Archive for August 2008

daddy and son bonding time

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Lately Cory and Duncan have been spending some quality time together, hanging out at the beach and playing with D’s new bike. But sometimes I wonder who’s the grown up of the relationship …


Daddy and Son Bonding Time from Trish on Vimeo.

It’s been a bit harder for Duncan and I to have time alone, but Fraser took a bottle yesterday for the first time ever and we capitalized on the opportunity today. Cory took Fraser to a cafe and they enjoyed their coffee and bottle respectively, while Duncan and I went for a swim at the pool. We had an excellent time and I loved that we could get back in the water together. However, a cold summer in trousers + post-baby fat + a swim suit left over from when I raced is not pretty. I’m buying a new swim suit at least two sizes bigger before I repeat the experience so I feel less like a haggis about to split its casing. I was feeling excellent about my body too, as I’ve lost 6 lbs in the past 8 weeks – but today was a reminder that diet alone isn’t enough. Kristin of betternow coined a phrase ‘fat skinny’ – while I’m a ways away from skinny still, I’m on to phase 2 of post-baby return to normal – it’s time to start exercising again.


do I look like I’m sick?

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Nope – not at all. Hopefully this means he’s getting better! Fraser and I are recovering from a nasty tummy bug that has floored me and made my insides ache. He’s either the best-natured baby on the planet, or he wasn’t quite as sick me as he’s just been a bit out of sorts for the past 48 hours.

We’re sick because I seem to have the consitution of a Jane Austen character these days. Cory was away offshore all last week and by the time he returned I was pretty much falling apart from exhaustion. Duncan misses his daddy so much that he has nightmares while he’s gone (separation anxiety tips anyone?) which meant I was up with two wee little boys in the night and the lack of sleep is probably why I’m sick now. Breastfeeding seems to weaken my immune system, hopefully while strengthening Fraser’s, as both Cory and Duncan tend not to fall ill. I hate being so weak and fragile, it goes against all my visions of myself, but I’m learning to slow down and accept it.

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I wasn’t on my own the whole week though. Monday night we had Fraser’s godmother Elspeth staying with us and it was lovely to see them get their first chance to cuddle. I’m a bit smug when I think of how good a job we did picking both boy’s godparents… but mostly thankful that we have such wonderful people willing to be part of our children’s lives.


An almost love letter: part II

There’s a lovely deli in the posh part of town. Beautiful food on metal racks downstairs and a bright open cafe above. Everytime I’m there it reminds me of Vancouver; the easy accessibility of style, choice, and luxury. And the memories bring back brief waves of homesickness and desire for a lifestyle we used to thrive upon (an almost love letter, 02/2003).

We don’t live near the posh part of town but in what the signs call a “garden estate”. Fortunately it’s more garden than estate; as the word ‘estate’ brings to mind the worst sort of council housing areas. Described at it’s kindest, we live in a working class suburb built after world war II where the houses are small but made of granite, the lawns well tended, and the people friendly. The few local shops are worlds away from a posh deli selling smelly cheeses and homemade pastries, but offer milk, bread, and magazines in abundance. It’s exactly where I didn’t want to live before.

But there’s new factors in play, Duncan and Fraser. I could venture in to the posh part of town and sit in the cafe with a coffee and a cake, but Duncan would be bored and fractious. We could even live in the posh part of town, affording a flat with a shared garden. But then I wouldn’t be able to feed Fraser while chatting through the window to Duncan while he plays in the sand box – and all of sudden that’s more important than coffee shops and choices.

This house has been our first home and will always be near to my heart. But as our house only has two bedrooms we’re starting to toss around the idea of moving before the boys get too much older. In all our discussions about where we’d move next, the option of the city centre hasn’t come up and instead we’re weighing up a slightly nicer area (where the houses have garages! oh the luxury!) against moving even further out to a suburb equal to the imaginary one I dismissed so decisively five years ago. Things change and so do people. Motherhood has changed me more than I ever suspected.


bigsmile.JPGA bit of role reversal, even big brother has to sleep sometimes. This is how Cory found Duncan when he went in to wake him after his nap.

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what we’re doing instead of updating the website

Pictures from Crathes Castle Gardens:

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Smelling all the flowers kept Duncan very busy and me terrified he’d get stung by the hordes (literally) of bees.

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Fraser’s already not keen to be stuck in the buggy. Do all second children want more stimulation than firsts?

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Duncan loves finding the hidden corners…


2. some days are better than others

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Oh Fraser, you’re two months old and I’m absolutely besotted. You’ve got the bestest biggest smile (which I never catch on camera) and I love reclining on the sofa with you on my legs staring at me. You smile as I sing to you and there’s no feeling better than that. When you’re older and you read this, I want you to know that you’re 100% worth all the tired bits and I’m so madly in love with you that I feel my heart will burst!


But even thought I’m feeling like the luckiest woman on the planet, I’m not feeling great about my parenting skills this week. For starters, I think Duncan’s finally showing signs of jealousy. Either that or he’s just decided that it’s fun to poke Fraser in the face any time he’s sleeping. And when Fraser’s crying and I have to pay him attention, Duncan cries as well. It’s a lose-lose situation and the fact that I can’t keep both boys happy has left me in tears a couple times in the past few days.

Everything’s worse when you’re sleep deprived too. When I was pregnant we used to joke that there was no way we could have a worse sleeper than Duncan. We do. Fraser is up two or three times a night, often every 3 hours and ends up nestled between us pretty much every morning. As much as I love the cuddles, it does mean that we’re both clinging on to the edge of the double bed while he’s stretched out luxuriously in the middle.

And while emotionally I’m in way better shape this time, the shock of new motherhood muted by experience, there’s still days and weeks where it feels like things are out of control. This week was Fraser’s 8 week assessment and all the fuss about his weight gain really hit me harder than I expected. Today was his first immunizations, poor wee man. And to top it off, I’ve a mild infection and need antibiotics. We’ve been to the doctors four times in as many days. Thank goodness it’s almost the weekend.


my health visitor think I’m a snob

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At Drum Castle on Sunday for Country Skills Day

I think my health visitor thinks I’m a snob. I asked about breastfeeding groups and said I felt like I didn’t have much in common with most of the formula feeding mothers and she looked at me a bit strangely. What she doesn’t seem to understand is that at the moment I’m up 2-3 times a night to feed Fraser. Formula fed babies tend to sleep longer and their mothers can have nights off and I’m looking to chat with other mothers going through the same sleepless nights. In my local area the percentage of women who breastfeed is ridiculously small because it’s working class (sad but true).

Plus at Fraser’s 8 week check we were recommended to top up with formula because his growth is dropping through the centiles. Not this again. I explained the whole 9 lbs baby genetically related to Duncan (who’s happy on the 9th percentile) and bought us some time. I also spent a reassuring hour on the phone with a La Leche League leader working through our breastfeeding plans and feel reassured that Fraser is stuffed with milk, and not showing any signs of hunger. Breastfeeding is hard work and getting support doesn’t seem like a snobbish thing to me.

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July 2008, the first family photo (self-portrait) of four.