A Day at the Races

I think it was around about, oh, one day before Stuart’s Dad’s birthday where my ever-prepared husband declared the well heard phrase “oh, it’s my -insert family member here-‘s birthday tomorrow…” and I was required to use my wifely powers to arrange a present at the last minute. Luckily for him I love sorting out presents.

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A month or so ago I’d noticed the advert at Garrion Bridge for the point-to-point steeplechase and we had planned to go, but it was cancelled due to the weather. I remembered that the next race meet was on soon so we decided to take Shug for a day at the races and gift him the entry and some betting money.

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And what a fabulous day we had for it, couldn’t have wished for better really!

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Roslyn was in her element crawling around in the grass. I think had it been wet and she wasn’t able to go on the ground, that she’d have been pretty cranky stuck in the sling all afternoon. You barely heard a noise from her as she explored and snacked and played with her grandparents.

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Sandy was pretty chuffed with the GIANT tractor parked near us and even at one point fed his square sausage to tractor. Kind, sharing boy that he is.

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Note to self: buy new sun hat for Roslyn as size 0-6 months isn’t exactly forgiving on a 10 month old.

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And of course aside from the excitement of tractors and blades of grass, there was adult entertainment in the form of horses galloping. I thought Sandy and Roslyn would be taken with the fast horsies, but Roslyn didn’t notice them and Sandy was far more concerned with running around the field throwing sticks.

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I took £10 to bet, fully expecting it all to be gone by the end of the day. My first few were losers but the second last race I picked the winner (Flash Garden – who could deny a bet to a Queen reference?) on his first time out, and at 4-1 I got £10 back. I spent the final £2 in my pocket on ” Aw Man”, a loser of the last race and came home broken even which I was pretty chuffed about!!

Anne and Shug made money which was fabulous and very sweetly shared the winnings with the kids, so next time they want a treat when we are out it’s on gran and granda!

Stuart came home down a little, despite a win on a horse called Rossini’s Dancer which he picked, along with Anne, after the similarities with Rozzie’s name.

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We had a fab time and already have plans to return with more of the family and bring a picnic and such.

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Roslyn spent most of her day crawling over to try and make friends with this dog, only to be plucked away by one of her parents at the last moment, over and over.

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And aside from the tractor Sandy spent all his time “up high on the mountain”.

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The cutest grin.

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And the sweetest face.

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Turns out I make daredevils in girl and boy form. Sandy was flinging himself down sheer drops covered in thistles while Roslyn took a leisurely crawl under the belly of the beast. They like to keep us on our toes.

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I had such a lovely day with my three loves…

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…and I think Granda really enjoyed his birthday present!

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Back at the Park!

Last wednesday we had a morning in, as we were heading to Stuart’s work for a free family photo shoot (more to come on that!) after nap. But for once it was neither raining, nor freezing, nor blowing a gale, and it felt perfect to hit up the park for the first time this year.

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I popped Sandy in the buggy and Roslyn on my back (in a borrowed connecta baby carrier which we are trialing and loving) and humphed them up the hill out of our estate, then on to the little park which is park of another (fancier) estate just next to us (Stuart calls it millionaire’s row, I the mansions).

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Only a little wiping down of wetness was needed and the kids had a blast. There were no numb fingers and it felt properly like spring. You forget how demoralising being cooped up all day is.

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I can’t wait until every day is nice enough for this kind of stuff, or just lounging in the garden, because it gives you a sense of well-being, and ferocious toddlers a good run.

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And now I get the joy of views like this. My two smiling faces, beaming at me from the simple pleasure of a swing, then beaming at each other, their laughter infectious.

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Sandy kept asking to be pushed faster, then demanded that I push Roslyn faster each time too. He never forgets about little sis’s welfare these days, and everything he wants and needs, he deems her to want and need too. It’s adorable. She will never be left out with a brother like him.

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Roslyn had a great time learning the life lesson that is don’t just eat crap off the ground.

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And when I say she learned it, I lied. Because I’m fairly sure there will be a few bits of bark in the next nappy I change. Along with the red chalk she scoffed the other night, giving Daddy a fright as she frothed red goo from her gums.

