Thursday, December 27, 2007

What I Got For Christmas

This Christmas was one of the best ever. It was so fun having a little kid around to open presents and be fascinated by everything. It was the first Christmas we had as a family, even though Scott and I have had Christmases together before; there's just something special about having a little person to share Christmas with.

But let's be honest. We also got some kick-ass presents. Fifi, for instance, got some of the coolest presents ever.

Fifi got:
-A baby walker thing
-A ball pool
-A Noah's Ark set
-A bubble machine
-Some clothes
-A horse backpack
-A full set of Angelina Ballerina books
-A baby doll, a teddy bear, a Bori Buddy
-Nine gorgeous-coloured cloth nappies
-Some other stuff I can't remember

Scott did pretty well too. Scott got:
-A wood carving tool set
-A wood carving book
-Some DVDs
-Some books
-A multi-tool
-Some clothes
-A (future) shopping spree (ha!)
-A crane machine (filled with candy)
-Some other random stuff

But I think I got some of the BEST presents ever to exist in the history of presents (though Fifi gave me a run for the money with her ball pool). I got:
-A sewing machine
-A high definition A3 printer
-An espresso machine
-A crock-pot
-Some clothes
-Some DVDs
-Some embroidered napkins that belonged to my grandmother
-A set of fajita skillets (one for me, one for Scott)
-A monster notebook
-Some more random stuff

Combined with Scott's birthday presents (last week) of the Jeeves & Wooster TV series, whisky and a new computer chair, and throwing in Fifi's new armchair, we had the most, in worldy terms, successful Christmas ever!

Not that we're materialistic or anything...

Thanks so much for everything, everyone. We're so thankful! (Wanna cappucino?)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

We had a nice day today getting ready for Christmas. I can't show you the pictures of the gifts I finished today (there's always tomorrow), but I finished most of what I had intended to do.

This morning I mopped the kitchen floor (!) while Fifi watched in her high chair from the hall, then Fi went for a walk in her pram with her gran while I made my jam (it worked this time!) and cleaned the living room. This afternoon, my friend Sarah came over with her son Cameron for the kids to exchange Christmas presents. Then Fifi and I met her gran and her Aunty Kate for a late lunch.

Fifi has been hyper all night. I think she knows tomorrow is something special. It's 10pm, and she's still going strong.

Anyway, that's all for now. Hopefully I'll get a chance to blog tomorrow. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Jam Shame

All week I had it planned that today would be jam-making day. Scott took the car to work, as I planned on spending the day jamming. I had bought a load of gorgeous apricots to make apricot jam with. Fifi sat in her high chair with her breakfast, and I got to work.

However, it's worth noting that Fifi is sick. So am I but not as bad as she.

So after not very long at all, Fifi got very upset with being in the kitchen, so I had to put her in the living room and pass back and forth between rooms, comforting and stirring.

The jam was almost set. The house smelled magnificent. I scooped some jam onto a chilled plate to test it. Fifi called. I let the jam cool on the plate while I went to her. And then, what do I smell? Not beautiful jam, but BURNING jam. I ran to the kitchen and sure enough, my gorgeous apricot jam had instantly turned into a black, smoking, stinking mess.

I was pissed.

I couldn't help but be annoyed at Fifi. I was so annoyed. I blamed her in my head. I scooped her up and put her in her high chair while I tried to clean up the burnt jam (not an easy task). Then I decided it was time to put her down for a nap.

I grumbled as I lay next to her, nursing her to sleep. That's when she started coughing hard. And harder. And then she threw up all over the bed. My feelings were immediately turned to sympathy, and I felt so bad for being angry at her. I held her while she cried and continued to throw up all over me and the bed another two times. I carried her to the bath, stripped her (and me) and put her in the bath, cooing at her and calling her a 'good girl' and all that. It sure put my jam in perspective.

Scott came home for lunch so I could take the car for the afternoon. I bundled Fifi right up, and even though I felt bad about taking her out into the cold, I really wanted more apricots. I knew now how long it takes to set and the jars were already sterilised. But wouldn't you know it, the grocery store was completely out of apricots.

I'm devestated.

So I bought some peaches instead, and I'll try some peach jam.

Tomorrow. When Scott is home to care for Fifi at the critical moment of jam-making.

I've now got Fifi sitting in front of the TV in her Bumbo, watching Jeeves & Wooster. She's still as a rock. I hope she's okay....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

success!

Hurray, I got the grants!

Now I'm taking a break from thinking about my business (except that last Bori Buddy that needs to be finished this week) for a nice while.

PS: I understand my cousin Blake reads this blog (hi!). If you are reading this, Blake, please tell all the family in PA that your Christmas cards might be a bit late as I only sent them... today. *Oops.

Now Would Be A Good Time For An Espresso Machine...

I go before the panel today who will decide if I get this business grant or not.

Unfortunately I was up half the night with a feverish, throwing up, sniffly (did I mention crying?) baby.

I feel like wilted lettuce.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Birthday Boy

My toy boy is a very grown-up 24 years old today. *mischievious grin* We have a special day planned. Right now, he and Fifi are at his work (he has today off) where he is showing her off. He'll then come pick me up, and we're dropping her off with the grandparents so we can go for a nice, quiet romantic lunch at our favourite restaurant, Thai Siam, in Glasgow. When we get back, we're taking Fifi to FunWorld so she can show Scott her favourite hangout. My guess is after that, Scott will want some peace and quiet and maybe we'll even get to watch some of his new dvds he got for his birthday - That 70's Show, Season 5, (from my parents) and Jeeves & Wooster, The Complete Collection, (from me). And if his parents got him what I think they did, we might drink some of that too. *wink*

I'm very excited about Scott's birthday, and I hope it's a good one. He's had some depressing birthdays the last couple of years. But then again, they were probably only depressing because he was only a 'widdle baby' and now he's all growed up!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Peanut Butter!

I am so pleased to announce that Fifi does not seem to be allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.

I have been SO PANICKY about this. I know they say wait until one year, three years, five years, depends on who you ask, but I just hated the thought. I love peanut butter and nutella and put it on and in just about everything. Not letting Fifi enjoy the happiness that is peanut butter was frustrating. Yet, I feared an allergic reaction so intensely.

Anytime I'd get brave enough to put some on her skin to see what happened, visions of anaphylaxis and encephalitis (don't even know if you can get encephalitis from allergic reactions, but there you go) danced in my brain. I'd imagine having to scoop her up, race to the car and get her to the hospital. I couldn't bear it. So I didn't give her any.

She's not a year just yet, but she's already had pretty much all the foods (except honey) that they say are not recommended for under ones and has had no problems. Still, I just couldn't try the peanut butter.

One day, she grabbed a butter knife coated in nutella from me. I drew in a deep breath, waiting for the reaction, but when none came, I felt relieved. Tree nuts seem a go.

Finally, on Friday, while I was making no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, I decided to go for it. I dabbed some peanut butter on her hand. Nothing happened. Later I let her taste one of the chocolate/peanut buttery cookies and alas! No problems! She's been just fine!

This is a HUGE relief. A lifetime of nut allergy would SUCK. Nuts are in EVERYTHING - or at least a possible 'trace' of nuts are in everything, or everything's been made in a factory which contains nuts. How would I let her eat anything for the rest of her life, if there was a chance she was gonna react to some trace of nut in it? I am so praising God that this doesn't appear to be a worry for us, at least not with Fi.

Praying the rest of the kids do just as well when they come.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Snowfall

This afternoon we saw our first snowfall. It didn't stick a whole lot, but it was very thick and very promising, and it made an otherwise gloomy day quite joyful.

Fifi was such a doll today. It was the best day since we got home. She took a good morning nap in the pram with Gran and Grandpa, and a teeny tiny afternoon nap at home. She ate well today, and though she took a while to go down to bed, she went down faster than she has any other night since we returned from America. What a relief. Maybe soon she'll be back to normal! Fingers crossed.

My house is also starting to look a little less tornado-y. The living room is ALMOST clean! Just one more couch covered in who-knows-what to go. Tomorrow, I'm tackling Fifi's room (the most unsafe room in the house for a baby, might I add), and Scott's going up into the loft to put loads of stuff away. That ought to make a big difference. Kitchen needs a bit of tidying, but it's not as bad as it was. Just some pans and tiny baby food tubs need handwashed.

Hmm. Well, to be honest, folks, that's pretty much all I have to say. The joy of gingerbread-man-making and Christmas-tree-decorating that can be seen in my photos kinda speak for themselves. But most of my days right now consist of trying to keep Fifi in one general place and out of all kinds of unforeseeable danger. That girl has an eye for untouchables...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Run, Run, Fast As You Can!

