Archive for November 2006

five months and finding his feet

Lying in the snow for the first time!

Five months. One more month (and a couple weeks) until I go back to work and Duncan starts at nursery. Wow. From a newborn baby who cried for hours in my arms in the backyard, we’ve come a long way. He’s getting closer to sitting up without support and has just recently discovered how much fun it is to play with his feet. Toes can be an endless source of amusement when you’ve just realized that they’re yours.

This month has definitely been easier than last month. Food has been great for Duncan and together we’ve enjoyed broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, corn, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pears, apples, and even bananas. Duncan likes his veggies smooth, with a side of fruit, and prefers the most expensive brand. But I’ve tasted them all and I don’t blame him, money does count when it comes to baby food. (Fortunately Daddy’s homemade broccoli and carrots and squash is equally a huge hit.) Actually I love feeding him yummy food that I enjoy too. We finish off his leftovers with pleasure, especially the parsnip, pea, and apple combo. Who knew they would taste so good together?

What’s also been great about this month has been the chances for adventure. Along with our hiking weekend in Tomintoul we’ve had lots of other great family walks through gorgeous scenery. I’m loving been able to combine parenthood with some of our favourite pre-kid activities; hiking, seeing new things, and getting outside. This is why I wanted a kid, to be able to show someone for the first time what the view is from a mountain, or the peace of a coniferous forest. Today outside a rural pub Duncan and I stopped in the noon sun and looked out over green winter fields that absolutely glowed in the low light. The sun was bright and warm and made him smile as it hit his face. It was all so perfect, it made all the fussy nights, the lack of sleep, and the babble of competitive mothers seem inconsequential. Duncan’s delight in the world and his discovery of beauty is a gift for my soul.

Absolutely wiped out after a busy day… Highlander Hotel Pub, Craigellachie.

Mum’s hiking weekend

I got my wish, we spent two nights up near Tomintoul staying in a fabulous B&B and hiking on the Glenlivet Estate. We left Aberdeen in an absolute rainstorm on Friday morning and drove up (via Dufftown, we weren’t risking the Lecht road) to Tomintoul and a short walk in a drizzle. But nicer weather was on it’s way as Friday’s rain turned to snow as the sun went down (at 4pm) and we ended up walking on Saturday in a winter wonderland.

We didn’t quite make the top of Carn Daimh as Duncan was restless on the way up (we took the shortcut up via Westertown Farm) and when we reached the ridge he was quite adament that food be forthcoming. Fortunately this is one of the times when breastfeeding is easier than formula, and with his warm little body snug against mine, it wasn’t as cold as it looks.

The walk, although only about 6 km, was magnificent. The views were amazing, and the trail was just rough enough to make our hip flexors sore the next day, yet easy enough that we could sing happy songs to Duncan as we walked. Sunday’s walk was a bit trickier, as the weather was even colder and the wind was cutting. We ended up walking only the first kilometer or so of the Scalan walk, visiting the old seminary (closed!) and then returning to the car to make sure Duncan didn’t get too cold.

Each evening we were able to return to the B&B (which we’d highly recommend, especially for those with wee children, I can’t imagine a nicer host!) and snuggle down in front of a real fire. Duncan got a chance to roll around on the floor and we got a chance to enjoy a glass of wine. It felt like heaven and he even slept well overnight!

Vacations are lovely.

Back at home, we’ve found that Duncan does definitely have an allergy to one kind of formula (the kind I bought in a big tub of course), it breaks him out in hives and is quite an unpleasant sight. We’ll try other brands in the next couple days but it looks like breast really is best at least for now. Also, the site is going to be undergoing some serious maintenance in the next couple days. Comments may be down, lost, or otherwise confused and archives may be unavailable. Bear with us… hopefully it wont take too long to sort out!
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duncan’s first cold

Poor Duncan’s got a cold. Just a general run-of-the-mill cold, but he doesn’t understand why he can’t breathe through his nose and is slobbering profusely at his new task of mouth breathing. I was up last night listening to him snort his way through sleep and found myself wishing with my whole heart that I could spare my wee one this indignity until he was old enough to understand what was happening. We keep telling him he’ll be better soon, that we all get colds, that it’ll be okay, but he just looks at us with sad eyes as the snot runs down his face.