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Ah, the love little boys have for things with engines. The man waved back and made his day. And then when we were on our way home the postman said hi and remade it. “Mummy! It’s Pat! Postman Pat! Hi Pat! Hi PAT! PAT!! PAT’S VAN!!” Bet he gets it all the time.

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Anyway, in conclusion, and briefly, as the sleeping-ticking time bombs are zzzing away upstairs, the park is good, spring is good, life is good. Things are about to get very, VERY real around here as I start my new job next week. I’m still waiting on official confirmation (references, disclosure and the like) but as soon as it’s a done deal I will fill you in on my entrance to the job market, finally, after dodging it for ten years.

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Homemade Wreath from Winter Walks

Tis the season! wreath making season!

I remember making my first real wreath the year before I had Sandy. We were living in town and there weren’t many places to get the foliage from so I ended up feeling a little sheepish clipping from the gardens at cathedral square. This year though we have an abundance of wreath materials. We collected some from the hedgerows at my mums house and the rest from Baron’s Haugh on Dalzell Estate in Motherwell, which by the way is a hidden gem! There were three different types of holly all with berries and evergreen branches perfect for the wreath!

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I think it turned out pretty well.

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We got some berries out with mum.

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Sandy helped Tate put them in the bag and even got a few cookers too.

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It was a proper winter walk, sunny and frosty. Sandy found some ice on my trailer and started eating it. I blame my pregnancy cravings for this habit of his.

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Roslyn found the whole thing a bit contrived though and fell asleep.

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Post walk snacks with meman.

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Part two of the foraging at Baron’s Haugh. It wasn’t really as cold as my get up lets on but I’m a sucker for winter woollies.

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“big cackle”

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The bridge of Stuart’s nightmares.

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Little miss Roslyn in the pram, where she sits unimpressed until she gets tired then cries til I out her in the sling. I can count the number of times she’s been in the pram on one hand. Really helpful when it comes to writing a phd.

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We finished the walk at home with some hot chocolate. I won’t go into detail of the almighty meltdown sandy had. Something to do with my taking him over the wrong bridge. Sigh.

Yeah and to make a wreath is very easy. Get a rattan template from Hobbycraft and use gardening wire to fix the foliage on, then tie a bow with some ribbon!

Crafternoon

Excuse the Instagram pics but I didn’t have the camera out.

We had a crafternoon last weekend making some festive things. Roslyn loved sitting playing with the ribbon (supervised)

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I roped a reluctant Stuart in with some twine too.

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And sandy had a blast making holes in the paper with his pens and letting them bleed into the carpet. Bicarbonate of soda is my new BFF.

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Sandy made some abstract Christmas cards with stickers glue, and Pom Poms and I finished up our family fingerprint reindeer cards which turned out really nice. The idea is from Pinterest but adorned with the dymo label maker and some festive tape from Tiger (aka where all the money formerly known as in my bank account now resides)

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We also made these stick decorations. The stars turned out lovely and I added some sandy art to the back of mine. The other is a Christmas tree, that translates yeah? Please?

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In other news we are all getting into the festive spirit here. I was out shopping with my mum and Roslyn (our first tri-generational “girls day out” to Livingston actually!) and we passed a MAHOOSIVE toy of the snowman in debenhams. If you know sandy you will know he’s mad for the snowman, or “me-man” if you will. It started last Christmas when I out out our two snowman toys as decorations and he adopted them, calling them his “babees”. Since a real little girl has assumed the name babee so now they are memen and he has a tonne. Well, I saw giant meman and couldn’t resist. Especially as he was 40% off. When sandy saw him his face lit up and he was like “ME MAN! BIIIIIIG!” And since then meman has been sitting at the table with sandy, holding his hand in the car and getting tucked into bed at night. Best buds. So worth it.

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Yesterday we officially broke out the Christmas get up a little early in honour of a festive toddler party we were hosting (more on that soon). Sandy has a snowman hat which plays music (he loves that) and Roslyn a Christmas pudding. We took a little jaunt to the butcher for square sausage (currently the only protein sandy will eat) with the happy hats on.

