Friday, 19 July 2013

How to beat the heat with a 1-year-old

I know I have mentioned this a lot lately but it is HOT in Scotland. We're talking HOT. I always yearned for the hot Seattle summers of (my) yesteryear but have settled for warmish weather in Edinburgh and getting my much-needed sun on my holidays home every summer. This year is different. It had been hot numerous days in a row (lost count how many!) and I have to keep washing my one pair of shorts.

Here are some of the ways Freddie's been staying cool in this heavenly heat wave.

1. Hit the beach

We've been getting the bus to Portobello beach to feel the cool sea water on our toes and play in the wet sand. Freddie loves digging up rocks stuck in the sand and bringing the bucket to the water's edge for me to fill up. Every now and then he has to taste the sand to double-check it's not something delicious he's missing out on and then we drink a lot of water to wash it down. There are usually a lot of dogs at the beach too and Freddie loves meeting them and seeing them splash in the water.

2. Play with water

Is water a running theme here? Yes! If we are home in the afternoons, as opposed to the beach, playground or "wading pool" outside the Parliament building, we fill up Freddie's red tub (usually full of toys) with water and head to the back garden. We bring out tupperwares, his duck watering can and splash each other and water the flowers and/or our toes.  

3. Make juice popsicles

This one makes me feel not only like a real mom but like my mom in particular! It was a real treat for my siblings and I to slurp down a homemade juice popsicle on those hot August days in Kenmore. The days so hot you could "fry an egg on the sidewalk" (this guy actually did it! Not in K-town but still). So, I bought a popsicle tray, filled it up with apple and orange juice and popped it in the freezer yesterday morning. Unfortunately, it was not completely frozen when I let Freddie at it in the afternoon so we ended up eating them out of a bowl and spooning it into the popsicle holder. Still nice to suck down the cool juice through the popsicle straw though!

4. Wear as few clothes as possible

Keeping Freddie cool means letting him kick it in his diaper or less whenever possible. He loves running around in just a nappy or his birthday suit. It gives him access to his belly, which he loves patting, and you don't have to do as much laundry because no clothes are getting dirty! Only problem is you go through a LOT of sunscreen.

Hope you are all enjoying the summer! It really is the best season.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Something I never thought I'd say...

...we are gardeners! My sister Margaret and her bf were given a tomato plant as a gift a couple months ago. They live in an amazing flat on the third floor of an old building right by the Edinburgh castle- perfect for listening to the delightful sounds of bagpipers, watching the fireworks every night of the festival and spying on tourists strolling the Royal Mile below. It is not, however, the ideal location for horticulture (had to google the definition to make sure it somewhat made sense ha).

Their flat is cool and cozy but doesn't have a garden (yard) so there was nothing they could do when the tomato plant grew too big for it's pot. Enter: The Kay/Kearns household. We gladly (once I found out I wouldn't really have to weed it) took the tomato plant in, transferred it to a bigger pot, and put it in our back garden. We bought a duck watering can at the pound store and have been out there at least twice a day lately (it's been HOT!) to water it.

Now, it must be said, that I used to hate hate HATE weeding and doing pretty much anything along those lines in the garden when I was a kid/teen. My siblings and I still talk about the time we had to disperse a giant pile of dirt throughout the landscaping in the backyard. I think it took an entire summer. At least. Weeding was by far the worst though- getting dirt caked under your fingernails and having to constantly check left and right to make sure no spiders (my biggest fear) were coming at me was not my idea of a fun Saturday afternoon.

That being said, Freddie LOVES going to water the tomato plant. He is understanding so much more these days and the second I ask if he wants to get his duck and go water the plant, he grabs it and heads for the door. He also likes watering the grass and his toes. So, I have been trying to get over my fear of spiders in their natural habitat and encourage him to enjoy the gardening experience. At least it doesn't involve any weeding (yet).

As you can tell by the pics, the tomato plant is a little crispy in places and has shown no signs of sprouting any actual tomatoes but we will persevere and see how it goes. I might be making homemade pasta sauce with our huge crop soon so stay tuned!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Photo of the week- the most Irish-looking toddler ever

Just a quick post to show off this guy's charming Irish face and bright red hair. His hair actually seems to be getting a little blonder with this heat wave we're having but overall, he's as leprechaun as they come.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Happy 4th of July from Freddie!

Freddie had a blast celebrating the Fourth of July this year. It was also the day before his fourteen-month birthday so it was a double celebration for the little lad. This is how we professed our American pride while living abroad.

1. We had an American-themed breakfast. Oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries. Delish!

 2. We dressed in our red, white and blue.

3. We made a playlist of American songs on youtube (including this classic) and danced around the living room.

4. We made a flag cake! This is something my family (and many others) have done for years so it only felt right to continue the tradition with Freddie. It was also his first time (of many, I'm sure) to taste cake batter. Mmmmmm. Can't beat it (no pun intended).

I hope we'll be able to spend the 4th in Seattle one year in the near future so he can attend an event that holds some of my favorite memories as a child (and teen, I'm afraid to say) and that is to participate in a 4th of July parade. My sisters Francie, Margaret and a few cousins of mine (you know who you are) loved dressing up in bizarre costumes (not necessarily anything patriotic) and walking in the Edmond's kids' 4th of July parade.

We dressed as Top Ramen one year (complete with a human knife and fork), gals from the '60s another year (all you need is a scarf over your hair and a pair of old glasses) and, my personal favorite, prairie girls with a covered wagon (aka wheelbarrow). One of those brilliant ideas led to us receiving an Honorable Mention prize and I want to say it was the covered wagon. I mean, how could it not.

Hope you all had fun on the 4th (or, if you're a Brit, hope you had a good day Thursday and glad we've managed to patch things up since the 1700s)!

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