The new banner marks the fact that we’ve taken away Duncan’s soothers. He was starting to wake up demanding it in the night and that’s just not cool. He’s got to learn how to fall asleep without it. Right now that’s a tough one though so he’s been grumpy during the day. We’re on day 6 of whiney noises coming out of my son, but I swear I’ll hold fast. (I’d relent because he’s sick but that wont help since he’d have to spit it out to breathe anyways.)
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hiking obsessions and sleep issues

It’s all I want to do these days. Duncan is finally strong enough for the backpack and the crisp autumn air is so enticing. There’s the grampian hills (Kincorth Nature Reserve) just behind our house that I can walk in or even go for a jog in (with D in the stroller) during the week, but it’s really the weekends I look forward to. My ideal day is for the three of us to go hiking, followed by a laid back evening at home in front of the fire. It’s my idea of heaven! I’m sure it’ll start raining soon, but in the meantime, with the trees all red and golden, there’s nothing better than a good country walk.

I haven’t been completely honest either on the web here. I talk a lot about going walking or running and act like there’s no hidden force driving me to exercise each day. It’s called insomnia, as any day I don’t exercise, I’m sure to be up for at least a couple hours in the night (my already broken nights). It wasn’t bad for a while as a quick 5 km walk would sort me out for the day, but now I need to walk upwards of 10km, or go for a run, to exhaust myself enough to get back to sleep after Duncan’s night feed. I’m not at all depressed, just overwhelmed with the responsibility of being Duncan’s mum and while every day sees me emotionally exhausted, I’m physically and intellectually stagnating in the buckets of dirty nappies and sterilizing pacifiers.

(And what’s up with all the rules about parenting these days? I’m sticking to the Dr. Spock style of parenting where our instincts are more important than the current recipe-style, one-size, guidelines for raising a baby)

The sunset here last night was spectacular. Cory took this as I was dashing in to the store to get D some larger size nappies before bedtime. My wee boy is growing up and out and the past couple nights he’d peed through his current size.
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trick or treat

Our little pumpkin spent the past couple days in Edinburgh with us as Cory had a meeting there. his fairy godmother Michelle sent him the cutest homemade costume and along with keeping Duncan cosy (wow, it’s winter here now!), he looked absolutely scrumptious.

We had breakfast in a cute cafe, visited tourist sites, and even went trick or treating at Andrew and Vicki’s last night. A big day for Duncan, but he took all the new experiences like a champ and, aside from still not sleeping well at night, has been very well behaved. Sleep deprivation is the absolute hardest bit of parenting, not any of the rest!

Duncan’s great-grandfather (known as Super Bompa) has provided some commentary to go with the last couple posts:

The last pictures on “four months equals food” are just beautiful. In the first one, his intelligence shines through and in the second, I’m sure he’s saying, “How smart am I, even if you did spill some of the food all over me”.

It’s now obvious, however, it’s time for the great grandfather to make some comment about these great pictures and stories that I have been receiving.

The first comment addresses your thought expressed in the last paragraph of your Oct. 28 post wherein you state that perhaps it is time to diversify with pictures of things or people other than Duncan.


As well as decorating my fridge and the fridge at King Street, Duncan’s pictures decorate the fridges of two widows that I know and possibly others as well. They are simply doting on him and admire him so much. On a strictly selfish approach, these pictures are my ticket for free dinners. I’m sure they feel that I can’t be all bad when I can have such a gorgeous (their word) great grandson, so keep the pictures coming.

H o w e v e r, your Oct. 22 post shows my poor Duncan in a Saskatchewan Rider outfit and I can tell by the look of anguish on his face, he is suffering from this indignity. I hope you didn’t take him out in public in this odd green outfit.

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