I made these delightful little treats today to hang on our Christmas tree (and slowly devour).

Gingerbread Men

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Do Not Click Here

This link broke my heart. But I'm serious, it involves something bad happening to a child, so if you are feeling too sensitive to such an issue, please don't follow the link.

Still, I post it because the issue is an important one to me.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Safe and Of Sound Mind

Barely the second part of the above. But anyway.

I am home. Fifi and I made it back in one piece. The flight wasn't bad; we once again had a few empty seats (after a kind gentleman switched seats with us), so Fifi had a place to sit and some room to roam. She slept a lot of the flight though, which was a relief. It was also a shorter flight back than it was going (eight hours to America, only six hours back). However, we are both still sorting out our jet lag.

Scott did a reasonable job keeping the house tidy, but it wasn't very baby-proofed so it was a bit stressful coming back. But tonight we finally got some real headway on things. A lot of the problem was that prior to holiday, Fifi was only sort of mobile; upon return, Scott discovered she is totally mobile. So we put some (more) stuff up in the loft tonight, and I tidied away some mail and stuff, and tomorrow, after I've hoovered the living room, I will finally get to...

PUT UP MY CHRISTMAS TREE!!

Decorations are down, out of the loft, the tree is down, and I cannot wait. I hope I get some time tomorrow to do it. Fifi isn't taking very reliable naps yet, as she still thinks night is day and day is night. But I can hope.

Other than all that, I'm just trying to get back in the swing of things again. I got a little too used to having 24 hour pampering from my mom, and now I'm in a bit of a whirlwind having to take care of myself, my child, my husband and my house again. And that's not to mention my businesses.

Yeah, my businesses are kinda stressing me out right now. I'm kinda on the brink of a stress meltdown where that's concerned. I don't want to talk about it. I will survive, is all I keep telling myself.

Fun things in store, however, are Christmas decorations, wrapping presents, receiving the last of my ordered gifts in the mail (and wrapping them) and making gingerbread men to hang on the tree.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What I Did On My Winter Vacation

Thanksgiving was great. This whole holiday has been great. I've become so re-acclimatised to the US that I almost called the holiday a 'vacation'. However, I am getting very antsy to see my husband again. I miss him something awful.

I have done so much shopping. Almost all of my Christmas shopping is now done, and I've gotten some lovely things for Fifi, Scott and myself. My favourite things are probably my fabrics I've bought for making clothes for Fifi. It's been great fun.

However, I've gotten very little work done. I brought my laptop so I could work on my reports, but I've only gotten in about an hour of work. Fifi has settled in but refuses to take any sort of long naps. This week is going to be a work week. I've got three Bori Buddies to make and two Bori Buddies to finish. As well as the rest of my handmade Christmas presents I'm supposed to leave here for Arkansas family members.

So, Thanksgiving. It was great. It was like old times, just like it. Waking up to the smell of turkey in the oven (I actually woke up at 5am to check on it, afraid Mom had forgotten to put it in.) My aunt arrived at 10, my brothers just after her, and the rest of the family after that. We stuffed ourselves silly on homemade rolls, turkey, stuffing, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, green bean bundles, sweet potato souffle and three different kinds of pie (chocolate, pecan and pumpkin). Mmm!

We've been eating the said delicacies for three days straight. Nothing better than post-holiday, microwaved stuffing and turkey. And turkey salad sandwiches. And turkey everything else.

Friday, we put out all the Christmas decorations. It's tradition to put them out the day after Thanksgiving. Now the house is so wonderfully Christmasy. It feels really good, because now it feels like I got to spend two holidays with my family. This is the first time in four years that I've seen my parents' house decorated for Christmas. I love it.

Fifi loves it too. She is fascinated by my mom's snowman collection. And the tree? Well, you can imagine. She's been very well-behaved with the decorations, for the most part.

Last night, we had a 'reunion' of sorts for all my old high school friends. I had a huge group of friends in high school; only four of us showed up for the reunion. I suppose that's just how it is. But it's annoying to think that three of the four of us who showed up don't even live anywhere nearby anymore, but only one person who is still local came. Oh well, it was a lot of fun. We laughed a whole lot at the expense of our old classmates and really enjoyed catching up. Good to see you, Andrew, Sarah and Devon. Tonight, some old friends of the family are coming over.

(In her defense, Amanda desperatedly wanted to come visit, and she would've been there too had her car not broken down, leaving her to have Thanksgiving in Nashville. I miss you, Mandas. I hope you had a good one.)

The plan for this week (besides getting some reporting and sewing done for work) is more shopping (we haven't hit the Conway stores yet!) and playing on Mom's sewing machine. I'm halfway done with Fifi's dress and more than halfway done with an adorable pair of bloomers. I love sewing machines! They are incredible!

Well, Fifi is up from her nap. My dad turned out the lights so she can enjoy the Christmas tree in all its glory. I want to go enjoy it with her.

Cheerio!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Arkansas

In case you didn't guess, I'm safely in Arkansas with my family. It has been a great trip so far. I've been shopping for three days in Branson, Missouri, and visiting with various family members and friends. I miss my husband though.

I know I should post lots and make everyone happy, but I'm too busy enjoying my family time. It is short so I'm going to join Mom, Dad and Fifi in the living room to watch the Andy Griffith Show and eat Velveeta cheese dip.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"its warm some days but still cold."

"these are my facts about scotland

1. scotland is cold.

2.its got big mountains.

3. aberdeen is a city in scotland.

4.its warm some days but still cold."


Best blog ever. Go.

High School of Glasgow Junior 6

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Feeling All Right

Fifi has started taking two naps a day: a morning nap, usually about an hour, and an afternoon nap, about 1-2 hours. It is AWESOME.

Today's nap consisted of me tidying (a bit) the kitchen, tidying (a bit) the living room, FINALLY filing away that stack of bills, folding and hanging up laundry, running the dishwasher and the washing machine and reading a few pages about breastfeeding the the Ready Steady Baby book (to make sure the information was accurate, of course.)

Now I'm attempting to squeeze in a quick post before the munchkin wakes up. She's going on two hours.

I am so psyched about Thanksgiving. I keep thinking about how great it will be to see my family and for them to see Fifi; then, I remember that I'm also getting turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and sweet potato souffle out of the deal too! Brilliant!

My little business is flying out of my hands faster than I can control it. I've gotten two more orders for my Bori Buddies, which is fantastic. But of course, I'm leaving in a few days and won't be able to finish them before I go (unless I devote lots of time to it and ignore my daughter a fair bit). I've also got the most difficult Christmas card order to fill before I leave, and it's blowing my mind. It's always the simplest cards that are the hardest.

However, on the up side, I've already finished writing and addressing our own Christmas cards. They are ready to be stamped and shipped. I think I'll wait until December though to actually post them. You know.

Basically, today has been a nice, productive, if not quiet, day. Ran some errands in the AM, ate a frozen pizza for lunch, am now sucking up the joy of the last minutes of Fifi's nap with some blogging. And it's homemade soup for dinner, with a little Christmas present sewing after dark. Ah.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Getting Work Done

With only one week to go before my holiday in America (!), I've had SO MANY THINGS to mark off my to-do list. The biggie was to finish my Lori Borealis website, which I have done, even if most of the pages just say 'Coming soon'. At least they aren't broken or missing links. And I still don't actually have it under the actual domain name, but that will come in time. (Somehow I ended up purchasing a domain WITH hosting but the hosting doesn't allow you to upload your own website...???)

I've also been tidying up my business plan, tying up some loose financial ends, finishing Christmas cards (which I may never do with all the other bother I've got) and completing Christmas presents for the American-side of the family. I pulled out all the gifts I've made so far today during Fifi's nap and was mightily disappointed by it's sparsity. It doesn't seem to matter that I started Christmas present crafting in July. I don't have all my gifts finished yet. So that's this week's agenda. Along with everything else I've mentioned, of course, and more.

Like blogging everyday. Aye right.

Anyway, if I didn't have any other obligations, like child-rearing and whatnot, these are the projects I'd be working on:

Bird handbag

Jacobean embroidery pattern

Teardrop shapes

I found them in an old, out-of-print embroidery book.

But alas, my other obligations far exceed my ablity to do things for myself.

Like read. Which, hey, by the way, I'm going to go do right now. In a bath. Screw ya'll for Christmas.

(Not really! You're gifts will be wrapped in love on Christmas morning!)

The End.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Oh Well

Not even the first week of November gone by, and I've already missed a day blogging. Sigh. Maybe next year.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Lovely Mail Day

Isn't it exciting when you get real mail? And isn't it exciting when you've ordered something, and it finally arrives?

