Wheeze Mum

I’ve adopted a new title for myself: wheeze mum.


This little girl – the picture of health – has been in hospital four times in the past year for her breathing. Little did I know when she picked up a particularly nasty bug at 6 months old (RSV) that it would end up causing her problems for so long. When some kids get bugs as babies it compromises their airways, giving them bronchiolitis and post-viral wheeze. It’s not asthma (which requires triggers other than just colds) but has the same symptoms. Every single tiny cold now goes straight to Rozzie’s chest and even the tiniest sniffle can result in her unable to breathe. Her airways constrict and that – combined with the mucous of a cold – stop enough oxygen getting in.


We have many doctors appointments – the GP, out of hours, clinic consultants and speciality nurses – and a regimine of inhaler medications and frequent steroids.


Yet she seems so well. It’s crazy how she can go from thriving to very much not in a matter of hours. The scariest experience was in January when she had a golf ball sized chest recession and started to go blue in A&E. Luckily she responded well to a nebuliser and oxygen but it’s still a constant battle to keep her out of the hospital.


We were last in about a month ago and by now it has become routine. She gets a cold, she get inhalers, she starts to wheeze and we call 111. We end up on steroids and in for hours and hours. She picks up quickly thankfully and it soon helping nurses clean beds and generally pestering everyone while we wait to get home. I kind of expect to be in hospital every cold she gets now, and am immensely thankful when it happens during the day, rather than at night.


Last time we were in she got put on a brown preventer inhaler in order to stop her needing steroid tablets and admissions. She had a cold two weeks past and still needed steroids but it was more due to the cough aggravating her airways, rather than the wheeze. The inhaler builds up in the system too so it seems that we’ve had a slight improvement so far, and here’s hoping it keeps heading in that direction.


Administering inhalers to toddlers is a time consuming and generally unenjoyable pursuit, especially as getting them in before they get bad (when they still have loads of energy and dont feel ill) is important. I’ve become adpet at knowing if shes having even the slightest wheeze or breathing stress just by picking her up and know all the lingo as to external observations when on the phone to discuss her. I know oxygen saturation stats and heart rates, the required reliance on medication to allow her home and the general routine of paediatric wards in the hospital, all far too well now.


I never thought that she would have something like this – as manageable as it is – especially after having Sandy who has never had a problem in his life. Yet I suppose that’s how all these things are, no-one is prepared for every eventuality, especially those they know nothing about, despite their commonality. My father in law mentioned how she looked that first time in hospital the other day, tubes and wires, so scrawny and sad. Those kind of memories are a bit hard to bring up. I’m grateful though, because it’s a minor thing as long as I’m informed and it is managed, and we have a fabulous specialist nurse looking out for us. I’m hoping my Rozzie grows out of this and perhaps in a few years all these medical excursions will be a distant memory, for now though I’m wheeze mum, always on the look out for extra exertion on her ribcage and the the telltale whistle in her chest.

At Home Soft Play

Just a quick post about one of our favourite things to do on a day at home to remove any extra energy the kids have.


We have a mattress that comes out and goes against the couch. Pillows go on the floor, blankets go over chairs, and the crawl through tunnel is in place. A bit of soft play in the house is great fun and great for action photographs too!


We are at a point with Sandy and Roslyn where going out to the soft play near us is a bit off limits. Sandy is big enough for the older bit, but I don’t trust the other children in it not to run into him. It’s too large that I could keep an eye on him from the sidelines too. Roslyn on the other hand is too small for the big bit altogether so going in all three is pointless. The little bit – while perfect for Roslyn – infuriates Sandy as he has to watch he doesn’t take out babies. Plus he can see the big bit and whines for it. So all in all we will have to wait a little longer until soft play is ideal again.


For now we make do with the fun to be had at home and the kids seem to think it’s quite satisfactory! Enjoy the pictures!









