripley in what seems like tomorrow, I've been wandering aimlessly through catalogues, brochures and shops with a Jeremy Clarkson Mercedes E-Class look.

The only car that looks more startled than the rabbit it's about to hit.

There have been some happy times, some "WTF" times, and some pure frustration at seemingly family-oriented product manufacturers being unable to comprehend that their products are, well, unsuitable for families. I'll use the Dads category to keep a track of anything I found useful, to extol the virtues of the helpful ones, and to offer constructive criticism for those who need it. Oh, and to flame those who well and truly deserve it.

I suppose I’ll have to start by trawling back over the ramblings I’ve made on the FOB and pull them into some meaningful format. Anyway, that’s a job for another day.

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