Today was a lovely mail day. Over the past couple of weeks I have ordered several items and have been impatiently awaiting their arrivals. They all arrived today!

First was the snowman die cut I won on eBay.

Cuttlebug die cut

Then the Moo cards I ordered for my business.

Moo Cards

And also my prints of Fifi for Christmas cards from Tesco.

Fifi for Christmas

What great fun! I also got a catalog and some vouchers from The Body Shop, but unfortunately I have had to add them to my boycott list, as they recently sold themselves out to Nestle, whom I wholeheartedly and faithfully boycott.

Boycotting

I'm a happy girl today!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Packing Advice, plx.

Calling All Arkansans:

I am going to be packing our bags next week, but I have no idea how to pack for Fifi, seeing as I've been away for three winters and I've never dressed a baby there before. I need some advice. I want any Arkansans reading this (this includes you, Mom, Devon, Aunt Phyllis, Amanda (though you are ex-Arkansas), etc.) to leave a comment.

Will Fifi need to be...


Bundled Up or Very Bundled Up

(Bundled up or very bundled up?)

Are we talking...

Jumper Warm or Felicity Sweater Warm

(Jumper warm or Felicity sweater warm?)

Help, please.

*Thanks to my assistant, Sir Quackenbush, for modeling.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaBloPoMo '07

It's that time of year again, Na(tional)Blo(g)Po(sting)Mo(nth). I can almost garuntee (how do you spell that?) that I will fail, but I'll give it another go.

Last night was the first Halloween in about ten years that I did not do anything. It kinda sucked. I was really looking forward to dressing Fifi up (we were going to be the Three Bears), but I never got around to making her costume (just couldn't think of how to do it), and besides, there was nothing going on anywhere. We had a Halloween party here last year, but this year there's no way we could've afforded throwing a party. There was also a kids' thing at FunWorld, but I also knew there was no way I'd be able to convince Scott to spend his evening in a room full of kids. So, we stayed in. Did nothing. Had two trick-or-treaters. Ate the rest of the chocolate eyeballs. Went to bed. I'm a bit down about that.

But oh well, there's always next year, right? And maybe I can get some children's costumes on sale at Tesco if there are still any in stock to get rid of.

I feel my quality of life has lessened just slightly by missing this most weirdest of holidays.

Ah, geez, it was Reformation Day too, and I did nothing for that either! (I told my friends that I go walking with that Halloween was also Reformation Day about two seconds before I remembered they are all Catholic...)

However, check out my cute niece Audrey in her costume:

Little Angel

Monday, October 29, 2007

If Ma Ain't Happy...

It's 1.15am and why am I still awake?

I've been sewing a few Bori Buddies that have been ordered. I've had real orders! From non-family/friends! My friend Sarah sent a picture of them with her husband to work and two of his co-workers ordered some. It's hard to get spare time these days to do anything, so I've been sewing since 7.30 when I put Fifi to bed. My neck's a bit cramped, but I've made progress. I've kept myself amused by watching Scrubs Season 6 on my laptop while working.

Fifi has been giving me a rough few days. Two more teeth came through this week, totaling eight, so that probably explains some of it. She's also been throwing up a lot today so perhaps a wee tummyache has added to her (and my) misery. At any rate, I've been at my wit's end for a few days now. It's a good thing that little gal is so darn cute, let me tell you. She woke around 12, and when I went upstairs to soothe her back down, my heart just melted when I cuddled my tiny little bundle, all twisted up in the covers, her tiny hands grasping my fingers, her body all warm and baby-soft. I love her more than words can express. All my weariness drained away as I kissed her soft hair and held her pudgy fingers.

It's only two weeks before Fifi and I leave for America. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it. I've started thinking carefully about what to pack. I always pack uncarefully and end up with loads of clothes that don't match. A mistake I intend to avoid this time - which I believe is doable, since I think the weather in Arkansas will be comparable to the weather here, you know, in the summer. So, you know, I actually have clothes in my wardrobe that will be season-appropriate, unlike when I visit Arkansas in the summer and have to pull out of storage all my arbitrary articles of hot-weather clothing that haven't been worn in years and don't match and don't even really fit...

The idea of having a real Thanksgiving again, after three years of celebrating Thanksgiving here, in my own way, with a small group of non-Americans, is kind of surreal. I realised today that there would be turkey. And stuffing. And dressing. And pumpkin pie. And iced tea. I don't think I even know what iced tea tastes like anymore!

And speaking of food, today, I made jam. Plum jam. It was surprisingly easier than I expected. Tomorrow, I will make grape jam. If I can be bothered with the stirring for twelve hours thing again. I imagine grape jam will take less time?

And with that, my old boy wants me to come to bed - what a role reversal! - so I'm offski. See you Arkansans in a few days. That is, if I survive the eight hour flight with my semi-walking, crawling, teething, demanding infant.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Busy Busy

I apologise, as always, for the lack of updating. The reasons are partially enumerated below:

1. Fifi is crawling (as of just right now).
2. Fifi is pulling herself up onto furniture and trying to walk around it.
3. Fifi is standing unaided by herself (as of yesterday).
4. Fifi is bonking her head on everything (like just now, for instance, on the computer chair).
5. I am busy making all my Christmas presents.
6. I am busy making Devon's 25 Christmas cards.
7. I am busy making Jamie's 70 Thank You cards.
8. I am busy making various cards to sell individually.
9. I am busy making toys to sell individually.
10. I have become dedicated to keeping my house reasonably tidy at all times, which involves lots of time at the kitchen sink and pushing a hoover (to keep our new living room rug beautiful).


So there you have it. I'm too busy to blog. I'm a rotten blogger.

So, in lieu of blogging, have a look at Fifi's first shoe shopping experience!





Thursday, October 18, 2007

God Is In the Junk Mail

Lately I've been doing a lot of praying. I've been praying a lot about trusting in God, believing He will do what He promises, believing we will always be taken care of. I feel like I've gotten a lot of reminders from Him that He is faithful and He will provide. At the Prayer Meeting, we sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness, which really spoke to me. Following the Prayer Meeting, on the way home, I was listening to Keith Green and the words 'Walk by faith, not by sight' also really hit home. I've been feeling so good lately, so encouraged, but I still worry. This morning I prayed a very stupid but honest prayer, telling God that I fully put our family in Your hands, but I don't know what I'll do if it turns out You aren't real...

Today, I got dishwasher tablets in the mail*. I think God sent them.


*Read six paragraphs down.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Neither Poverty Nor Riches

Proverbs 30:7-9
Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?"
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.


At Prayer Meeting on Tuesday night, this was the passage the opening message was based on. It really spoke to me. I've been thinking a lot since then about asking God to give neither poverty nor riches. It seems sort of obvious that we shouldn't ask for riches, though it's also very hard to ask God not to give them to us. However, I think I often feel I can't ask God to save me from poverty either, as if that's asking too much. I feel like I deserve nothing and to ask God to keep me from poverty is like ignoring the poverty all over the world; it's like saying, 'I know 92% of the world's population is poor, but please don't make me poor'. But it's interesting here how Agur asks for neither riches nor poverty. His reasoning is wise; riches will make him forget God, but poverty could cause him to steal and curse God. He does not desire for either to happen. It's gotten me thinking.

We are far from poor right now. We are nowhere near living in poverty. But we aren't rich, by a Western definition, either. We have to watch every penny now that we're on only one wage. But there was something freeing about asking God to keep us from 'poverty', so that we don't steal. And by steal, I'm not talking about knicking a pie from the market or anything; there are many ways one can steal. It's so easy to devise plans of getting extra money - 'tweaking' tax returns, signing on to the dole when you have no intention of finding a new job, not declaring your full tips, adding a few hours to your time sheet. These are the things that can become tempting, at least for me, but they are stealing.

Yet, it's difficult to ask God not to give riches. I think I often think, 'I won't pray for riches, but if God wants to give them to me, I'll take it!' To actually ask to be kept from becoming rich is quite difficult. But I know how money is, and when you have enough of it, you truly do tend to forget God. With loads of money, you don't have to depend on God for everything. When you are watching every penny you have, you find you must trust God constantly for your daily bread. It's not a bad place to be. Uncomfortable, yes, but we aren't called to be comfortable. We're called to be humble.

If God gives you riches, this isn't bad. But it's a place of huge responsibility. I realise now that I really am not ready for that responsibility. When we were living on two wages, we spent money left and right. Even now I find it difficult to spend nothing. So, though it isn't easy, I'm trying to be thankful that I do not have riches. I'm trying to trust God to meet all my needs. And I'm very thankful that I'm not living in true poverty.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

B-Rad

Back home I had a friend, Bradley. He was a pretty good friend, though we drifted apart towards the end of my living there. He got famous, by the way.

