Friday, August 24, 2012

Draft Posts Unveiled!! - Volume 1

So, I just noticed that I have 24 draft posts sitting here on this blog unpublished. I started reading through a few of them, and have found some gems.

New series: Draft Posts Unveiled!

(Or would Draft Posts Unplugged or Draft Posts Gone Wild be better options?)

February 1, 2005:
Excerpt from Greenock Telegraph

BIG cat hunter Mark Fraser believes there could be a puma, two lynx and a leopard living in the countryside around Kilmacolm.

Some claim it is a puma, others a leopard, but Mark says it is more likely to some kind of hybrid cat.

He said: "The descriptions people are giving are of a leopard but they are saying it has pointed ears which a leopard doesn't have."

September 28, 2009:
Word of Caution

If you are looking for a stock image of a little old sweet grandma for display purposes, do not type 'granny' into Google images. Trust me.

Date Lost Due To My Ignorance but circa 2008-9:
Boobs On A Plane!

Yeah, yeah so it's old news, but I just read about this today. And it fired me RIGHT up.

So a woman was asked to leave the aircraft for breastfeeding. Instead of the usual approach of bitching about why this is so wrong, let's do a little For/Against Debate, shall we? I'm going to use many of the common arguments I've read on blog comments and forums today. For clarification, For is For Breastfeeding in public and Against is Against it.

Against: It's indecent.
For: It's natural.
Against: So is sex and pooping, but there are appropriate places to do that, and public isn't one of them.
For: That's the most ignorant thing I've ever heard.

Against: It makes me uncomfortable to see a woman whip out her tits and flop them all around.
For: A) I've never met a woman (yet) who 'whips out her tits' and 'flops them all around' while breastfeeding. In fact, most women are very happy and very likely to be as discreet as possible. You've probably passed hundreds of women breastfeeding and didn't even know it. B) Even if a woman did, do you not have the ability to look away? She's feeding her child; why is that so uncomfortable?
Against: I just don't see why she couldn't just cover up.
For: Well, would you like all the women on Friday night in their low-cut tops to cover up?
Against (male): ...
For: Furthermore, would you like to cover YOUR head when eating (or sit in the bathroom or what have you)? Furthermore, have you BEEN on a delayed flight? Have you FELT the heat? Would YOU like to cover your face with a blanket to avoid offending people? Furthermore, have you TRIED to put a blanket over a 22-month old's face? Do you think she would've stood for it?
Against: Yeah that totally reminds me, the freak was breastfeeding a two year old! That's indecent enough as it is.
For: ...
Against: Ha!
For: Can you give me any reason for why that's indecent?
Against: Because, like, it's a kid who's old enough to, like, talk!
For: ...
Against: ...

Against: I don't want my husband seeing another woman's boobs!
For: Lock your husband in a closet, then, honey. You won't avoid The Boob in this day and age. Oh, and cancel your subscription to the Victoria's Secret catalog.

Against: I think breastfeeding in public is just embarrassing! Don't make everyone else uncomfortable because you have some kind of stance to take.
For: For the last time, if breastfeeding (which happens to be the unrefuted best possible way to nourish your child) makes you uncomfortable, look away. The Boobs don't get up, walk over to you, and settle in for a meal right in front of your averted eyes.

Like My New LunchBlox?

Lunch Is(n't) Boring.

My new lunch blog. Visit it, Share it, and on Facebook, Like it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School Lunch

I used to be really motivated with packing bento boxes for my kids, back before they were in school. I think back then I had a lot more time and energy for making bentos, when it was only one every couple of days. But trying to do it every day is hard work.

I had big plans for starting back up the bentos for this school year, but I failed miserably by not getting to the grocery store this week before school started today. However, I still managed a healthy and varied lunch for Fifi's lunch bag.

Today's Lunch:
Tuna Mayo Wrap
Cherry Tomatoes
Babybel Cheese
Homemade Jelly (Jello)
Fresh Strawberries
Mars Bar Treat (from Granny)
Fresh Orange Juice

And of course, the ever important My Little Pony napkin. When I remember, I also like to stick in a little piece of paper with a joke on it. Will need to print some off this weekend.

What do you put in your packed school lunches?

(I couldn't resist adding a couple of First Day of School photos of the girls too.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last Minute School Prep

Still to do before Fifi goes back to school tomorrow:

1. Make a special hair bow for Fifi. I made one for her friends Stacie and Rowan for their birthdays but never made one for Fifi. Should probably make one for their other wee classmate, Ceitidh, too.

2. Paint Fifi's nails. I promised her.

3. Make Fifi's lunch, so it's ready in the fridge to just put in the bag and go.

4. Double check her gym kit, pencils, etc are all in her bag ready to go.

5. Come to think of it, double check I actually got her a gym bag.

All of this would be no problem if I weren't going out tonight to the cinema....