Nursery Tales

Sandy has been at Nursery for three months now and, despite the rocky start, it doing well. His teacher told me that she wasn’t sure it was such a good idea that children now start as early as 3 and I feel she is probably right. I do wish I had held him back a little bit. I was considering stopping for a while when he wasn’t wanting to go in the mornings but he just suddenly got it and now adores nursery. Saying that, I’m glad that Roslyn will be over three when she starts.


Their first learning context has been superheroes and Sandy has loved it. He’s been talking about spiderman and superman and calls himself super boy. He talks about magic and powers and being able to jump and fly. It was the perfect first context for him because he is a boy of action for sure!

He tells me what he does each day which – once you get past the monosyllabic “play toys” response he has ready to fire out – includes tales of his friends, his teachers, his activities and the snacks he eats. It’s lovely to get a little insight into his life away from us. He adores his teacher, Mrs Devlin, too. He just calls her Devlin though and it is immensely funny to hear her pretend talking to her on the phone saying “Devlin? You at the nursery now? I come to the nursery. You good Devlin, good Devlin”. He cracks me up!

Thanks to nursery he has started to really enjoy singing too. He always comes home with a new song including “twinkle twinkle chocolate bar” “the wheels on the bus” and a hand washing song. He has also started to make his own songs about things he’s doing which is so cute. He told me he was singing a tidy up the blocks song recently!


One of the joys of coming home from work is finding what he’s made at nursery. This is a drawing/collage of his daddy with a big blue nose, and a biscuit he iced and decorated!

And even after the worst day ever this little boy can cheer you up no end when you pull into your drive and find his superboy picture hanging in the window to greet you!


I’m really glad with how he’s doing and feel that – so far – nursery has calmed some of my nerves in relation to Sandy entering the school system. Here’s hoping that continues!

Autumn Craft

Despite our busy October we have managed to fit in a good deal of Autumnal crafting. Sandy has finally come around to the idea that drawing, painting and creating is fun so it’s lovely to be able to make things with him. We’ve been doing some themed projects based on the time of year.


With dark skies come stars and with stars come space rockets! As you can see, Sandy has all of a sudden been able to draw specfic things, and copy, rather than just making marks. I was so impressed when he copied the space ship Pa had drawn on the chalk board!


We decided to make some Halloween cards to give to family and Sandy wanted to give one to Mrs Devlin, his nursery teacher (or Devlin, as he simply calls her!). The kids painted in autumnal colours then we let the pictures dried and cut them up into shapes including pumpkins before glueing them to cards.


Halloween fun continued with my obsessive purchasing of gourds. Sandy and Roslyn had great fun examining all the different sizes, shapes and colours, as well as carting them around the house. Sandy and I partook in putting them on our heads and shouting “PUMPKIN HEAD!”


As Halloween drew close we got two MASSIVE pumpkins and carved them. I gave the kids pens and they drew on what they wanted me to carve.


The result was fabulous! Roslyn had her very own design and Sandy managed to draw a scary face!


They were both very proud of their spooky creations…


…and they looked fabulous lit too!


Once Halloween was over we continued our crafty ways and made fireworks pictures for Guy Fawkes night. We took black paper and drew chalk trails, glued on scrunched up tissue paper and sprinkled on glitter.


I had decided to make an art wall for the kids to put up their work so these were the first to go in it and I think they turned out brilliantly.

Here’s hoping the next few months bring lots of other, fun Christmassy crafts too!

Halloween Party

It’s not that often that Halloween falls on a Saturday so this year we took advantage and threw a Halloween Party for our friends and family.


Sandy went as Super Boy! He’s been learning all about super heroes at nursery recently so it was easy to pick a costume that he would be keen to wear. He’s not really one for dress up so it has to be something he really wants to make him put it on. I also got around the cape strangulation risk by making his own cape to popper on to his shirt!


Roslyn went as a black cat. Initially I was thinking of wizard for Sandy and Roslyn as his black cat (previous Halloweens will indicate that I’m a big fan of the joint costume) but as he turned to super boy we just kept the cat for Roslyn as it was so cute (and very easy too). Funnily enough though I went as a burglar (mostly because I already had a striped top) and my Mum commented that the pair of us were a cat burglar, especially when I was wearing her ears which was most of the night because she wasn’t all that keen on them!


