Saturday 31 October 2015


Last weekend we made cream buns. Miriam and Naomi did a great job of helping, and they turned out to be a great tasty treat! Get your recipe here.

I also quite enjoyed this picture, which awaited me one morning a couple of weeks ago when I'd left the girls brushing their teeth. We do enjoy the silliness.


A couple of weeks ago I took the day off work so I could do childcare and Jay could have the day off, from morning school run right into the evening. Yes, I know, I'm just that awesome*. Despite the humorous graphics, it turned out to not involved any slapstick Eddie-Murphy style fun at all - yet it was still a most enjoyable time with my three girls.

 A trip to the park in the afternoon. Peekaboo Lydia!

Swings were the highlight of the day

Or maybe a bath was!
Here's Lydia looking very much like her mummy.

Lego and trains combined! Of course, now Miriam always wants to play both together - "can I have two?"

Now, let's capture some of the essence of Jay's day...

*yet apparently lacking possession of a modicum of self-awareness regarding humbleness today.

Friday 30 October 2015


Lydia, you are one! I've done my best to somehow make time stand still but I can't and here you are, one year old!  As you will learn over the years, it is my custom to write a letter to each of you girls on your birthday and so here is your first letter from Mummy.

It has been quite a year, from the dramatic entrance you made to the world right up until today you are always making sure that your presence is known and that even though you are a third baby you are not willing to be forgotten. You might be small but you are mighty, it might have been you that Shakespeare was talking about when he wrote the line in A midsummer night's dream "And though she be but little, she is fierce." You are an ever present feature in our family now, I saw a photo a few days ago from just before you were born, it took me a long time of studying to work out what was "wrong" with it, it was just that you were not there!

I shall take this brief moment to take the opportunity to thank you for looking a bit like me! You look so like me that even I can tell you do and I am normally rubbish at seeing family resemblances. Thank you for teaching me to love the way I look a bit by looking so much like me and being *beautiful*. You are truly stunning, a truly beautiful human being both in terms of your looks but also your character.  Your default setting is one of joy. You are happy to be here, happy to be alive, happy to be joining in, happy to be part of the gang and we are so happy to have you here.

Just now your main passion is learning to move, to walk, to climb, to get over there (there normally being wherever your sisters are).  You are so close to walking, I'm sure it will happen any day now.  That said, I told people weeks ago I would be surprised if you weren't walking by your first birthday and you have shown me wrong. You like to try and make me look like I am making things up though, never showing off a skill or character trait if I try and get you to show others.  You also like to wait till you are sure you are able to complete a task before you try it, I am sure the day you finally walk will be the day you run across the room.

You are an anomaly to all that know you when it comes to eating, you can eat and eat and eat and eat, and yet at 12 months old are still wearing mostly 6-9 month clothes. I have no idea where you put all this food if you don't use it to grow, it makes you very happy though. Little makes you more visibly happy than being told it is a meal time of some description.

You love to dance, and to bounce. You love going on our little trampoline, you love to dance, bobbing up and down. You love to clap to the music and sometimes even try and sing along too.

You definitely love to join in with your big sisters, you want to be like them and do whatever they are doing and put up with a lot of being pushed/pulled around and squashed just to be able to be part of the action.  You are definitely one of them and I can't think how much mischief you will all be getting up to once you are probably only a tiny bit bigger.

If life were completely down to you, you would live in the bath. You *love* the bath. On the nights we don't do one we can tell you are less than impressed and from a really young age the bath was always something that helped settle you down if you were sad. In fact along with the sound of the electric toothbrush the bath was one of only two things that helped you feel better during the colic months!

One thing you are definitely not so keen on is sleep, why sleep when you can see Mummy several times a night!?! I love you baby, I really do, but I'll find it easier to show you this if you could let me get some rest! Maybe this can be the next thing you work on, right?

Lydia, you are an utter joy to parent, a true blessing to have in our family. Thank you for helping us find simple pleasures in being alive for teaching us to find joy in every situation.

My prayer for you is that you would maintain your sense of joy, that life won't beat you down and that you will continue in your masterful skill of brightening up a room just by being in it! I pray that you will grow into a woman of God who will be a warrior for Him, that though you be but little you will be fierce. Oh my special Lydia, I pray that you will grow to know Jesus, love Jesus and fight for the things Jesus loves.

Thank you for being in my life, my beautiful, joyous, special little girl.

Sunday 18 October 2015


Last weekend one of the PhD students in our department was getting married, and Jay and I were invited to the evening bash. In order to do this we needed a babysitter willing to also put three little girls to bed (the dance was in Blantyre) - so we made this a reason for a visit from my parents. Naturally this was highly exciting, and the girls had a really good time.

There is actually a picture on that paper.

Grandma -> chocolate

Yes, a visit to soft play sponsored by Grandma and Granddad. Guaranteed fun.
Husband and Wife in date photograph joy.

In other news, Miriam recently decided that the lack of a Xylophone (or indeed any other instruments from the tail end of the alphabet) in our house was no longer tolerable.

Finally, some bits of creativity. First - two of Naomi's recent pictures:

A mug.
It isn't actually Grandma's birthday any time soon - but let's make a card anyway.

"I made a tower!"

Saturday 17 October 2015


Or York as it's been known more recently. Another trip for work purposes, this one was a meeting catching up with other people working on the same project. Lots of interesting stuff, very tiring, and Naomi in particular really missed me this time :(  These trips are getting harder...

One positive of the trip though - a really nice hotel room!
The Monkbar Hotel in case you're wondering.

"Oh yeah, the know about proper tea in Yorkshire."
(yes, all proper tea is theft. so be it.)

I enjoyed that this hotel was one of those Fawlty Towers jobs where they have stuck together various buildings so there are hundreds of stairs and corridors to go anywhere. Many of the 2/3 step bits are missed out of the plan too.

View out of my room window 1: "Take your Bile Beans"

Those who know me well will appreciate how much I enjoyed the Monkgate sign, viewed from the Monkbar.
Those who don't, see this for the gist.

View out of my room window 2: "York in your face!"
I also hopes to get a picture of the "Welcome to YORK" sign in the style of a bitten-off Yorkie bar from the train, but it turns out that disappeared years ago. Dang.

Friday 2 October 2015


Finally in this round of catch-up, a few days with all the grandparents during the summer. We also managed to get a visit with my brother, and Jay's sister and niece who were up visiting.

First time on a slide!


My perspective!

Miriam still loves her Cat. It's important that he gets to play too.


Potty training for Miriam has been an experience like no other. The was a period that coincided with our holiday where we would sit with her on the potty for the best part of an hour while she tried. Here, she has actually fallen asleep.

Naomi has now acquired the life skill of self-swinging. She did this a lot at Grandma's house.

I just really like this one, and the next...

Golf at the Broch. Well, a long walk with some clubs anyway. Sometimes I hit the ball too.

Miriam takes lining things up to the next level.