P.S. What is with this rain and gale force wind?!

My First Car Boot Sale

I'm getting ready to reserve a pitch at my first car boot sale.  I've been selling loads of clothes and small items on eBay but still have so many larger items to get rid of that would be too much effort to post.  I've finally convinced Scott I am ready and recovered enough from childbirth to sell my junk at a car boot sale. 

I might allow Fifi to join me, with the understanding that money made from any toys of hers that I am selling (or any toys she decides to sell of her own volition) is hers to put towards her iPad she is saving up for, and hopefully that will reduce the chance of her crying over seeing them go.

On second thought, she'll probably cry anyway.  I'll need to think that one over a bit more...

I saw the ad for pitches Monday but never jotted down the phone number, so I'm going back to where I found the ad (the Greenock cinema*), and I'm going to phone up tomorrow.

Goodbye bags of kids' toys, box of DVDs, old baby stuff and Simpsons donut maker.  I hope you make me a few bob in return for your new homes.  That which does not sell will get lovingly charity shopped.


*Scott and I will be at the cinema anyway tonight to see The Bourne Legacy.  Still deciding if bringing Jaguar with us will piss off too many people.  It's not like he'll be a distraction; if he starts to stir, I'll just get out my boob!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The NEW 100 Things About Me

As I read through my old 100 Things About Me, I realised I've changed a lot since writing them!  So I now present to you...

The NEW 100 Things About Me:

1. I was born and raised in Arkansas, USA.
2. I went to the University of Arkansas and got my degree in English, with emphasis in Creative Writing.
3. I went on several mission trips growing up, and ended up travelling all over the world. These trips took me to Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Scotland.
4. In Scotland I met my future husband (though unbeknownst to us at the time).
5. I dated several guys who I thought was 'The One' but was wrong.
6. Then a series of events lead me back to Scotland and therefore Scott.  A year later we were married, and I moved to Greenock, Scotland.
7. Together we have three magnificent but insane children, Fifi, Lolly and Jaguar (all Scottish names).
8. I love languages and have studied French, Arabic, Scots Gaelic and British Sign Language, but I don't speak any of these fluently.  At all.
9. I won first place in the annual Arabic Speech Contest at University by playing an original song in Arabic on the guitar.  The best part is, I don't play the guitar.  At all.
10. Aside from the countries visited on mission trips, I have also been to France.  And England and Wales, which are indeed different countries, even if they are a part of the United Kingdom.
11.  I am terrible at math.  I self-diagnosed myself as dyscalculiac, but this makes Scott roll his eyes.  But for real, I think I am.
12. My husband calls me a hippy.  I prefer to call myself a natural mama. Though the only washing my hair once a week thing might tip me over the edge. (But I draw the line at tie-dye!)
13. Effectively this just means I believe in natural birth, extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, natural foods and natural remedies.  I do not like using medicines, am thoroughly against circumcision, and, well, only wash my hair once a week (if that).
14. But I bet you anything my hair is healthier and shinier than yours!
15. Speaking of hair, I dye it a lot.  Currently I am platinum blonde, but in the past I've been every colour between platinum and midnight black.  With some blues, pinks and purples mixed in as required.
16. I love resistance/ strength training classes like BodyPump.
17. I hate dieting though.
18. I freaking love me some chocolate fudge cake.
19. I also love crisps.  ('Chips' if you are American.)
20. I love the Scots dialect.  Words like crabbit, drookit, steamin' and eejit are just too good to be true.
21. I used to write a lot of poetry, but sadly, I don't write as much anymore.
22. I was raised in The Most Republican household, but somewhere down the line I rebelled and am totally a liberal.
23. But 'liberal' does not necessarily mean 'Democrat'.  Nor does it mean I am 'Labour'.  If I were able to vote in the UK, I'd probably vote Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP).
24. This is not because I necessarily want to see Scotland independent but because I like a lot of what the SNP have done for Scotland.  The independence thing could go either way, and I'd be fine with it.
25. But I'm not a UK citizen, so I cannot vote.
26. I'm still a US citizen, and I could vote if I ever remembered to order a ballot in time, but I never remember.  You have to order your ballot, like, decades or something before the next election.
27. I have an indoor pet rabbit named Chewbacca.
28. I always think - when I don't have a pet - that I am a pet person, but then when I get a pet, I realise I am not a very good pet person. 
29. We used to have another rabbit named Zelda, but she died.  We also had fish, but they died.  We used to have two cats, Remedios the Beauty and Clementine, but we gave them to my sister-in-law when I got pregnant with my first child, because I couldn't cope with the smell and the morning sickness.
30. My favourite food is Thai food.
31. My husband and I have a ritual of always going to the same Thai restaurant for our anniversaries.  We always toy with the idea of trying out one of the other restaurants along the same street, but always end up at Thai Siam.  It's just that good.
32. My second favourite food is pizza.
33. My favourite 'date night' activity is Pizza Hut and a movie at the cinema.
34. I have two brothers.
35. I am the middle child.
36. I have serious middle child syndrome.
37. I have three sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law.  I have two nephews and three nieces.
38. I have a step-mom and a step-dad and numerous step-siblings, most of whom I've not met.  And don't even ask how many step-nieces and nephews there are, I don't even know.
39. My children attend a Gaelic medium school.  This means their entire classroom experience is all in Gaelic, no English.  They will learn to read, write and speak Gaelic before learning to read and write in English.
40. I am very proud of their bilingual education, and proud they are learning their country's native language.
41. My husband is my best friend.  I have other friends (females) who I consider my 'best friends', but I'm too shy about the title 'best friend' to ever actually call any of them my 'best friend' in case they don't feel the same way.  I blame that on fifth grade.  Kids are so cruel.
42. I suppose I hated elementary school.  I still kinda hate some of those kids.
43. Facebook has softened some of my hateful feelings towards my fellow elementary schoolmates.  Not all of them ended up as jerks. (Some did though.)
44. My hobbies change all the time.  But in general I enjoy arts and crafts (cardmaking, sewing, painting), reading, writing (when I find the time) and acting.
45. I did acting in high school.  It was called 'forensics' which isn't the same thing as CSI or Dexter forensics.
46. Speaking of Dexter, it's one of my favourite TV shows.  Along with Scrubs, Glee, How I Met Your Mother and Community.
47. I enjoy amateur dramatics and love being on stage.
48. I can act, and I can sing, but for the life of me, I can't dance.
49. I also can't swim very well.
50. My favourite alcoholic beverage is gin.  Bombay Sapphire especially.  My favourite mixers are fresh cranberry, fresh orange and diet tonic or lemonade.
51. My favourite board games are Scattergories and True Colors.  That is, if those are considered 'board games'.  Neither actually use a board.
52. I believe in gentle parenting and no spanking, but unfortunately I have a quick temper and often fail on both accounts.  But I keep trying.
53. I have a realistic view of myself and am able to forgive myself when I screw up.  But I am still very hard on myself; I want to be the best person I can be, but I accept the fact that I am not she yet.
54. Did you think that last sentence was improper grammar?  It's not.  I am a grammar lover.
55. I adopted British grammar and spelling rules when I moved to Scotland as quickly as I could learn them.
56. My first job was in Little Caesar's Pizza.  I also worked in Pizza Hut.
57. I used to work in a bar while at University, (wo)manning the door.
58. I am now a childminder and a baby signing teacher.
59. I used to be a desktop publisher and graphic designer, but I quit that job when I had Fifi. 
60. All of our children's middle names are named after family members.
61. I used to DJ a couple of radio shows on the University radio station, KXUA 88.3.  I called myself Xia.
62. In high school, I joined as many clubs as possible so I could be in as many club photos in the yearbook as possible.
63. This included math club - even though I was terrible at and hated math - and Japanese club, because it meant I got to go on the annual Japanese club field trip to the Japanese restaurant.
64. I love sock monkeys.
65. I love monkeys in general.
66. I once had a pet pig for all of three hours.  I spent an ungodly amount of money at the town fair trying to win it, but as soon as I brought him home, my mom made me take him back.  Poor Wilbur.
67. I had a pet rat in high school named Squirt.
68. I pet-sat a turtle named Speedy for a couple of years while at University.
69. My roommate at the time did not like when I put Speedy in the bath tub to swim while I cleaned out his tank.  But I didn't like when she left her hair in the bath tub, so it was kind of even.
70. I attend a 'Craft Night' every Tuesday night but most weeks don't do any crafting.  I do a lot of gossiping though.
71. I go to church.
72. I am a Christian who really struggles deeply with being  a Christian.
73. I am of the reformed persuasion when it comes to theology.  It's the only way Christianity can make any sense, even if I don't like it sometimes.
74. I believe in infant baptism (non-salvic) but my husband does not, so we do not baptise our babies.
75. My husband and I are two total opposites, but we agree on almost all of the Big Things, which must be what makes us work so well.
76. I am an extrovert.
77. I like attention.
78. I used to think it was funny to 'moon' anybody and everybody.  Including security cameras.  I was a bit immature back in the day.
79. I still giggle at the word 'sex', so maybe I'm still immature.
80. I do not discount the possibility of ghosts or aliens.
81. I believe in some conspiracy theories.  This is one of those areas in which Scott and I are opposites, and he thinks I'm a hippy.
82. My ideal job would be an editor in a publishing company, or a proof-texter.
83. I use cloth nappies (most of the time).
84. My 'sentimental' favourite band is Tripping Daisy.  My current favourite band is The Decemberists.
85. I used to be in a band called Sharkie.  I think I played about three or four gigs with them before it ended.
86. I was in a fake band called Heart Union, and it was awesome.  We sold merchandise and everything.
87. My favourite colours are green, orange and purple.
88. My favourite colour for decorating the house, however, is red.
89. My favourite colours to wear are black, brown and green.
90. I like football (aka, soccer).
91. I hate American football.
92. I played basketball in elementary school and was simply awful.  But I did win the 'Most Team Spirit Award', which I knew, even then, meant 'Not Eligible for a Real Award'.
93. I love watching and playing tennis.
94. We do not have TV in our house.  We have a TV but no channels.  We only use it for DVDs.
95. I enjoy baking.  Cooking, however, takes some effort.
96. I am not a jealous wife.
97. I used to work in Hot Topic but ended up quitting because my manager thought I wasn't 'punk enough'.  Newsflash, idiot: You work in Hot Topic, so neither are you.
98. I was never into punk.  But I went through a techno/rave phase and an indie phase.
99. I still liked the Spice Girls though, and I was not ashamed to admit it.
100. It is my impossible dream to one day visit the moon.