Sometimes he drove us nuts; sometimes he was the coolest friend a person could have. He slept on our porch. He drank our apple cidar. He dominated conversation.

I just found some videos of him on YouTube. He really is a cute kid.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Time Sharing

Sometimes I love the SAHM life, with all my volunteer projects/aspirations, home business ideas, hobbies, mother-and-baby groups and, of course, Fifi-time. Then on other days, it all seems too much. Today it seems too much.

First and foremost, my priority is Fifi. She's great, she's the light of my life, but she's a lot of work. Right now she has a cold (the downside of no longer exclusively breastfeeding!), so she's not sleeping well at night, and she's miserable during the day. So, as much as I love my Fifi-time, sometimes it's just really hard. My second priority is my house. Soon Scott will be (crossing fingers) working his part-time job on top of his full-time job, and the house will rightfully be completely my duty. I think this is more than fair, but with my more than full-time Fifi-ing, housework is hard to keep up. I've been doing a lot better lately with staying home more, which I think has been really good for us both, but the housework continues to pile up (the perfect example being the laundry, which is literally piling up). But it's my job, and I'm happy to do it.

Of next but lesser importance, I'd personally consider my volunteering. Scott might think my home businesses should be of next importance, but I just can't help but see my work with breastfeeding support being a higher priority. I care so passionately about breastfeeding and believe so deeply in it, that I want to do every bit I can to see other mums succeed. We live in a crazy culture where breastfeeding is not the norm, and those of us who know how to do it have a responsibility to those who are just starting out, in my opinion. So my breastfeeding support group on Thursdays and La Leche League once a month are really important to me. Also very important to me is the work of Baby Milk Action, which I'd like to get more involved with. But the more 'lactivist' I get, the more weighed down I get with the hugeness of it all. And on days like today, I wonder if I'm taking on too much.

Then there is my business ventures. For now, that is limited to Lori Borealis and the clerical work I do for a company called Sportscovers. Sportscovers was really an answered prayer for us, as it gives us a bit of money each month for a really easy, if not unbelievably time-consuming and boring, job. And Lori Borealis is a great idea but is also time-consuming and requires a lot more dedication than just transcribing reports like I do for Sportscovers. I'm in the process of finishing my business plan to present to a panel with the Business Gateway for a couple of grants. Getting those grants will be so great, but the time I need to put in for it at times seems massive. It's totally worth the money, of course, but where do I find the extra time that seems so rare?

Now, there is also the other business thing that I've been so mysterious about. I can say now that I have been offered a franchise, conditionally, for TinyTalk, a baby signing company. This is what I interviewed for in London. It is offered conditionally in that they want to first see me get a bit more experience with signing with Fifi (or other babies) before I begin my own classes, which is fair enough. If and when this thing gets started, it will take precedence over my breastfeeding support projects, as it will be a serious investment and a serious job. I really, really look forward to it and am really enthusiastic about it. It's one job that doesn't seem too much on days like this. It rather feels like a breath of fresh air - imagine seeing all those chubby hands doing signs for the first time and all those ecstatic mums who have seen their work pay off! Ahh.

But then, with all these things competing for my time (and it always comes back to Fifi, as she is what this is all about, she is the reason I don't work outside the home), where do I find time for me? I have so many hobbies and interests: reading, sewing, painting, theology, not to mention those long-forgotten interests of writing poetry and running. The time to do these things is incredibly limited. I've been working on my second sock alien for over four weeks now! That's the kind of project that used to take a couple of hours, tops. And I still have so many Christmas presents I want to make. It doesn't seem to matter that I started sewing for Christmas in August. It's October, and I'm nowhere close to finished. Time is so precious these days. Especially days like today.

I know it will all work itself out in the end. I know that I will learn to prioritise correctly, and everything will fall into place. I've already let many things go in order to keep what is most important to me. Like I mentioned before, staying in more often has been a big help. Not spending money has been a great boost to my soul, too. Cleaning the kitchen yesterday and tidying the living room today and having dinner on the table at a reasonable hour make me feel like I'm doing my bit. Seeing Fifi make huge leaps and bounds, seeing her always smiling, hearing everyone's comments on what a good baby she is, reminds me that I'm doing my best as a mother. Days like today may make me feel tired and overstretched, but I know that being a wife and mother, and a child of God, are the big things in life, and those are the things that I feel good about. The other things are simply other things.

I feel pretty good about my life.

And on that note, Fifi is stirring, and I'm smelling what might be a rather 'fresh' nappy... some jobs just don't have a punch-out card, do they? I suppose they are the most rewarding ones, though.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

London Calling

I am aware that my not blogging in several days means little to any of you, but this time I have an excuse for my absence, as I've been in London for three days.

Fifi and I packed our bags and headed down Wednesday morning. From Greenock to our destination, we took four (or was it five?) different trains. It wasn't too bad, though. Fifi was a wonderful passenger and kept me very busy. However, trying to maneuver a buggy on the tube in London is certainly not on my list of Best Challenges Ever. Londoners in general are not very helpful.

David, of David and Sheena, met me at London Euston and accompanied us to their home. Very wonderful folks, they are by the way. I've met very few people as hospitable as they. That night we ate delicious stir fry with Bruce and PJ, their American houseguests. That was Wednesday.

Thursday was The Interview. I will not discuss it, lest I jinx it (or rather toot my own horn about how well it went just to find out on Monday that they did not think it went so well and force me to tell you that I am a dumb loser). Let's just say I made it back from Guildford on the tube/trains all by myself with a buggy in tow and did not die or get lost or mugged.

Thursday night, we ate delicious lamb, made by the fabulous Sheena (well, she didn't make the lamb, God did, but she prepared it). That was Thursday.

OKAY. On to the good stuff. On Friday, Sheena took me and Fifi into the city centre, and we had a great time. We went on the London Eye (pictures here), which, by the way, is awesome if you have a kid and a pram because you totally get to skip the queue. No more than two minutes into it, Fifi slipped and busted her lip. It was awful, and I felt like a terrible mum. Poor thing.

Following that, and a quick lunch, Sheena took us over the Westminster Bridge to Trafalgar Square, where she left us to go pick up her wee'en from school. This is where the real adventure began; I cannot read maps. In fact, let me just make you a visual of what my afternoon was like.



It took me a full hour to get to the British Museum.

Anyway, I finally made it to the Museum, and it was fantastic. I didn't have nearly the amount of time I hoped to have (I was afraid I'd get lost again on my way to King's Cross for my train home), but I saw quite a lot and loved it. The Chinese Terracotta Army is there right now, so Scott and I are going to try to go back down to London before the exhibit closes in April so we can see it.

After the museum, I headed on to the train station, keeping an eye open for a cheap place to get dinner. I found nothing except a Quaker Meeting House which had a bookshop and cafe. I went in there, perused lots of Quaker books and left, as the cafe only had limited sandwiches by that time of day. Finally, at King's Cross I found a Burger King (bleh) and decided to make do. We made our train on time, which was a painfully long five and a half hours long with no changes. Fifi again was very good, but very curious and squirmy and tiring. Here's a nice little video to leave you with.

Traveling By Train (With A Monkey) from superlori on Vimeo.


My conclusion? I like London to visit, but I would never, ever want to live there. I like Scottish people. They help mums with prams get onto trains. And up here, we don't think £1000 rent a month for a two bedroom flat is a bargain.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Attachment Fifi-ing

Sometimes people think they know what is best for everyone else. I do this a lot. I think I know what is best for others because I know what is best for me.

But right now I'm going to talk about how much I hate when other people do this to me. We all do it, so it's not about pointing fingers. But this is my blog, and I want this off my chest.

People are always telling me I need to get away from Fifi and have a little 'me' time, or a little 'couple' time with Scott. People seem to think I can't do this with Fi around. Granted, sometimes it is nice to have an adult conversation with Scott without Fi and her crazy antics getting in the way. And sometimes a nice hot bath after Fifi has gone to bed is exactly what I need to unwind. But I know when I need this, and most of the time, we (at least I, and I think I speak for Scott too) are quite happy having Fifi with us, whatever we are doing.

People think it's unhealthy to take Fi with me everywhere I go. They think it is unhealthy that she sleeps in our bed. They think Scott and I should go out more, go on weekends away, etc. I think if you are the type of person to need this, then yes, go ahead. But not everyone is. Not everyone needs to get away. I don't feel I need to get away. In fact, I hate being away.