I love this picture it’s like good vs evil and look at his little super face!


(N.b. said cat ears, already discarded)

And what of the man who seemingly hates Halloween? The man who wouldn’t dress up for work and refuses to open the door to guisers? Well he was good enough to allow me to drape a sheet over his head for the sake of his children. That’s the spirit! (get it?!?!)




So we got dressed and awaited the arrival of our spooky guests…


… and once everyone had arrived we went old school and brought out the Halloween games. Firstly, donuts on a string.


It’s meant to be scones dipped in treacle but I have a cream carpet and donuts already have the hole!


You have to eat it without using your hands. Last year Sandy just took it and didn’t heed the rules but he made a good attempt this time!


Craig and Scot made a good stab at it…


… and Stuart (who had already shed his costume) got stuck in (for carbs mind, not halloween jollity).


Next up was dooking for apples and we didn’t do any of that prissy forks on the back of a chair stuff. I caught one buy the stalk and was told I was cheating (boo!) so I left it up to the younger generations…


Sandy loved trying to get an apple…


… and Roslyn loved soaking herself.


Craig was the all out apple champion…


…and Scot made a good effort too!


After the games we had food (pumpkin soup and bloody severed fingers in rolls (aka hotdogs) and then hit the streets for some guising. People are so generous and Sandy and Roslyn came home with more treats than they could carry.


We had a fab night and it was well worth it. Thanks to all our friends and family who came!

The Busiest Few Weeks, Ever.

Four weeks ago it was Stuart’s birthday and everything was quite calm. We celebrated at Hup Lee and embarrassed him with a birthday fanfare over their PA, as you do.


The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and we enjoyed eating waaay too much food.


Not long after this though things started to get very busy very quickly and we took part in a light speed journey through October, culminating in the week of Halloween where my diary was so full of scribbles and timings I really didn’t know what I was doing or who I was doing it with anymore. The only thing I knew is that I was doing, and not having any moment to stop that doing.


On the days with the kids there was little time for rest and relaxation at home. We were juggling nursery runs, post office visits to send Sandy & Rozzie orders, doctors trips, and all sorts of other miscellaneous journeys for supplies.


Roslyn and I stocked up on fabric at IKEA and she got her very own trolley to push…


..and the pair of them ate sausage at Tesco as we tried to squeeze in the necessity of feeding ourselves amid the chaos.

Somewhere in the middle of all this I (stupidly) offered myself to co-ordinate the team effort to bring a Halloween tour to the Kelpies. The end result was a great success for the team but me thinking wow it’s not much fun to do a manager’s job without actually being a manager. Hey ho.

Also this took place at the same time as the opening of the visitor centre which was quite mental too.


It’s a fab building and has great views of the Kelpies from it, which is quite nice to work in.


However, October also held a job interview for me and ultimately the offer of a new role.


So I will be saying farewell to the biggest horses in the world and swapping them for co-ordinating medieval warefare, as you do. I’m to be working at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre as – get this – a BATTLE MASTER. Coolest job title ever, am I right? I’m looking forward to working for the National Trust for Scotland and hoping this will be a good opportunity to move on up!


In other news Daddy’s car packed it in and resulted in the purchase of this bad boy!


Sandy and Roslyn are well taken with Daddy’s big car.


Mind you, Roslyn has other ideas about her preferred method of transportation.


This photo kind of sums up the last few weeks, doing anything just to manage to fit three lives into one, including letting your toddler go wild with your make up in a bid to go to work with dry hair.


Oh and finding this after leaving her alone in the bathroom for five minutes so I could make Sandy’s Halloween costume. The face says it all!!


Luckily there has still been plenty of sibling adorableness to keep us going…


…including the perfect kiss…


… and plenty of bed time cuddles.