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We’ve also been busy wreath making (more to come again), hot chocolate drinking and cinnamon candle burning. So things are really getting in the festive swing here.

SHARK!

Happy birthday to my dear husband. Ok his birthday was like a week ago but it’s taken a little while between tantruming toddlers and screaming babies to get this post up so, hip hip hooray, he’s 33 today! (Technically, yes, yes he is).

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We celebrated by going to deep sea world for some fishy adventures.

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Crappest mum of the year award alert: I may or may not have bonked Roslyn’s head on the helmet slightly. I suck. But I just can’t resist a touristy looking photo opportunity. I know, it’s one of my failings. Pobody’s nerfect.

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She wasn’t too sad about it though and all the lights and fish made up for it.

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I’ve not been to deep sea world in years. I think it was in primary school actually. Basically the star attraction is the conveyor belt trip round an underground pool with fish and sharks, it’s pretty neat.

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Me: SHAAARK!!!

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Sandy: CARK! CARK!!

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I’m pretty sure sandy preferred the moving pathway to the mahoosive fish tank full of snappy fish all around him.

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Side note: I LOVE these babies!

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Ooh a big ‘un!

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Mr Ray.

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All in all it was pretty fun down there, but it’s a very pricey excursion at £27 for two adults.

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They do have more fish and reptiles upstairs to enjoy too.

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Any birthday treat wouldn’t be complete without ice cream.

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Oh and there are also seals. And for the toddler in your entourage, ramps to run up and down.

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Happy birthday husbando, love from your three best buds.

Transport Museum & the Return of Grumpy Sandy

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We’ve been waiting a while to go to the transport museum. I wanted to go when Stuart was there because I thought sandy would have his little lovely mind blown with all the vehicles inside. Also I didn’t want to waste a nice day by being indoors, so we’ve been waiting for a while a wet one.

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As it turns out, while sandy was quite happy to see the neenawneenaw car and the choo choo up high, he wasn’t in the best of moods.

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Still, we made a go of it, as you do when there’s nothing else for it.

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“Hasseys”

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This pose was all the rage in the 18th C.

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Rozzie had a blast as you can see.

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Whereas the highlight for sandy was getting his “wuv oo heart” sweets, dropping them on the floor, then eating them off the floor.

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All he wanted to do was climb on the exhibits, so we compromised with climbing on this window frame type area where he did some yoga to impress random onlookers.

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Of course, that was nothing compared to the all out toddler stereotype of a sprawled on the floor, kicking and screaming tantrum; performed because we wouldn’t let him reclimb the stairs.

There came that moment when onlookers go from staring at your mentalist meat bag thrashing about on the floor to watching for your reaction to said ongoings. We chose general bemusement, so as to widely disappoint our audience and Stuart popped his little angry bod over his shoulder and we went on to pastures new.

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The trip ended with more placatory snacks while I grabbed some postcards in the shop and then another fit of rage from the sandman because, even though I bought him a die cast tractor too, he wasn’t allowed to play with it in the middle of the very busy walkway. Super duper.

Ah well, you can’t win them all. Something’s up with the boy, he’s been so out of sorts. I suppose I can only be grateful that for the last three months he’s been an utter dream. My money’s on his last four teeth coming in. Molars. So you know how that goes.

Scottish Air Show

Sometimes things just don’t work out. This I have come to accept. But it’s still a big old pain in the posterior when it happens and knowing it’s normal doesn’t always stop things hitting the fan. Such is life. And such was our life when we made last minute plans to see the Scottish air show at the weekend.

Normally I plan ahead. I like to get some dates in the diary, some things to look forward to. Even if I don’t know what we are doing I usually know we are doing something and can have unprescribed necessities at the ready. On Saturday we saw the Scottish air show mentioned on the weather and googled it and saw it was in Ayr, but an hour from us. Sandy is really into planes right now so Stuart and I nodded in seemingly wise agreement to go. We could have made a day of it on Sunday but it was FREE on the Saturday so, you know how that goes.