I'm taking Fifi to London with me for my interview. Even if I were only going down that morning and coming back that evening, I'd be taking her with me. I couldn't even think of leaving her, even with grandparents, even with bottles and bottles of expressed breast milk. The one time I did leave her for most of the day, for a wedding, was one of the worst days (the wedding was nice, it wasn't the wedding's fault) of my motherly life. She didn't think that day was much of a picnic either. My limit is somewhere around 2 hours - after 2 hours, I need to see my little bundle of joy again.

As ridiculous as it seems, I have come to the point of simply not going someplace if I know Fi won't be welcome. It's not that I no longer have my own identity, as some would suggest, it is just that love being around her. I can't stand missing anything. That's not to say that if you do need time away, you don't love your child as much or you are missing their entire childhood, but you're need for time away is different than mine. I'm not unhealthy and neither are you.

When I was little, I wished that fairies were real so that I could get a fairy and carry her around in my pocket and have my own special friend who loved me and was always with me, so I'd never be alone. Fifi is so far superior to my imaginary fairy; she is my little friend who goes everywhere with me and lights up my life everywhere we go. This makes me happy, not tied down.

Right now, I'm lying in bed, with Fifi stirring. She rolls over, cuddles into me and relaxes. This is one of my favourite feelings in the world. The other favourite is when Scott does the same thing.

Scott and I enjoy spending our once husband-wife time with Fifi as family time. We still like to have the odd dinner alone, but after about an hour, we are ready to have Fi back. A few weeks ago, we went out for dinner (I don't remember the occasion) while Scott's parents took Fifi out for a walk. We were back before they were! Some people think having a baby around all the time like this must be hard on the marriage relationship. I think having Fifi around just cements it. We are a real family now, all three of us related. And we both think our marriage is better now than ever.
f
So anyway that's Lori's outburst for today. To end on a nicer note, here's proof that Fifi can speak.

Da Da from superlori on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

God Is Unable

Just a quick outburst here:

While reading movie reviews from Plugged In, a online Christian website, which I generally respect for its balanced reviews, I read this line about Evan Almighty: 'Granted, the spiritual nuggets here are never quite as potent as the moment when Bruce runs up against free will and empathizes with an all-powerful God unable to make someone love Him.'

Ahem, uh, huh?

Did any of you catch that?

I'll reduce it to a few words in case you didn't. '...an all-powerful God unable...'

Okay, come on, people, wouldn't any sensible Christian stop and rethink what they are about to say when the put the words 'all-powerful' 'God' and 'unable' all back-to-back like that? I mean, what?

This is just the kind of thing that makes my head spin. How can people who believe God is all-powerful also believe He is unable to do something? I know free-willers often use semantics and a liberal dose of usually unconscious but nontheless wild eisegesis to justify this idea by saying God 'willingly gave up the right' to 'make someone love Him', but that still says that an all-powerful God *can't*.

I just do. not. understand. this line of reasoning. If God is all-powerful, then he *can* make someone love Him. Simple as that. Argue it if you want, but unless you've got Scripture to back you up, this argument will never ever make sense.

Anyway. Whew. I'm done. The review was fine, by the way. Still don't plan on seeing the movie, but the review was fine.


P.S. I really appreciated the 'Special Word' from James Dobson (with whom I have some beef on other topics but not this). Though he is referring mostly to taking the Lord's name in vain, this statement reflects my problem with the original Bruce Almighty and my problem with its sequel: 'Some people, even individuals with similar beliefs to mine, will not be offended by this presentation. But I was taught at my mother's knee that God is profoundly holy, and we are to approach Him with deep humility and reverence...How can I endorse a movie that runs past those boundaries, even though most others do far worse?' Cheers for that, JD.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Big Things

Lots of interesting things going on right now. Big changes. From the colour of my hair (heh) to my job interview down in London....

I LOVE how important that sounds. It's not nearly as big as it sounds. But I'll keep up the element of mystery before I say more. Don't want to jinx myself.

I'll keep my hair a mystery too for fun until my camera batteries charge, and I can show you. I can just see my mom's face right about now.

Also big news for my friends Rodger and Amanda, as they were taken in a month early to deliver her baby for several reasons. Prayers would be appreciated. Baby should be here tomorrow morning, and I'm doing my research on breastfeeding premature babies for her.

Disjointed post, I know. I'm tired, and I'm reading a very provacative thread on teen sexuality on the Mothering.com forums.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Kewpie Doll?



(Terrible PhotoShop job, I know.)

A Lovely Wedding

A big congratulations to Jeff and Katie as they begin their marriage to one another. Their wedding was lovely, one of the loveliest weddings I've been to. Not too formal, but not informal either. Just right. Katie's family is lovely, Jeff's family is lovely, I can't think of a better word to describe the whole event other than 'lovely'.

Oh and of course, Jeff and Katie themselves are very lovely.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Three Years and Many More

In the Name of God, I, Lori, take you, Scott, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.


I said these words three years ago, and I mean them even more today than I couldn't possibly done then.

I love you, Scott McFarlane.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Which witch is which?


Lori at 8 months; Fifi at 7.5 months.

We aren't as identical as I remembered (my mom kindly scanned this picture in for me when I took the other picture of Fifi) but still.

(Neither of us are witches, of course.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First Word

Okay, believe it or not, but our little girl TOTALLY spoke today. We are CERTAIN it counts. We were talking about 'daddy' and doing the 'daddy' sign as we talked when Fifi said, 'Da da da.' We, of course, all looked at her (Lorna was here too as a witness) and started saying 'da da' back to her, while signing. She continued on, 'Da da da. Da. Da da. Da da da.' We were getting ever more excited, which excited her too, and she kept going - 'Da da da' - and looking at Daddy with joy.

I know she's only 7.5 months, but there just was no question, she knew who 'Dada' was. As soon, as I pulled out the camera, however, she stopped.

And by the way, Fifi has the sweetest voice I could ever have hoped for.

Refusing To Repeat First Word from superlori on Vimeo.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Busy Week

My schedule is getting fuller and fuller nowadays. It's good in that I'm always on the go, which I love, and bad because when I'm on the go, who's doing the housework? (It ain't the Housework Fairy, I'll tell you that.)

Here's a brief look:
Today (Monday)
-Meet Freecycle person at 10.30
-Take bridesmaid dress from Devon's wedding to alteration shop to fix zipper (to wear to Katie and Jeff's wedding)
-Make formal business plan for meeting tomorrow
-Read Breastfeeding Network things and sign related forms
*This is considered one of my free days*

Tomorrow (Tuesday)
-La Leche League at 9.30 (will have to miss because of the following)
-Meet girls to discuss new breastfeeding support group at 12
-Breastfeeding training group from 1-3
-Appointment with Business Gateway at 3.30 (Pick up Fi after from Carol's)
-Prayer Meeting at 7.45

Wednesday
-'Buggy Fit' (Pram walking group) at 10.30 (will have to miss because of the following)
-Eye appointment at 11.30
-Bible study at 7.30 (will miss because of the following)
-Watch Scotland vs France football at Graeme's at 7

Thursday
-Our first official breastfeeding drop-in support group at Fun World from 12-3

Friday
-Baby swimming from 12-1


I'm tired already.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Poor Laptop

My laptop is dead. Expect even less blogging than usual for the next few days.

In the meantime, check out my Flickr pictures and have a sneak peak at what loriborealis.com is going to look like. (Missing pics and links, I know. Laptop died during the creation process!)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Don't Feel Like It But..

I ought to pop in and say hello and stuff.

Briefly--

1. We went to Inverness for the day on Monday and really had a fantastic time. It was so good for me and Scott to just spend a leisurely day together and reconnect. It certainly helped that Fifi was a perfect angel the whole day too, giving us a much needed break. Pictures on our Flickr.

2. We all have colds. All three of us. Don't know where they came from, but it's a sneezy home we keep these days.

3. My breastfeeding support training is nearly over, and we will be starting our support group next week. Exciting and scary!

4. Fifi may be young, but she's no stranger to law-breaking. I kept her in the pub way past the pub's licensing time last night. I'm a bad mother.



I just sneezed so I'm off to blow my nose.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Double Trouble

While not twins, two boys were born this week to two friends who are of the North American/Scotland-dwelling (or recently Scotland-dwelling) persuasion.

Big congratulations to Bryce and Ashley on the birth of their son Ezra Chalmers!

And three days later, we welcome David and Neyir's son, Maxwell Jacques, into the world!

Congratulations all of you, and quick recovery prayers.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sewing Projects

I've been sewing again. I've got loads of other things to do (housework, my business, my child), but I've caught the bug, and I can't stop sewing.