So we celebrated my birthday a few days ago – crappy times at work where no one remembered, and lovely times at home with those who matter remembering and then some – and now we can settle back into a more chilled way of life. Hopefully this won’t include hospital visits, conferences in London or cat sick all over the bed (again). And I hate to do this but Bonfire night has passed so, you know, BRING ON CHRISTMAS!!


On the Beach in October: Seamill

A bit of a photo heavy post but you will see why!

We arranged an overnight stay to Seamill this week, it being a location our family has gone to most years since my Mum was young. We headed out in the morning and the sun was up and it was cool but lovely, it promised to be a perfect day. Turns out it was a perfect day, but not so much a perfect stay. Mum called as we were en route to say there had been a mix up in dates by the hotel and there were no rooms for the night. We headed on regardless and decided just to make a day of it instead, and bung the kids in the car after dinner and come home.


Firstly we got to the beach just outside seamill, wrapped up the kids and started to explore.



Sandy and Roslyn were very happy digging the sand and collecting shells.


Sandy and I ventured over the rocks to look out to sea. He was very good at avoiding “slippy sea weed” and holding my hand. We looked in the rock pool for crabs and shells.


Then we hit the shore and paddled. Except Roslyn kept on trying to paddle in a bit too far so was much aggrieved each time I picked her up and put her back on the sand.


The kids threw rocks in the water happily for ages.






It was a stunning morning with a perfect view of Arran across the water.




By the time we’d played for an hour it was getting too hot for all those layers.


So we had a picnic on the beach and then headed off to the hotel where were meeting the family. We had lunch and then returned to the beach there where it was warm enough for bare toes and paddling.



Sandy spent a lot of time building sand castles with Daddy and Auntie Fran. He stuck feathers in as flags and made sticks drive around and over the castles as trains going to stations and over bridges.


Little miss Rozzie stoated about brandishing driftwood.






Such a warm day, you’d never have known it was mid-October!




Me and Jim!


After the beach we went in and had a swim at the hotel before dressing for dinner…


The kids played in the garden for a while, with a ball borrowed by Tate.


The rest of us lounged…


… while Roslyn perfected her acrobatic routine…


… and Sandy showed off his football skills….


We headed in for dinner and things started to get problematic with the rather atrocious service. The kids were hungry and things took ages. What with spilled drinks, one too few trips to the bathroom and missing starters we were more than ready to jump in the car and head for the hills. Not before Stuart sort of missed his joint birthday cake being brought out. It was a bit stressful towards the end but that didn’t take away from the fabulous day we had on the beach playing and swimming.


Hopefully next time things will pan out better and we will get the same fabulous luck with the weather!

The Last Warm Day of the Year

The first two summers since we moved to our new house in 2013 were fabulous. Long spells of warm, dry weather lasting weeks on end and several of them. After two years of this it was expected therefore that we have a poor summer to follow, but little did we know how poor. Turns out we barely had two days in a row of good weather the whole of June, July or August and the less said about May the better! Luckily though Autumn has delivered a last gasp of warmth before we head into the depths of winter.


We made the most of it in the garden, digging up potatoes.


Sandy and Roslyn each grabbed their spades and sat next to the vegetable bed while I uprooted the last of the spuds from this year. They didn’t seem to do as well this time round but that’s beside the point.


Roslyn was incredibly proud and very possessive of her harvest!


It was typical that I’d just that weekend packed away all of our summery garden stuff that the sun would shine, but we still had great fun the mud, sand and water.


We said goodbye to summer and hello to autumn finally. Our Jumpers are back on and there’s a chill in the morning air. Despite the lack of sun this summer I feel ready for the change. We are embracing fallen leaves and approaching Halloween before we have my birthday, bonfire night and then head right into the Christmas spirit! We cant wait!







Sleeping Through the Night; and a September Update

Update time. I keep apologising for the lack of posts due to a busy week or two but I realise now that is just the way it is. So here I am at 5am on a work day, the day I’m meant to be having a lie in, blogging. The reason I’m up so early? I’ve had enough sleep. Seriously. And it’s all thanks to Stuart.

