Monday 22 December 2014


I just really enjoyed this - Miriam is looking after her little sister, sometimes shaking a rattle, sometimes just talking or bouncing her bouncy chair - but mostly very gentle and kind. What a good big sister!

Now it's time for some cuddles with Mummy...

By the time this post appears (it's being written on Saturday 20th) we should be almost in the car ready to start the Christmas holiday. So see some of you soon!

Saturday 20 December 2014


Last weekend was the church Christmas party. We thought, why not take a 5 week old baby? So we did. Last year, we had to leave early because we hit the 7pm "wall" - this year we tried to have a more easy-going day ahead of it so both Naomi and Miriam were able to make it to the end at 7:30.

Very good fun all round - lots of friends, party food, various games and dancing. Here's Naomi learning about musical bumps (to explain her confusion early on, this game changed from musical statues half way through)

A bit of ceilidh dancing. Both girls like this - and were incredibly good at it!

How can you turn down an offer from this lady?

Nothing like a bit of sugar to make the evening more interesting. Hurray!


Last weekend we had a brief bit of snow. Naomi's been asking for snow for about two years - since the last time we had a decent amount. Unfortunately it disappeared again after about three hours, but this is still more than we had last year! Both Naomi and Miriam were captivated, let's hope some more comes soon!

Friday 12 December 2014


After the flurry of catch up posts we've had the past few days, it's time for a miscellaneous post...

Peppa and George getting the most of the view from the top bunk.

Naomi's friend made a pumpkin latern, and she wanted to do the same. So, several days after Halloween, we made neepy lanterns. The girls drew on the patterns and I cut them out.

I feel this should be an album cover.

That's better - happy Miriam!

A present of delicious sweets. The girls have quite enjoyed having the "big sister" presents that accompanied the many presents for Lydia.

Once again, we get some cool effects with the fog. Look closely and you'll see a floating Wallace Monument. (click the picture to make it bigger!)

The girls have become strangely keen on Strictly Come Dancing. Very odd as we don't usually watch it, and it's on after their bedtime (I think they were late to bed one night and it came on) You can probably guess that Naomi likes to copy the dance moves.

Naomi's nursery had an open evening, with various fundraising things and displays. Honestly, the place was mad - it felt like hundreds of children and adults squashed into a small space. Here is a brief moment of calm getting some tasty treats.

First whole-family trip to the park. Weeeee!

Jay might write more about this sometime, but she got asked to review some buggies and carseats for a magazine. Our garage is now a wall of buggies!

It's a hard life.

No comment needed!

Thursday 11 December 2014


A few months back an email went round our church: one of our members works for the local MSP Bruce Crawford, and was able to get tickets for a few of us to see First Minister's Questions, plus a tour of the parliament. I've never actually been to Holyrood since it was opened so I was quite up for it. The only problem was that the trip was on 13 November - potentially clashing with a birth! As it happens though, Lydia arrived early enough that the trip was the day after my paternity leave finished, so I was allowed to go.

The place is really good - obviously there is security to clear but after that it's a nice open place. Unlike Westminster (where there's a very "us" and "them" approach to the layout), everybody shares the same spaces - MSPs, staff and public. The debating chamber is very accessible and there's lots of room for just informal discussions.

As it happened, this was the last FMQs with Alex Salmond as First Minister. The actual questions part isn't all that informative - it's more a bit of pantomime that mainly appeals to people like me who used to do debating. Naturally for his last session he was on fine form! We also had a chance to chat with Bruce afterwards. I've met him a couple of times before in passing at SNP branch meetings, and he's a really nice guy and very committed to the local community. (Actually, most of the MSPs I've met over the years have been like that in person) The group talked about a few issues - and it was all pretty interesting. At the end, the main message was that if you feel you're not being heard, just ask for an appointment or write a letter (not just a form email which produces a standard reply - show that an issue matters by taking the time to write yourself). I've had much the same message from a few elected members of different political colours.

We were told during the tour not to take pictures, so I've taken up my other skill of courtroom sketch artist to give you a feel of what it's like to stand on the floor of the debating chamber:

Okay, maybe no prizes for this one!
Finally, I'll close with a slightly more realistic shot of the outside of the parliament. Worth a visit if you get the chance!

Wednesday 10 December 2014


Miriam has been playing very sweetly the past few months. As she's getting older she's much more able to do imaginative play and it's fun to watch her with her various toys. Here's a wee selection...

Here we are with Peppa's house. She really likes this one. She also can't get enough of daddy's phone, so capturing the play is quite hard!

Naomi is quite in to puzzles, and Miriam has follow suit...

She loves Mr Potato Head - a birthday present from Uncle Ian and Auntie Christine.

Tuesday 9 December 2014


A month's worth of baby pictures to enjoy...

Grandma came to help for a much-appreciated few days after the birth.

Big sister cuddles

Grandma and Grandad - with grandchildren 5,6 and 7.

Granny and Grandad took us to restaurant and soft play. What a treat!

Our life is apparently guest-directed by Hitchcock.

Monday 8 December 2014


Okay, this is a month late but something has been eating up spare time the past few weeks!

I had a few pictures from around the birth that didn't make it into Jay's post on the matter. I thought they might add a little more insight into events, so here they are.

First up, our home birth was planned, so it was a bit different to the last minute affair that I blessed my parents with! Two midwives came to look after us, and ahead of time delivered a whole load of kit (including the much needed gas and air) so things were ready to go when the time came. We even had time to clear up the living room - here it all is ready to go...

Of course, most of you know that the birth all went fine, but soon after, I was presented with a baby and told to get her dressed, because we'd need to head to hospital after all. We cannot fault the midwives - they were calm and quick to move and very much in control. Although it was obvious that things were serious there was never any panic. The paramedics that came were excellent too. Needless to say there was a lot of prayer on the rapid drive to the hospital (I'd say following the ambulance, but quick a car as Trevor is he'd never have kept up!) and it was quite a sight to walk into a room with something like 12 medical staff of various types surrounding my wife. Thanks to God for putting all those things and people in place to make sure we'd be fine, and all those who helped during that time. A month on, it's happily fading a little now.

The following day, I took the girls down to meet their new sister, and during the long wait for clearance to leave, we made use of the play park in the hospital grounds. What a great relief that was!

Trauma aside, it was all worth it to meet this person :)