Friday, 29 August 2014

Cheerio The Nou, Scotland!


So at the end of July our 12 months in Scotland had come to an end! Whoever thought I would be so sad to leave? Thinking back to that day in Vancouver, when we found out that out of all the places By could be working for a year it was going to be Scotland, I was less than impressed! I didn't have the happiest memories from living in Scotland the first time around! but after some googling and finding out that Glasgow had some cupcake places I was keen to try things were looking up!

Now looking back on our time in Scotland it's just been an amazing year, how could it not have the happiest memories when it was where Ella was born? I'm so sad that I won't get to drive past Wishaw General Hospital anymore, I used to always point out the window and tell Ella that's where she was born! We made so many lovely friends, and were overwhelmed by the friendliness of all the Scots we met! Especially my mummy friends I made once Ella arrived.  We went along to a local breastfeeding support group when Ella was 8 weeks old, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it and thought it seemed a bit random - my health visitor was urging me to go because you got a 'free cup of tea'! Obviously that wasn't of much interest to me, but I figured it was something to do to get out of the house! and then I met the loveliest ladies and babies who became the loveliest friends.  Our days in Scotland would have been filled with far less fun...and cake, if I had never turned up to that group!

We had many pram walks to Clyde Valley and Chatelherault...

Here's our gang!

Nicola with Oliver, who weren't able to make the afternoon tea...

and Sam with Campbell, who I didn't manage to get a picture of together at the afternoon tea because it's hard to keep up with him!!

We also always went on mass to Bookbug sessions at the library - if we went to the one on Monday's in Bothwell and it was sunny, we would indulge in ice cream sundae's across the road after, if we went to the Blantyre one on Thursday's we would go for cream tea's after! We would always meet on Tuesday afternoon's after the support group for drinks and chat, and lots of us attended the sing and swim sessions together on a Friday morning too! and with the random meet ups in between, some weeks we would see each other every day!

So, at the beginning of July we had a farewell afternoon tea, because it seemed fitting that since our friendship had involved so much cake that one of our last group meet ups should involve lots of it!

It was a delicious day! filled with lots of baby fun!

It was so cute to have nearly all the babies together at once! and seeing them interact with each other!

I managed to snap nearly all the mums with their bubbas...

Lynsey and Georgia! I love how Georgia is giving a little wave to the camera!

Lindsey and Isla...

Lauretta and Millie...


Karen and Anya...

Nicola and Lauren...

Jude and Evan...

Katie and Jack...

Heather and Hamish...

and Christopher...with Charleen diving out the way of the camera ;)

and Campbell, digging in!

It was a lovely farewell! and I will miss these ladies and babies a lot, but I know we will always keep in touch and now with facebook it's easier than ever to stay in touch and see how the babies are getting bigger and what they're upto!

We also loved going to Lazy Daisy baby massage classes...and meeting all the lovely babies and mums at those too! This was our group at the finish of classes:

Eilidh and Isaac (to the left of Ella and I) took me for a lovely tablet ice cream sundae at Equi's (so Scottish!) before I left but I couldn't find my phone to snap pictures! We only discovered that they were our round the corner neighbours shortly before we left but we had some nice walks in the sunshine together! I also went to the Lazy Daisy birthing classes with a lot of those same ladies so it was really fun to have known the babies as bumps and then get to meet them and see them grow up...just for a little while!

I also went to say goodbye to everyone at my work.  Ella was especially fascinated with Tony...and more specifically his beard!

It was lots of fun to grab!

I always thought Men weren't really that into babies! I worked in an office with 2 ladies and about 40 men, and I was surprised at how many would want to come and see Ella or have a hold of her on the two occasions I brought her in - it was really cute! even my boss always wanted a cuddle with her!

I didn't take a picture on the day, but here are Donna and Sue (the 2 ladies!) when they came to visit me after Ella was born, I will miss these lovely ladies a lot! They made my time at work so much fun and they spoilt Ella and I loads!

We also popped to Calederglen on one of the sunniest days we had experienced in Scotland! with our friend Joanne from church and her 3 boys.

She is one of Ella's biggest admirers! and she was so good to us when Ella was first born, always driving up to spend time with us and bring me lunch and keep me company in those early days!

Did I mention how much her boys love Ella too?

It's adorable to see, they all wanted to be the first to hold her! and they all wanted to be photographed doing it too! I love how Ella looks like she's sharing in the joke here!

They will be having a little sister joining their family one of these days and seeing them with Ella shows that they are going to be the best and most adoring big brothers!

We are going to miss this lovely family so much!

The week that we moved, Mara came to visit.  The Commonwealth Games was being held in Glasgow and she had a lot of tickets, so in between packing up we had some sporting and sightseeing fun!

It involved some women's hockey - where India smashed Trinidad and Tobago 14-0!

but we were mostly there to support South Africa playing NZ...

Apparently some of the members of our family found it boring...

Ella perked up when the hot chocolate came out! It had gotten a bit chilly as the evening went on, so I think she liked warming up her hands on it!

 and we were all smiles despite NZ winning! Ella did really well for being out so late!


Mara had never been to Loch Lomond before so we rectified that...sadly on a pretty cloudy day!

 with a little bit of blue sky trying to peek through!

but not for long...welcome to a Scottish summer!
We sought shelter from the rain in The Balloch House Hotel...

 and stuffed ourselves sufficiently with this ridunculously oversized churro sundae!

That evening we headed to more commonwealth fun...this time for the gymnastics:

Ella was loving that there was so much to look at!


She even managed a nap despite all the loud announcements and cheering...although when the Scottish gymnasts would perform the roar was so loud she would stir a little, but then drift back off again!

I think she thought all the cheering was for her!