Recently he was away for a night for a conference and Roslyn knew this and decided to take the piss. Usually she settles much better for her Daddy has he doesn’t have the magic boobs, and when she won’t go back to sleep for me he steps in. But when he was a away she played me for all I was worth and Stuart arrived home to the sound of me saying “no more! no more! no more!” So we decided it was best if I bowed out of night wakings for a while to try and fix our broken sleeper. And it worked because she went from 3+ wakings and feeds to just the one quick bottle from her Daddy. And, about 5 days past, she SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT.

*Happy Dance and general celebratory actions*

Wait though, she is SEVENTEEN BLOODY MONTHS OLD. So it’s not exactly the big achievement we all think it is, really.

Nevertheless I am happy for it. And, as far as I know at this point while the three of them slumber upstairs, she’s slept through again for the second night in her life. Woohoo!

And the moral of this story of seventeen sleepless months for all the wanabee rested parents out there? Try as hard as you can to cook up a baby who TAKES A DUMMY. Because that is literally the only difference between Sandy (who first slept through circa 8 months old) and Roslyn who partied nightly til now. Ditch the guilt and embrace the soothers, it’s now my motto. Not that I didn’t try with Roslyn, she just chose to projectile vomit everytime she eyed the thing. Sigh.

Anyway, an update!


We’ve been having a great old time of it lately. This is us lounging on a weekend morning. Apart from the fact that I don’t have every weekend off, or full weekends when I do so to speak, we’ve been making the most of our days as a foursome and relaxing, playing and having general lovely days. This includes lazy breakfasts (sometimes involving fry ups) staying in pyjamas til well past 11 and generally bumming about the house. Perfection.


It even stretched to the most blissful of domestic bliss locations (aka the place I was so happy in I went into labour with Roslyn)… IKEA. Now Rozzie is up and walking it also means we can rock our matching mother daughter elephants holding trunks sweaters! See me and Sandy doing it once upon a time in the photo too! He was two months younger and seemingly four months chunkier as per the norm.


September has also brought a delightful weather system for us, in fact the best autumn weather one can hope for really. Chilly mornings means jumpers and hats and miss R modelled a cracker from her aunties Fran and Lib, as well as a Granny knit hat on the nursery run. The days turn into burnt off mists and full sun, and recently even full on hot afternoons, which we’ve been taking advantage of. What a lovely form of compensation for the largely dreary summer we had here.


Speaking of nursery, I’ve found myself with far more time with my girl now that Sandy does his thing four mornings a week. My little side kick and I have been getting up to all sorts of shenanigans and most of them the best dull, homely ones that we love. Walks to the butcher, time at the park and of course BAKING ALL THE THINGS! Here she is helping me lick the bowl (the only reason to help make the cakes if you are under five).


Roslyn has not only been developing her sleep abilities but also her physical ones as this picture illustrates. She did that by herself. And as delighted as I was to find her three feet off the ground (kind of stuck) on the climbing frame, it now means the garden is no longer a safe place to leave her while I grab something from upstairs/put on the dinner/clean the entire house. Ah well, won’t be long until she’s whizzing up and down like Sandy so I shouldn’t complain that she still needs supervision at this point.


Harking back to that bit about the weather, I’d gone and put away all the summer stuff (toys, loungers, BBQ) and placed the lid firmly on the sandpit, expecting winter to arrive as it usually does, and stay until May, as it usually does. Yet here they are enjoying the garden right up to October.


Back inside now, I’m not sure we’ve got a wonderful bedtime routine yet but we have a morning one down. Roslyn wakes with the cockerel (5:30-6 usually) and comes in to bed for a morning feed then we turn on her favourite show – Teletubbies funnily enough. She loves the “baybeee!” in the sun and giving us little confused expressions when it asks “where have the teletubbies gone?”. She points at the pillows so I will lie to her right and then Daddy to her left, until her big brother wakes and sometimes joins her, giving us amazing opportunities for photos which I will be weeping over as an old lady for sure. Stuart and I take turns showering (sometimes one or other of the kids join us) and then we head down and usually squish in a family breakfast before Stuart is off to work and the nursery run gets going.


