Saturday, 19 April 2014

Photo of the Week- 39 weeks pregnant!

The due date is 2 days away and we are getting VERY excited to meet the new member of our family.

Freddie definitely knows the time is getting closer and every time we leave the doctor's office or hospital after a check-up he holds his hands up and says "baby?" like - where is it?

He has been giving my belly a lot of kisses and putting his ear up to it to see if he can hear it. When I asked him when the baby is going to come out, he said Tuesday so we'll see if he's right! He's also been extra snuggly with me and wants me to do a lot of the bedtime routine lately. It's fun to spend the extra time with him (usually William does most of bedtime) but I hope he's not too distraught when there's another little human here taking up my time!

A few nights ago I had some contractions and thought, this is it! But, sadly, it was probably just the result of too much spicy Thai food. I might get the same dish next week but my strategy has also changed to just trying to get as much rest as possible for the big day.

The sun is out in Edinburgh and we're heading to the beach this afternoon (stopping at the store to get sunscreen on the way!). So fun to spend some quality time as a family of three before the new guy or gal arrives! Anyone have any birthday predictions?

Monday, 14 April 2014

When to Bribe Your Kids

I've thought a lot about this and have decided there are two situations in which I am TOTALLY fine with bribing my children with treats. Yes, I did read that French book that was all the rage awhile ago that talked about not using food as a tool to get your kid to do what you want, amongst other things, and, for the most part, we do agree with that.

I've made a point of not giving in to Freddie's whining and, instead, have taught him to wait patiently as much as possible. It can be tough for him, especially when he's hungry right before meals or if he had a short nap and is just tired, but let's face it- as much as we'd all love to get whatever we want, whenever we want it, this sadly isn't real life.

But, that being said, there are still two areas where I am ready and willing to bribe Freddie with a little treat.

1. On an Airplane

Traveling with little kids, in a car, plane, train, boat, or whatever, can be the pits. They don't understand the concept of time and because of that feeling of endlessness, and the fact that it takes FOREVER to get to Seattle from Edinburgh, can make it a rough ride for everyone.

So, when we are on an airplane, Freddie can have pretty much whatever he wants. Snacks, juice, the in-flight magazine, headphones, the barf bag, whatever. And please- watch as much TV as you want! Glue your head to the screen, I don't care!

It's a time to do whatever it takes to get everyone to the final destination in one piece, with as few meltdowns as possible.

 2. Potty Training

The second situation where I am A-OK with bribing is potty training. About 6 weeks ago, I finally decided it was getting a little weird that Freddie was trying on William and my underwear whenever we would hang up laundry. He also went for our shirts, his own socks, dish rags, etc. but it was the undies he was particularly interested in.

So, I bought him some his own size. He was so excited - especially with the blue ones. We weren't planning on trying to potty train him until this summer, after the excitement of the new baby dies down, but he was just so into them that I decided to test the waters.

After a week or so of Fred just wearing the undies around the house at random times (and sometimes peeing in them), I ordered a little toilet ladder/seat contraption from Amazon (pretty much the only place I shop now) and the three of us set it up together one night. He was immediately taken by it, as climbing up on anything is quite a thrill, and after a couple tries, he had his first success!

We played it cool, gave him one cheerio (ha!) as a treat and decided to play each day by ear. For another week or so, he'd go once or twice a day until one day when he went seven times! It was then that I decided we can't turn back now, we have to go for it! So, we upped the treat to half a fruit snack ("root nack") for pee and two halves for poop.

It worked like a charm! 3 weeks later and he's pretty much completely got it. He only wears a diaper during naps (but I think we could cut this soon) and at night and is totally fine going on toilets when we are out and about. I am still in shock with how well it went, and so proud of Freddie for catching on so quick.

I am an honest enough person to admit that I even teared up a little when he first pooped on the toilet! Pregnancy hormones can get the blame for that one. :)

It's true! Everyone does.
Mom! Stop taking pics of me!

I can't wait for him to see this when he's older!

Thursday, 3 April 2014


It's every mother's dream - Freddie has friends!! It's been so fun to watch Freddie transition from not realizing others are in the room to actually interacting with other kids. When we see kids at the playground, in the park, at the library and at the swimming pool he says "Kidddddssssssss!" and waves/says hi and bye (whether they take notice or not).

I've probably mentioned this before but when I was pregnant with Freddie I did a yoga class where I was lucky enough to meet a great group of future moms. We've all stayed in touch and get together whenever we can - sometimes once a week if people have days off work and sometimes for a bigger gathering on the weekend. From this, Freddie has been able to consistently hang out with the same kids. He knows their names, is excited when they come over, loves when we go to their houses and talks about them after we've come back home. 

Yikes! Who cut that guy's hair!

Another place he's been able to make some friends is at Dad's Rock, the playgroup he goes to every Saturday with William. There are no mums allowed at this exclusive dads group so I don't always get the full details of what sort of chaos they all get up to, but I know Freddie loves it and now sings "We Will Rock You" when he comes home. Dad's Rock has stepped it up recently, too, with a few outings around the city. First, they went to the mammoth exhibit at the National Museum Scotland and, another Saturday, to the National Galleries.

Freddie's friend Madison (daughter of one of the yoga mums) goes to Dad's Rock, too, and the two of them have become buddies. At the museum, they checked out the mammoths, colored some fossils and 'dug for' dinosaur bones. Maddie's mom and I met them at the museum after their fun day out and it was clear they all had a blast.

We have a couple birthday parties for these kiddos coming up (can't believe they are all turning 2!!) and it's so cool to see Freddie making some great, possibly lifelong, friends. Even if they are all girls! Ha!

 Museum photos by Raymond Keith!

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