We were meant to be having our friend Emma over that afternoon so reconvened our meeting to coincide with the air show (which Emma later disclosed was mostly appealing because of the fun fair, and I don’t disagree).

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I should’ve known things weren’t going to go well when, on the ten minute journey to collect Emma, Roslyn grumped and groaned in the car. She’s generally good and will either chatter and play with her toys or nod off quite the thing. By the time poor Emma had been squeezed into the not so generous space between the car seats for ten minutes we had already stopped once to settle Roslyn and she was screaming bloody murder so we stopped again. She wasn’t hungry, she most defiantly was tired, but she wasn’t having any of it. She sucked Emma’s fingers and after another half hour of screaming had a power nap. But by the time we got near Ayr she woke again and then the whole “do we follow the sat nav or the signage” debate ensued resulting in going completely off course (due to the crappy signage) and adding another half hour to the journey, by which point sandy’s patience was wearing thin. Paper thin. Like when you separate the two plys of a tissue…

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I may or may not have lost the plot a bit as two screeching children tend to make me do and took it out on a husband who didn’t deserve it because he was the only one there who I knew would forgive me if I did. There’s something about the sound of your children crying. I can cope with crying, I can cope with a decent amount of crying to be sure – which mum can’t? – but when both of them are going full pelt? There’s something in my brain that just snaps, and then so do I.

Anyway. Enough about that. We got out of the car and sandy smiled and we headed for the park by the beach where we made it just in time to se the last three air displays and I managed to patch things up with Stuart. There is this incredible tenacity in us which allows for days to be fixed, over and over again, because if not then what?

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We were pretty late but the short amount of air time we witnessed had the desired effect on the little boy who loves to watch the skies. He sat atop Stuarts shoulders shouting “PAAAANEEE!” Over and over. “PANE! PANE! PAAAANNE!!” He cried, then suddenly, looking to car park below, “CAAAAR!!”, shouted with an equal level of amazement and delight. It was very amusing. He also called the military helicopter a tractor, because he still can’t say helicopter. As Stuart and I reminisced on a day 90% of which was best forgotten that evening in bed we commented on the relative success which was a happy boy watching planes.

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After the show we hit up the fun fair and a brief respite from the unexpectedly chilly wind was given among carousels, little trains and candy floss. We got less than healthy food for dinner as by that point it was clear we wouldn’t be eating at home and then headed back to the car. Roslyn was tired on the way back but wasn’t sleeping and it gave me a false sense of security thinking, she will nod off in the car. Looking back on it I realise the problem now. We were waiting at the lights beside where the car was parked and she started grinning like a loon at Emma. I thought it very cute and odd as she was shattered and usually when she’s so tired she doesn’t smile, just stares. And when is it that she tends to grin like a loon? That’s right, when she’s just woken up. I’m fairly sure she nodded off for all of 37 seconds in the sling and woke up with renewed vigour as we stood at the lights. And as anyone who has a baby will be able to tell you if they fall asleep, even for such a infinitesimal amount of time, you’ve got to wait it out for at least 45 minutes until they will even think about closing those eyes again. Fair enough usually but when the preceding nap which is preventing the one coming was less than a minute long, you are in for trouble.

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And we were. For she cried. And cried. Oh and then she cried some more. It didn’t help that it was very busy traffic wise and the hour long journey actually doubled on the way home. So yes, two hours in the car, stopping so I could swap with Emma and sit beside my two screeching children. Roslyn finally tired herself out once we got some clear roads and with the help of me shoogling her in her car seat for an age finally dozed off into one of those very very light sleeps where she jolted herself awake every few minutes and then dozed back off. In the end I just kept my hand on her face to try and settle her into a more restful sleep but nope, and as soon as we stopped the car to drop Emma off those little eyes popped open and she reprised us with her screeching for the last five minutes of the journey anyway, just cause she could. Sandy didn’t have a fab trip either as he was hungry but tends to find himself averse to any food that Stuart and I have been within ten metres of so refused to eat anything but a few licks of the mayonnaise on the end of his chip. Giving him my phone with his sago mini apps on helped intermittently but he was tired too now, and bored. And for some reason he was pretty pissed to have me sitting in the back with him and kept pushing my saying “noooo mummy” when I was trying to settle Roslyn. Super helpful. But as Roslyn shouted her way through the last leg of the journey from hell he realised he was out late enough to see the moon for the first time since spring this year and he was delighted. Hearing his commentary on it’d position in the sky certainly helped drown out Roslyn a bit which gave us just the sweetness we needed to scrape home all in one piece: “the mooooon! Moona! Moooon! Oh! Moon…gone! Moon away. Gone away. MOOOOOON!! BACK!! Moon away… Back! Moon back!”