We were able to see the English team take Gold which was pretty cool! I was a bit sad about the fact that the crowd wasn't singing along to the national anthem of Jerusalem though! I sang a solo...taking me back to my St. George's chapel days!!

and of course what better way to end our time in Scotland than being played out by a bagpiper!

We headed to a new Mexican, Topolabamba, in Glasgow that I'd been keen to try for our final meal...

Ella just loves being out when she should be in bed!

I was loving the Jarritos, just like we used to get in Vancouver! I love all their unusual flavours...

and the food was amazing, it was street food style so we ordered tons of small dishes like cactus tacos, pork tostadas and fish tacos Turks and Caicos style!

Of course no Mexican is complete without delicious churros for dessert...and some horchata ice cream! (not pictured because Mara was busy scoffing it!)

and as we were parked right in George Square we snapped a quick Commonwealth pic! Some Italian tourists nearby made faces at Ella to make her smile...the little flirt ;)

and just like that we were done and ready to head back down South for a while!

Monday, 11 August 2014

A 6 Month Old Update - Half a Year Already!!


Ella Bella turned 6 months old on Friday!! I can't believe my ears (in fact I feel like I need to rip them off Ted Danson style in 3 Men and a Little Lady!!)

How did my teeny tiny baby go from this...

   to this in a blink of an eye?

I have been looking forward to 6 months for SOO long...

thinking of all the fun things we could do...and that you were going to be able to start eating which Mommy was very excited about! and have been gazing longingly at every mouthful of food we have eaten for weeks now! 

but now it's here I want to put the brakes on! I am painfully aware that after 6 months the months will whizz by faster than ever before and suddenly a whole year will have gone by and I can't handle that fact right now!!

So let's be happy in our ignorance and pretend you're going to stay 6 months forever because oh, it's such a fun age!

Look at those long legs - where did they spring from?! You were still in 0-3 months clothes a week or two ago and now all of a sudden 6-9 month leggings are looking a bit short!

Everything is fun to you...and you are just amazed at everything around you! You are so aware and so intrigued by the things you see - and you just love to grab things! She only really started grasping things properly at the start of the month and it's amazing how quickly her hand eye co-ordination is picking up!  The face above is her anticipating bubbles face...she does love her bubbles!

 and she concentrates very hard on where they all disappear too! She also likes it if I catch them back on the wand and bring them over to her so she can pop them! and she likes to try and chew on the wand too...but then there's nothing she doesn't try and chew on these days!

 I got that cute little bunny playnest, free, off of a local baby group and it's been amazing! In sitting up position, it helps support her and encourages her to sit by herself...which she can do for about 10-15 seconds on her own before she we're not quite there independently yet, but we're on the way! You can also convert it to a full ring that she can sit in and play with her toys in!

 Her stacking cups are definitely her toy of the moment! There is no end to the number of times you can stack them up for her and she will knock them down! It never loses its excitement to Ella!

 She started off at the beginning of the month just knocking them down with her feet, but now she can rather forcefully give them a good whack with her hands!

So onto the firsts for this month...there were several, just not the sitting up or rolling over like we thought may occur! Although on Thursday we did get a roll over in the bath! just still working on the solid ground roll!

She went on her first swing! and although she was a little unsteady and was probably still a bit small for it, she loved it all the same! as evidenced by that gorgeous smile...

and this cute video!

She went to a mini zoo at Calderglen Country Park...

and also experienced some of the first summer sunshine Scotland had to offer!


She went to the cinema for the first time! it was a special baby screening...and it was a nice snazzy cinema with sofas in on Ashton Lane - my fave little place in Glasgow!

and she had a great time with her little pal Hamish!

 She attended her first ever sporting events! and with that came her first train ride, which she seemed to enjoy! 

So she spent one night at the Diamond league athletics - she even managed to nap through the starting gun for the races, the fireworks and the flames when people won and all the cheering...but woke up when someone beside us sneezed!

She also attended some commonwealth games events like the hockey, helping Mommy and Daddy cheer on South Africa when they played NZ...can you tell she was loving being up past her bed time?!

and she loved the gymnastics! There was so much for her to look at!

I think she thought all the cheering was for her!

She ate at her first Mexican restaurant...and it certainly won't be the last with a Mommy like me!

She went to her first birthday party for her cousin Ellis! 


It was a pirate fest...and are these not the cutest little pirates around?

She went down her first slide! with the help of Uncle Arne guiding her down! Look at her little excited face!

of course daredevil Ellis just dove down it head first without a care in the world!

 and she went to her first wedding of my uni friend Lucy! and had a ball! 

She loved all the attention from my friends!

and got thoroughly spoilt! with an amazing goodie bag of toys and bubbles which kept her entertained through the whole of the reception!

 and even her highchair got it's own fancy bow! Her first time in a highchair too!


 In the past week or two, she has got seriously into labels! She searches for the label on every toy she plays with! or even in her pram - I'm thinking of just cutting out loads of labels and sewing them together and letting her go to town on them!

 and when she's not trying to eat labels, she's trying to eat her feet! Nothing makes her happier!

A few days before we left Scotland she started doing this little shaking from side to side thing...we call it her jig! She now does it on demand and her granny and grandad and aunties think it's the best thing ever, they clap and cheer for her and so she does it over and over!

and on to the weaning!!

 Look at this excited face! If she could talk I'm sure she would have told me that she'd been longing to try some food!

She seemed pretty happy with her bib!

and she even insisted on helping grab the spoon and steer it to her mouth!

I gave her the spoon to see what she would do with it and she had the right idea about putting it to her face, just not which way up it was meant to go!

 Check out that banana face! She was loving it, some spoonfuls more than others as this video shows...

Every day with you just gets better and better, Ella! You complete our family with your happy little excitable personality!