It’s been a bit of a culture shock to go from chillaxing right up til nap time to fed, dressed and out the door at 8:30, but we cope. This process also involves me getting ready for work many days, a hand over to Tate or Pa, and also, you know, cleaning the entire house lest I get home to a pit and want to cry. Because despite all the best intentions in the world there’s no way I’m sorting the place out after a full day walking and talking at those giant horses of mine.


To update on the nursery situation things have gone from good to not so good to so not good that I was worried and suddenly to fine. In fact I just had a meeting with his teacher who told me he had settled, was taking part in songs and group activites and generally a happy chap. He tells me what he did each day which varies from his go-to “played toys” to “took toy, girl hit, cheeky, cry, toy, all better” and similar nursery shenanigans. Stuart hears more at night putting him in bed where he goes into more detail and it all seems good. He reassures me that he has fun and wants to go now which is fab. He runs in happily too which is a big weight off, I can tell you!


Another thing we’ve done recently is car shopping because Stuart is moving on to a new car. More to follow on that but Sandy did have a fab time car shopping. He seemed set on Daddy getting a little white car and might be slightly sad to learn its actually big and blue but hey, can’t win them all Sanddude.


Eating has improved on all fronts too recently. A boy who basically never ate has become a fine wolfer (as long as it is one of his staples: chips, chicken, sausage, toast, strawberries) and fussy Roslyn has been a bit better too. Hence ice cream treats for all.


I FINALLY ended my long hair season by hacking it all off and going short. I love it. You know sometimes you do something drastic and you aren’t sure? Not this time. And I’ve gotten an extra 20 minutes a day out of it too now I don’t have to dry Rapunzel’s excessive locks.


A quick word on having two children close together: DO IT. Picture is case in point.


One of the highlights of the month was going to Funbox last weekend. Funbox is the guys who did the Singing Kettle, in a new guise, and well worth it.


It was a pirate and princess party so naturally Roslyn went “ah harrr” and Sandy went ” I suppose I will wear that shirt with the boats on but there ain’t no way you are getting me into a dress mother”. Another gender stereotype SMASHED. Obviously.


We got a picture after. What you don’t see is the split second later where Sandy loses it because I kind of grabbed him an stuck him in the picture when he didn’t really want to do it. Bad, bad Mum.


We had dinner after and Roslyn compared herself to a giant cold coffee…


… and Sandy invented a quicker way to ingest gallons of sugar (that’s my boy)


So that’s it from me and my bubble heads this morning. I’m now contemplating whether to just get on with the day or to sneak back into bed and claim my lie in as if I was never here.

I’ll leave you with this. It’s Sandy’s first picture on a wall display at nursery. He’s “super boy” in a super hero display. Every time I see it I want to melt because that’s my tiny baby there, living his own life without me, on the wall with all his peers. Someone pass the tissues…



Sandy & Rozzie Crafting

Things have been a little slow on the Sandy & Rozzie front due to the general business of life, but recently I’ve started to make a few things again and list them on our website http://www.sandyandrozzie.co.uk


I had a commission for a knitted woodland creature mobile from a friend and I think it turned out really well. I’m not the fastest knitter so it’s a made to order item. My friend had thought of me to make it after she saw the one I did for Sandy of rain clouds, which is now also made to order listed on etsy too…


I also finally got round to making some new patterns including the ADULT sized backpack!


This one is in rainbow feathers but can be made up in the other fabrics beside it. I will get round to making them up soon!!

I also made a few new kids backpacks, this one being one of my favourites…


…and here one campervans!…


My other new pattern was for a pinafore dress which I made here in one of my fave floral fabrics…


… and I’ve since made a couple of festive ones too!


Finally there is a nice array of festive bibs listed too!



We were hoping to do a craft fair for christmas but it seems they are all booked up so close which is a shame!

So that’s where we are, it’s great fun ordering fabric and making up things so if anyone has a commission in mind just let me know!