Meet Zordof (or Zorbix, I can't decide):



He was destined for sock monkeydom but was abducted by aliens.

I've bought enough pairs of socks to make twenty Zordofs/Zorbixes. I'm going to try to sell them in a local shop or online or through friends. I'm trying to figure out how much to ask for them. Sock monkeys aren't a common sight here, so my alien has gotten a lot of enthusiastic response.

My latest project, which I started and finished today, are these gorgeous 'bitty booties' from Heather Bailey's site:



I can't wait to put her in them tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Round of Applause

Well, Fifi hasn't signed 'milk' again, but yesterday, she started clapping!

However, getting her to clap on camera was difficult.

Trying to Make Her Clap from superlori and Vimeo. But we managed a few seconds. Clap Clap Clap from superlori and Vimeo.

She is also waving goodbye, though she hasn't quite figured it out completely. She more waves her arm frantically, rather than just her hand, but she's trying.

My daughter is so clever!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Daily Headlines

"Fifi Does Her First Sign!"
Abstract: I've been suspecting that her open-close fists might be Fifi signing 'milk' but today I became sure of it, when three times in a row I signed milk to her and she eagerly signed it back to me each time.

Laundry

"Sewing Night A Success!"
Abstract: Our first ever Stitch-Along night was great, and so was my custard chiffon cake.

Stitch-Along

"Babies Enjoy Dinner Party As Much As Adults"
Abstract: Carol's dinner party on Saturday included great food, a ball pool, a Bop & Go Alien, and Karoake Klassics on TV.

Bop & Go Alien

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Femininist or Feminine or Just Crazy....?

On Sunday nights, The Boys (aka Scott and about five other losers from church) gather online (in their own homes, of course, because heaven forbid they actually make human contact) and play each other at computer games. Meanwhile, all the wives spend the evenings alone, usually mocking our husbands, and often texting each other about what losers our men are.

Well, tonight, some of the ladies are getting together (in person), and we're going to have our own little gathering. We're meeting at Cheryl's with all our equiptment, and we're going to spend the evening stitching and sewing! Lorna, who does not sew, has happily agreed to be the babysitter. I am so excited! A night in with the girls and a box of pretty material and thread and an entertained baby!

Oh, and did I mention, that Cheryl, her mum and I are all taking a quilting class? Oh, how I love sewing!

I've also been spending the past few days perusing this site and drooling over all the gorgeous vintage patterns.

And now, it's into the kitchen to make a cake for us to eat while we sew! Feminist movement be damned!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Little Miss Muffet Strikes Again

I've got a house full of sleepers so I'll take a moment to tell you a little story.

Originally it was to be a story of triumph. It ends in defeat.

It is a story about a spider. Or three.

As frequenters of this site may already know, I am deathly afraid of spiders. It would be nearly impossible for me to fully describe to you just how afraid of spiders I am. I am willing to bet I am more afraid of spiders than almost all of you.

There is a spider living in my drivers' side wing mirror on my car. It usually minds its own business, and I have bravely continued driving my car. I believe I have taken extraordinary steps forward for this to be the case. In fact, I was living so amicably with this awful creature than I began to believe my phobia was diminishing.

Yesterday, as I reached for the handle of the passenger side door (to put Fifi in the car), I spotted a different spider dangling (augghhghh, I hate how they do that!) off the handle. My first impulse was to call my friends and tell them I couldn't make it to our weekly walk. But then I remembered I am brave now and not afraid of spiders anymore.

So I kicked it.

Folks, you cannot possibly know what a break-through this is for me. It might be the first time I have ever made contact with a spider willingly in my life. Yes, once* I had to brush one off my person, after it had most evilly crawled out of my handbag onto my lap, but you can see how that was utter necessity. I can't remember any other time in my life when part of my body willingly made contact with a spider.

The spider dropped a few centimetres but then scampered (gleehahhha) back up it's despicable web. I, of course, screamed and did a little boogy dance, but I wasn't defeated. I kicked it again, harder, and with a cry of 'GET OFF!' and it fell the ground. I think. I couldn't see it anyway. Which, of course, freaked me out and I did another dance and checked the bottom of my shoe and the leg of my jeans and the ground. I did not see it. But I rose above this predicament and opened the car door.

Victory!!

Later that evening, and a hot evening it was, I had changed into flip-flops and a dress and eaten my dinner at Scott's parents' house. His mum helped me with Fifi's things to the car. I reached for the door handle and... the spider was back! It had made a new web on the passenger side wing mirror and was crawling about on it. I rememebered my earlier bravery and considered kicking it again until I realised I was wearing flip-flops. Bare feet. Bare legs. Hell to the No.

'I can't!' I exclaimed. I began to panic. How was I going to get Fifi in the car? Just as I said, 'What are they doing, creating an army in there?', ANOTHER, LARGER spider crawled out! AUGHHHGHAHLDJ:LGKA:SKGJ:LSJDLSA¬!

And that's pretty much the sound of my scream.

Scott's mum, also afraid of spiders, said she would deal with it. She reached towards it, but before making contact, spotted two boys, in their early twenties walking by.

'Excuse me, guys, are you afraid of spiders?' she asked.

The boys squirmed. 'Uh, in what way?'

'Could you get rid of a couple of spiders for us?' she asked.

One boy courageously threw back his shoulders and approached the vehicle. The other held back. He reached for the spiders. I AUIGHLGHUUGHGHGHHed and danced again and Fifi started crying. He somehow disposed of them (or more likely, they crawled back in behind the mirror) and proudly proclaimed the task complete. Marion thanked them for saving three girls in distress.

That, my friends, is a sad, sad story. The sad, sad story of a woman who thought she could face her greatest fear, only to have to be rescued by a man.

Pity. Pity. It is such a pity.



*I have searched and searched my archives and cannot find this story. How did I not tell you about the time a spider crawled out of my handbag on the busy 5.00 train and I actually, literally, jumped into some guy's lap, crying??

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Some Updates and Also A Couple of Bad Seques

I've got a new hobby: sewing.

I am addicted. I'm a sewing addict.

I've been wanting to get into sewing for a while but never got around to it while I was pregnant (too busy planning for a baby) and then never got around to it after I was done being pregnant (too busy having a baby). Finally last week I got started on a few projects I'd been wanting to start for a very long time.

I've had this and this saved on my computer for ages now, just waiting to be created. I finally got around to it last week. Here are my first very sad and pathetic attempts:

Lambkin Scotty Dog

I made them miniature-sized Christmas tree ornaments to save fabric while I practiced. And while they came out looking like they belong in an animal shelter, I was not down-hearted. Nay, I was very proud of myself. Considering I don't know the first thing about sewing, I think they turned out great.

My second attempt was much more pleasing. There are still some stitching issues, but I was really proud of myself for stumbling upon the blanket stitch purely by accident.

Scotty McFarlane Dog

(That is the McFarlane tartan, by the by.)

I also made a small pincushion, which isn't 100% finished yet. First, it was meant to be a hedgehog, but it looked more like a mouse when I finished so I sewed a wee tail on it to make it look intentional. But I didn't stuff it full enough so I'm going to need to rip out a seam and try again. Once it's complete, I'll post a picture in Flickr.

I'm loving it. Totally loving it. Sewing is my new passion. Along with, like, so many other things these days, such as card-making and breastfeeding. Oh and, of course, feeding Fifi solids.

Hehe, yes, that is the lamest segue ever, but I'm keeping it. So yes, Fifi is getting much more adept at eating solids now. She ate half a nectarine all by herself today. I took a bite to sort of open it up for her, and she took it into her hands and ate it all by herself. And I know she ate lots because about half an hour later, she threw up on me and produced loads of tiny nectarine bits in the process. Lovely child.

For dinner, I gave her toasted pitta bread with melted (cooled) cheese inside. She tucked right in.

Pitta bread!

She loves the pitta bread. And so does Scott, who just yesterday began to wonder if he'd be allowed to eat pitta bread anymore...

Yes, that's an even lamer, less effective segue. I'm full of them today. Yesterday, Scott went to the doctor, as I mentioned below, and was diagnosed with tonsillitis and an ear infection. What I didn't mention below is that the doctor also wanted to test him for diabetes. Naturally, Scott was pretty concerned. We all were, of course, though we weren't as worried as he was, knowing his symptoms (extreme weight loss, etc) were unlikely to be diabetes-related. However, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief when the test results came back negative this morning. Thank you, God!

(I don't even know if pitta bread has anything to do with diabetes, but surely bread has sugar in it or something, which is surely has something to do with diabetics ability to eat it... I have no idea.)