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So let us never speak of this trip again and we can pretend the tough days never come, which we may as well as they rarely do these days, something I am truly thankful for!

Festival 2014

Birthday posts to come soon but for now a quick recap of a fab day we spent in Glasgow to get the sandman into the games spirit. There’s been a lot of Rozzie love on the blog recently so here’s some sandy for you to enjoy, and more to follow with his birthday shenanigans.

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He was very excited to be taking the train in and was overjoyed to see the choo choo arrive. Then on the train he was transfixed by watching everything out the window and saying bye bye choo choo as we left each stop.

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We did some more Clyde spotting. First Clyde: central station.

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Second Clyde: Buchanan street

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We also took a quick stop at Wellington.

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And George square again so Stuart could get a picture with the big G and sandy. There was a long queue though so this one sufficed.

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Then it started raining so we went to Buchanan galleries to let sandy get a run around in the dry.

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Then we headed back out to hit up the merchant city festival.

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Check out the marathon route in the background.

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We got some festival freebies, a flag for sandy, a badge for Roslyn’s sling and some transfer tattoos which I will be affixing to sandy in the future!

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There was some music blaring and sandy just couldn’t help but have a dance about…

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Such a fun lad!

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We saw helicopters and boats and hit up the irn bru pop up shop for some jammies.

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Then sandy crashed out for a nap and we did some shopping at paperchase for his birthday cards, wrap and some more presents.

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Roslyn woke from a nap and we had a break at tinderbox.

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She did her first laugh here! So sweet!

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I just can’t get enough of her face. She seems to have so much character already.

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She loves her kisses. She’s been routinely giggling when you kiss her neck over and over now!

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Sandy woke up and we got lunch. We planned to go to Jamie’s Italian but it was full up, as were several other places in the merchant city so we ended up at ad lib feeling like we were asking for room at the inn and they got us a table. And sandy actually ATE FOOD. Chips in Mayo, he scoffed a tonne. Next day at home I make him them and does he eat them? No. No he does not. Seriously, toddlers.

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On the way to the Glasgow green live zone we caught tron Clyde and sandy just wanted to look through his arms again.

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To wrangle him this far we promised ice cream and got him it. Hilariously a 99 cost £3 and then he dropped it anyway. Stuart managed to save some to prevent a very cliche moment for the sandman and he happily ran around with his sticky cone for ages.

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There was all sorts of fun going on but our boy was content to chase the caw caws.

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He demanded that baba chase the caw caws because he was a little scared of them.

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Did a camera swap with another family for a pic of all of us.

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One change of ice cream covered clothes later and we had to hit the road for the train home.

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But not without a quick snap of floral Clyde first.

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And a quick stop to view this on argyle street.

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Sandy’s response to it? “Baburn?” Yes indeed, burn.

Another fab day in a whole run of amazing outings we’ve been having of late. I never want this summer to end!

Beach Bums

You know what? Scotland is such a fabulous place to live right now! Before summer I was lamenting our inability to afford a foreign holiday this year but now I’m so glad we didn’t get to have one. It’s been so warm it was even 30 degrees last week when we went to the beach.

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Miss Roslyn smiled for this picture.

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And that was pretty much the last she smiled all afternoon. Poor girl had an upset stomach (AGAIN) so needed a lot of sling love from mummy.