Baby Weight Blues

So, sure, I only had a baby one month ago.  Yeah, yeah, yeah it took my nine months to put the weight on, it'll take me nine months to get it back off.  I know all this.  I say it to new mums every day. (Or, you know, when it comes up.)

But I am so desperate to get this weight off.

My husband has been on the keto diet for a wee while and has lost tons of weight.  I decided to try it too.  After all, I'm practically eating all the same stuff anyway, since we eat the same meals.  I started on Saturday.

It's Tuesday, and I have already fallen off the wagon.

I'm trying not to beat myself up over it.  I've made excuses.  My excuses are probably pretty valid: breastfeeding, baby born only a month ago, already tired from running after three kids.  But I feel like a failure.  I hate failing anything, even something as small as a diet.  When I decide to go for something, I go for it full on.  To give up makes me feel weak.  I hate feeling weak.

I want to lose 18 lbs to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and then another 8 to get to my target. I just need to have patience and not rush it.  I have two weeks until my six-week check-up, and as long as I get the go-ahead from the doctor, I'd like to get back to my BodyPump classes.  Very low weights, of course, but anything to get active again.  At least then, I can eat a bit more of what I really want and not feel too guilty about it.

Question is, do I get back onto my diet and just cheat when I need to (i.e., when I need an energy boost) or do I just say screw it altogether?  Is there a middle ground?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cute, Crazy or Out of Control?

When you have your first child, you are the cutest you will ever be.  You are also the most annoying you will ever be.

When I was pregnant with Fifi, every little niggle was drama.  Ohh my aching back.  Ohh my raging hormones.   Ohh my fill-in-the-blank common pregnancy ailment.  But I was ever so cute with my little bump and my new pregnancy clothes, and it was great all the attention you get when you are pregnant with your first.  And then when I actually gave birth to Fifi, I was ever so precious about everything; I barely even let Scott, her own daddy, hold her because she was MINE and only I knew how to take care of her.  I couldn't get anything done because of the baby.  But all of this is quite cute and endearing really because first time mums are just incredibly cute and endearing.  Cutest and sweetest you'll ever be.

Then you have your second baby, and the cuteness factor returns but only some.  You now realise babies are much easier than toddlers.  You now have a few tricks up your sleeve for getting things done around the baby and the older child.  You are far better at coping, which makes you look more grown up and responsible but less cute and endearing.  Still, people like you.

Then, should you have a third (or fourth or fifth), all cuteness levels are gone.  You are now considered crazy but expected to have the whole thing under control.  You should now know how to literally juggle three kids, plus a house, and often a partner and a job.  Whether any of this is true (it's probably not), you are no longer cute if you get overwhelmed, no longer adorable if you pick your baby up at the first cry (or conversely, you are not in control if you don't or can't pick your baby up at first cry) and you are no longer forgiven if the mess piles up.

At least that's how it feels from this angle!  But I don't mind, because I realise that I looked at other mums the same way, and probably still do.  I still think first time mums are so sweet and us multiple time mums are just too busy (and old?) to be that cute.  I sort of assume we are all just getting on with it, and we probably are, really.  But I can assure you, as far as the juggling goes, we won't be joining the circus anytime soon.

...unless it's as a side show!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Toy Shelves

I read in a smug parenting book once that toy boxes are bad and you should have toys set up on shelves so children can look at their choices and pick the items they would like to play with.  Supposedly children will then calmly choose their preferred toy instead of emptying the toy box in search of something they want to play with.

All that this has done in our house is mean the kids empty the toy SHELVES instead of the toy BOX and leave ME in a constant state of distress.