So that's about all there is to say for now. That's you pretty caught up on the McFamily. I'm now off to bed. Fifi is already there, having graced me with the quickest falling-asleep procedure ever - I laid her down on her tummy and she was out like a light. And you can thank her for giving me the freedom to write this post. Cheers, Fifers.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Man Flu

If only there were an interesting way to start out a non-interesting update, but there isn't.

Basically, it's same-old same-old around here, with the exception of my very ill husband who is still very ill and doesn't show any signs of improving before this weekend in which he will probably miss the second of two dinner parties thrown by some of my new mummy friends. Hmm, wait a second, that sounds a bit too convenient...

But really, Scott's pretty icky. I feel so bad for him. I've seen him sick before but never like this. I just wanna give him a big cuddle, but I also don't want none of them yicky germs. The poor guy.

Saturday, my new friend Maria and her husband threw a little dinner party. I went without Scott, and though I missed him the whole time (feeling like the single mum next to all the married couples), I had a really good time. It was the first sort of get-together that I've really been to since having Fifi. And all of us have a baby similar in age, and we all brought them along, so it was nice not having to feel guilty for excusing yourself from the table during the second course, or third, or fourth for that matter. It was also nice to drink a few glasses of wine with other girls while chatting about, well, babies, but that's kind of inevitable nowadays.

Carol's having the next one this weekend, and I was really hoping Scott would be better by then, but I really doubt it now. Nuts. I really like the girls in the group, and I hope Scott will like the boys.

I'm off now to change a wriggly baby's nappy before she screams the house down and wakes her sleeping daddy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Someone tell me why I'm still up at almost 1am doing literally nothing, while desperately needing to pee but not getting up to do so?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Riddle

What has four legs and will be in Arkansas for Thanksgiving?

Me with Fifi on my hip!


I'M GOING TO SPEND THANKSGIVING WITH MY FAMILY THIS YEAR!

It is all thanks to Scott, my most wonderful, caring, understanding, sweet husband who suggested that my mom must be really missing Fifi and that she and I should go out for Thanksgiving. And it's also thanks to my wonderful parents for helping us with tickets.

Scott won't be able to join us. He doesn't have any more holiday time off work. So it will just be me and my then 9.5 month old. Yikes. Four different planes each way too. It will be challenging. But I am so excited! It's going to be so worth it!

If you wanna meet up while I'm there (two weeks!) book your slot soon, as I'm a very popular lady, you know. :D

EMOTICONS ROCK!! NOT REALLY I'M JUST EXCITED!!!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Disappointed

Well, here's a little moan for you.

I found this amazing antique furniture set in a charity shop. It was really beautiful - old, sturdy, a honey sort of colour with beautiful carving and moulding. It was three pieces - a dressing table and two wardrobes. I was instantly in love with it. I saw it yesterday, first, so when Scott got home, I talked to him about it and we decided if there was room to store it, I could get it. So today, I measured out some space and then took the tape measure into the shop. I was so afraid it would be gone; when I went upstairs, it at first appeared to be gone, as there was an open space where it had been yesterday. But then I noticed it had simply been moved, but there were two women looking at it very intently. I heard one say, 'I could have the big one [wardrobe] and you could have the small one.'

I didn't want them to know I was interested too, in case they snatched it up, so I waited until they'd moved on and measured it. It would just about fit. However, I didn't want to make the call without talking to Scott first, yet unfortunately, Scott left his mobile at home so I couldn't call. Then, as I was thinking the situation through, the women came downstairs and bought it.

I was gutted. I suppose it just wasn't meant to be, but it really was a beautiful set, and for such a bargain. My disappointment drove me to buy some ice cream at Tesco.

Then, to add to my disappointing experience, Scott called from work to say he couldn't get the day off he'd requested for Jeff and Katie's wedding. So now I have to decide whether to go alone or not at all. Big Stupid Crapiness.

Ick, and Fifi just totally filled her nappy. And it sounds unpleasant. Moan moan moan.

Sick Baby

I'm sure you are used to my irregular posting by now, but for this once, I have a justifiable reason for the break. Fifi has been unwell all weekend.

It's the first time she's been really ill. She had the sniffles when she was newborn, but that's the only thing I've had to deal with. However, I suppose around Friday she started acting funny. She cried whenever she went to anyone but me - very very unusual for our contented, social baby. She also began offering us a series of really disgusting nappies. She then began refusing to nurse or eat any food. Then, Saturday night, she stayed up the entire night nursing nearly non-stop. And of course, the all-night nursing session meant vomiting and refusing to nurse the whole next day. She had a slight fever for two days and was very pale and irritable. By Tuesday, she was feverless, but still very unhappy, clingy and uninterested in food.

This, of course, made me feel miserable as well. What with the sleep deprivation and the engorgement (and the resulting plugged ducts which threatened to get worse) and the inability to pass her off to anyone, I've had a rough weekend.

This morning, she awoke the way she used to, giggly and smiley. I'm hoping she's now over the worst. Though at this very moment she is whining and being rather unreasonable. I'm gonna go make yet another cup of tea.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ban the Bags

I just read about the Ban the Bags campaign, which I think is fantastic, but then I also just found out about all the misconceptions. Here's a good article explaining what the campaign is really about.

Friday, August 03, 2007

NURSE-INverclyde

(Hmm, that's a catchy name. I think I'll pitch that for Breastfeeding Awareness Week next May...)

Anyway, a Nurse-In was organised for today in the town centre as a part of World Breastfeeding Week. I think there was some Guiness World Record breaking attempt of getting as many people together at the same time to breastfeed or something. Anyway, we did our part in Inverclyde by arranging a Nurse-In. We were rather unprepared really, not realising it was about to be World Breastfeeding Week until right before it began, but we got an article in the local paper advertising it and encouraging nursing mums to show up, in an effort to change the stigma of nursing in public.

I didn't know how many to expect. I just expected the unexpected. Yet would the unexpected be tons? Very few? I prepared myself for a range of 10 to - dare I say it? - one hundred.

You know how many showed up?

Four.

Four nursing mums in the whole of Inverclyde showed up for the Nurse-In.

The paper was there again to cover the very disappointing story. The four of us were photographed nursing our babies together. They took a few quotes, and then, would you believe the timing? A huge group of matching-T-shirt-and-cowboy-hat-wearing Cystic Fibrosis fundraising volunteers marched past, collecting donations in shiny buckets, and the Telegraph finally had a story worth telling.

It was very disappointing, but Mhairu, one of the nursing mums who we all decided had the perfect gift of gab when it comes to publicity, gave our poor turn-out a good angle. She felt that the lack of nursing mums participating in the Nurse-In just goes to show how poor the breastfeeding rates in our area are, thus highlighting the need for more breastfeeding support. Inverclyde has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in all of Europe, and we also have some of the highest rates for multiple health issues.

I tried to get a picture of the four of us, but for some reason my camera wasn't working for the health visitor who was there supporting us. However, when the article comes out tomorrow, I'll post it for you.

(I suppose it would be remiss of me not to mention that while only four breastfeeding mums showed up, two mums with weaned children came, along with the two health visitors who are the local Infant Feeding Coordinators. So in total, there were really eight breastfeeding supporters present.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Embrace the Mess

As it is World Breastfeeding Week and also the week that we have started offering Fifi solids, I will leave you with a little bit of information about Solids and the Breastfed Baby. Unless you are actively trying to wean your baby off the breast, this link gives you some really good info on how to start your baby on solids, when to start, how much milk they should still be taking, etc. Very briefly, the two things I find most important are (1) always offer the breast first when introducing solids so that (2) the majority of their diet is breastmilk, as it should be for the first 12 months (I think it's something like breastmilk should still be 75% of their diet at a year old).

So, yes, we have started. It's great fun, actually, watching her try to eat food. It's kinda hard not to go crazy, especially since I really don't want to face early weaning with her. We are *attempting* baby led weaning, which is basically allowing your baby to decide what and how much they want to eat. This means forgoing the purees and just handing them finger foods. Once a baby is around 6 months and is showing signs of readiness (sitting up, putting things in mouth, all the things the link above describes) there is very little concern over choking, so puree purists, don't worry! She's also old enough for us not to have to worry too much about allergenic foods either, so we've just dived right in with offering her stuff.

The first night, yesterday, I was a bit nervous. I'd decided on starting out with pear for a couple of reasons - pears are sweet like breastmilk so not too drastic a difference and they are supposedly good for digestion. However, even though I'm totally sold on the baby led weaning thing, I was still nervous about giving her anything too hard so I poached the pear first and skinned it. Mistake number one. Then I sliced it into what I thought were 'chip-shaped' slices. Mistake number two. I then put them on a plate and gave them over.