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Which as no problemo as daddy had the sandman covered for beach fun.

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See here, they are digging…

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… For jobbies. BOYS EH!!

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Since the weightlifting event Roslyn’s hat went MIA. I thought she’d nap in the tent and play in there too so didn’t make a detour to buy one, but as she needed sling time I had to make an impromptu one. So, for future reference, a muslin and hair band can make a stop gap hat.

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More jobbies.

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The best thing about babywearing on the beach? The baby belly cover up it affords you. PHEW.

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We certainly hit it off weatherwise and I was so glad we postponed our city day until Sunday, it would have been molten in town but was perfect at the beach. The breeze kept Roslyn cool and the water was pretty mild, as you can see by all the paddlers! I’d hoped to have a proper swim myself but alas, babies needed me. Ho hum, exercise can wait!

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We did have a good paddle though and sandy was loving it.

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Stuart had a blast too and, amazingly, managed to avoid all sunburn bar a little red neck.

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I remember my mum saying earlier in the year that this would be sandy’s time, the summer now he could walk. It totally is. This boy was made for the beach.

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And the obligatory sandy spots a plane picture. They make his wee face light up so much!

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A little Christmas in July for you. The only chocolate in the house.

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As per usual Roslyn drew in the crowds and offers of family photographs, which is great to get a shot of us all together.

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Current sandy obsession? Stars. STAAARRRR! He demanded I draw one in the sand for him.

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Then he danced all around it.

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Such a perfect day. It really feels like we’ve been having an amazing holiday from home this week. As a woman on the beach said to us, who needs Spain when we’ve got this! And only an hour away too. And the perfect end to a perfect day? Ice cream.

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Ice cream EVERYWHERE.

Weightlifting: Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014

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Glas-GO!! Roslyn and her Daddy headed into town with me to check out some of the games action in the flesh.

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How are you liking that Glasgow 2014 vest she’s got on? Yeah?

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I totally made that.

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Go team!

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The girl loves standing up, she smiles the whole time!

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Turns out train journeys with babies are excellent photo shoot opportunities.

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This girl is a champion. Never mind the athletes, she deserves all the medals going for being so good. Well trodden ground for Stuart and I recently is discussions of how we would have never been doing x,y,z when sandy was her age.

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“We’d never have made it out the door this morning if this was sandy”

“We would have gone home crying if this was when sandy was little”

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“We wouldn’t have even bought tickets when sandy was born”

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I know some of it is because it’s our second time out and because my mental state is soooo much better, but this little girl is an angel. I mean it. She sleeps, she feeds, she kicks about and grins whenever she sees anyone interested in her. She is Perfection.

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We had a great time at our first commonwealth event. We hit up the exhibition centre games area. Such a gorgeous day again, not a cloud in the sky, and so many lovely people about. Glasgow really feels like a fabulous place to live near just now.

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We got to the auditorium and had a little chill out while waiting for the doors.

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Love that my sling is a comfy blanket for her too.

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We headed in and just before it started Clyde arrived for a picture with us!

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Then the athletes came out to typical macho man music… And hilariously they then did a procession of the judges to the tune of I’m sexy and I know it. Hehehe.

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So here is our baby bear with men lifting big heavy things. I can’t say I saw a large amount of the actual event though because Roslyn was rather fussy. It was in the evening so I can’t blame her. She’s such a doll all day she’s entitled to her few hours fussing of a night. The problem was that it went deadly quiet while the weightlifters prepared, then as they lifted the crowd roared. She couldn’t sleep through the intense change in volume poor love.

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So I headed to the foyer with her where she promptly zonked out and I chatted to passers by about her. You never get so much attention as when you have a little baby, especially one on your person.

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Meanwhile, in the auditorium…

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She only had a catnap so I nipped back in for the medals ceremony which was great to see. A piper came out and then the medals were awarded and the flags raised.

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All in all a fab night. We got home at 11 which is LATE for me these days. Usually Roslyn and I are all zzz by half 9 latest! Anyway, we’ve more fun to come next week with the hockey which I can’t wait for! Yay!