She wasn't the slightest bit interested.

Every daggum thing in the universe has gone straight into her mouth, until that pear. She looked everywhere but at her plate. According to BLW, you shouldn't really help them along, since solids are to begin with mostly for fun and play and learning. They will supposedly eat when they are ready. So we impatiently waited, video camera rolling, while Fifi tried to reach for her toy monkey (to put in her mouth, I'm sure). Finally I gave in an held the pear slice to her mouth. She chomped down on it and ate off a big piece. She made faces but opened her mouth for more. I tried to give the pear to her, but due to being poached and sliced, it was far too slimy and kept slipping out of her mouth. She played around with the plate and the swished the slices around it but couldn't grasp any to put to her mouth.

She did lick the plate though. Pear slices all over the floor, of course.



So I decided to try banana instead, my back up plan. I'd been told by another BLW mum that the trick with banana is to half-peel it, cut off the peels and give it to them that way, so that there is a handle for them to grasp hold of. Well, I handed it to Fifi that way, and naturally she tried to eat the wrong end. Then once I'd righted it for her, she broke the edible part off. I then handed the broken banana piece to her, and she of course mashed it into her bib.



That was last night.

Today, I bought some baby rice cakes. I wouldn't have bothered with the baby ones except I'm really paranoid about salt and I know baby foods aren't allowed to add salt. I gave her a rice cake at lunch so she'd have something to eat with me and she devoured it. Finally. I figured out the right consistency of Fifi food! I should've known. It only makes sense that if I'm going to give it to her to eat herself she needs to be able to hold it...



Then tonight I made mango smoothies for me and Scott, and I put a little bit into a cup for Fifi, with a few chunks. I'm trying (trying is the key word as I'm not very creative yet) to let her experiment with different textures. Though so far my textures have been predominantly slime. She of course had no idea how to get the smoothie into her mouth so I broke one of the rules (can you tell I have no idea what I'm doing? Can you tell this solid thing is throwing me for a bit of a loop and I'm getting a bit stressed? I mean, me? Caring about rules? There should be no rules!) and spoonfed some to her. She was mortified. Don't think mango is her thing. However, mango smoothie all over her tray is DEFINITELY her thing.



So, it's been fun. One thing I'm having a bit of trouble with, however, is dealing with the mess. I know they say 'embrace the mess' or otherwise you'll go through the roof (and baby will get the impression that mealtimes are stressful) but I'm having a hard time with it nonetheless. The first night I made the mistake of not putting anything underneath her. (Does this sound like me? Maybe I just know myself, but seriously, this 6 month mark really sneaked up on me and I am not at all prepared for this. I mean, I can't believe I wasn't so well-read-up-on the solid food thing that I didn't even have anything underneath her!) Then tonight I did put her in her walker which has a food tray, but that was still an enormous mess, and even with a blanket under her (I'm going to have to start buying newspapers so I can use that), I couldn't believe how far she could throw a mango chunk. But once it was all over, I did enjoy plunking her into the bath with me while Scott cleaned up the living room. We do have a highchair, which we'll use next time, but since we don't have a dining table, it's going to be very not fun standing up while she eats to keep an eye on her. Oh how I long for a bigger house. Anyway, back to the subject at hand.

One last thing I noted about tonight's mango experience. As of late, Fifi has worked out a nice little bedtime routine. After playtime, I give her a bath, brush her teeth and nurse her and she goes straight to sleep. It's been working great for the past few weeks. So I was a bit surprised when she refused to settle down for her milk, even though she was clearly tired and hungry. Then it dawned on me. A giant 'Duh' cloud hung over my head as I realised I'd fed her MANGO half an hour before bedtime. Sure, I, an adult, can have a mango smoothie before bed, but a few spoonfuls of mango for her would be the equivalent of something like ten chocolate bars for me. So another one of my many lessons I've learned over the past two days - keep the sugars, even if they are natural, to a minimum and only around non sleeping times.

Later this week? Hummous. (Gotta start getting to the veggies eventually. And hummous is, you know, like chickpea or something.)

Fifi's First Foods from superlori and Vimeo.
(The sound is a bit skewed on the clip, Scott might've had his finger over the mic or something.)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fifi's Un-Birthday and World Breastfeeding Week

Well, if it weren't past midnight, I would announce that today is Fifi's six month birthday! But it's now 1 August, so I'll instead give you the heads up that today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August). My breastfeeding group is trying to think of some ways of supporting WBW. I'm going to make some t-shirts with iron-on transfer paper, and Fifi and I are going to sport them this week. (Feel free to copy them and use the designs yourself to publicise mum's milk.) I'm also going to (try to) blog something each day regarding the benefits of breastfeeding.

I'm also thinking of collecting photographs of breastfeeding babies to add to my WBW flickr set. If you have any, send them to me, and I'll put them all in a collection. Don't know what I'll do after that, but it might come in useful. (Breastfeeding calendar, anyone? *smile*)

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Doctrine of Justification

I'm currently in the middle of The Agony of Deceit (Horton, et al), and I'm reading Horton's chapter titled 'TV Gospel'. There are so many things he says in this chapter that I've wanted to quote for you but don't stand well enough alone for me to quote.

However, a paragraph on justification, a subject I've found to be very misunderstood by many Christians, doesn't need much explanation and is worth sharing .

'Much of Paul's epistle to the Romasn is devoted to the explantion of justification. God, says the apostle, is in the business of declaring wicked people guiltless and, in fact, righteous. He does that not by overlooking their sins, not by having them do penance or by having them write "I will never do it again" a thousand times, not by giving folks an "A" for effort. Rather, God imputes, that is, charges or credits to the believer's account, the life-long obedience, death, resurrection, and victory of Christ. We are not saved by our 'victorious Christian life', but by His! Of course, that means that even though the believer will sin many times (in one day!), God has nevertheless declared that person to be a perfectly law-abiding citizen. The basis for our relationship with God is Christ's track record, not our own.'

I had a dicussion with a few friends, Christians, on the doctrine of justification. They were asking questions like, 'What if, though, I murdered somebody and decided I wasn't going to follow God anymore and then suddenly died?' So few people understand that each and every sin we did, do and will do, was covered by the blood of Christ. Without getting in too deep (and I know what I'm about to say would get me in deep with certain theologians!), I explained that upon the moment of our salvation, Jesus didn't forgive us of simply all the sins of the past but every sin of our lives. He doesn't have to justify us over and over, each time we sin. We have been justified. We have Christ's righteousness 'credited to our account'. As the hymn writer wrote, 'My sin - oh the joy of this glorious thought - my sin not in part, but the whole was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.'

Some might feel that this sort of doctrine is saying we don't have to repent or confess our sin. That is not what justification means. Justification is not the same as sanctification. Santification is the life-long process of cleansing or purification from sin. Repentence and confession are a part of sanctification. In order that we become more like Christ, we must daily confess our sin and repent (turn away from it). But this doesn't mean that as we confess our sins, we are renewing our right standing with God. We are already in a right standing with God, if we have been saved - but not because we are living better lives or being better people now, mind you, but because Christ's perfect life has been credited to us!

The next question is almost always the same: Does this mean I can sin all I want after I become a Christian, since I'm already forgiven for it all? It's not a stupid question, actually. It's obviously one that has been asked from the beginning, considering Paul gives the answer in Romans 6. He asks, 'Does this mean we should go on sinning so that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live in it any longer?' In essence, if we have been saved from sin, we ought not continue living in it. In salvation, we are justified. But we are also made new creations (Galations 2), creations who now desire to follow Christ and sin no more. (We still sin, though. But now the desire to stop sinning is within us.)

***

I've just read on from the paragraph I've quoted, and interestingly, I have taken the topic in the same direction the author has! I did notice he used Romans 6 before I did, but I feel quite clever that I followed through on the same thoughts he does. I'll end with this final quote:

'As Luther put it, the believer is "simultaneously a sinner and justified".'

What a beautiful, amazing, awe-inspiring and worship-inciting thing it is to be justified!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Special: Three In One

Theology Quiz.



You scored as Karl Barth, The daddy of 20th Century
theology.
You perceive liberal theology to be a disaster
and so you insist that the revelation of Christ,
not human experience, should be the starting point
for all theology.

Karl Barth

93%

Anselm

87%

John Calvin

67%

Friedrich Schleiermacher

53%

Martin Luther

47%

Jonathan Edwards

40%

Charles Finney

27%

J├╝rgen Moltmann

13%

Paul Tillich

13%

Augustine

7%

Which theologian are you?
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