Monday, 30 July 2012

Moving delayed and my trip to Leeds

We're supposed to be in our new place in Glasgow right now but my husband woke up really sick on Friday and suffered all weekend with a fever and chills and the most painful sore throat of his life. He saw a nurse practitioner who gave him antibiotics for strep throat. But yesterday he started breaking out in a rash and I'm now convinced that he has Hand Foot and Mouth disease rather than strep throat. He has an appointment to see a doctor after hours tonight to be checked again.

So, we're hoping to move this coming weekend if he's up for hauling furniture around. We're going to have to go up on Thursday and sit around most of the day though because we're expecting a technician to hook up our phone and broadband.


On Friday Isaac and I took a train down to Leeds along with my brother-in-law's wife and their little one. It was a 2.5 hour journey each way and Isaac did much better than I anticipated. Both times he got quite antsy towards the end of the journey and wanted to be allowed to walk around, probably to stretch his legs, but he was a little trooper. On the way there, an older gentleman sat behind us commented on how well behaved both kids were. It's so nice to get that kind of compliment.

Leeds was really nice. First thing we did was meet up with a fellow American expat at Starbucks for a coffee. We've known each other online for about 7 years but it was our first time meeting in person. I was worried I would be super awkward because I don't socialize much these days but I think I did all right. Ha! Plus she was really nice and easy to talk to. She showed us around the city center a bit. Stupidly didn't get a picture of us together!

It was nice going to a city I haven't been before. There is so much more of the UK I need to see. Can you believe I've been here for seven years and never visited London? We flew out of London last time we went to America so we drove more than 6 hours to get there but that was just straight to the airport. I definitely need to get down there at some point!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Random Thursday {1}

If you were given the opportunity to have an all expenses paid vacation, where would you go? Who would you take with you? What would you pack? You may take this post in any direction you want. Don't forget pictures!! We wanna see it all!


I have dreamed of going to Iceland for years. Every time I mention I want to take a trip to Iceland people make faces and say, "Why?!" These people must know nothing about Iceland. They have the Northern Lights, the Blue Lagoon, and some seriously beautiful countryside. 

The Aurora Borealis

I want to see the Northern Lights before I die. This picture is of Hotel Rangá in Iceland. Can you imagine staying there? There's a hot tub outside so you can stay warm and comfortable in the snow while watching the aurora. How amazing would that be?

The Blue Lagoon

Iceland has many geothermal spas but the Blue Lagoon is the most famous. The temperature of the water ranges from 37–39 °C (98–102 °F) while you're out in the cold Icelandic air. The water is very rich in minerals and is said to have healing powers and to help with skin conditions, especially psoriasis. You can view their live webcam here.

Icelandic Horseback Riding

You can take horseback riding trips to all sorts of places in Iceland and in all sorts of weather including snow! I think it would be prettiest in the summer myself though.

Dog Sledding with Greenland Huskies

Can you imagine the thrill of being pulled by all of these huskies? That must be an awesome experience and one that not many people experience in their life. I'd love to try it!


This is Iceland's most famous waterfall. It falls into a deep canyon and I don't know what to say about this other than it looks absolutely beautiful and I would love to see it.

And so much more!

 I could spend all day going on about all the things to see and do in Iceland.... ice caving, hiking around some amazing scenery, whale watching, Puffin Island tour, visiting the capitol city Reykjavik, Jeep tours, 4x4 off road adventures... I could seriously list more. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Moving House

We are moving on Sunday!

Originally, the plan was to move somewhere around August 11th. But we've bumped it up and we're moving this weekend.

There is so much to do. This is so last minute. We've packed a few boxes over the past couple weeks, thinking that we were going to have ages to do it, so at least we've made a start, but not much of one!

On Friday I'm taking a day trip to Leeds with my sister-in-law. We're taking the Carlisle to Settle line which is an old fashioned steam train on a very scenic route. I'm looking forward to it but also not because it's a 2.5 hour trip with my two year old! He's not going to care about the scenery, he's just going to be bored and annoyed at having to sit for that long. So, I'm a bit nervous about it but looking forward to it at the same time.

I have to mention this 30 Day Ab challenge. Oh man, I am SORE. It's mostly the very very very tops of my thighs. I've never been sore there before! Also, I can't do four of the exercises so I've had to substitute them with crunches. Pathetic! Hopefully by the end of the 30 days I'll be able to do those other ones though.

Also back on track with my weight loss. My husband and I are using MyFitnessPal together and it's really working well for us right now. I've also been getting on the rowing machine in addition to doing dumbbell exercises and the ab challenge. Shaping up and it feels good!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Izzy's Obessions

Sometimes the oddest things really grab Izzy's attention.

A couple months back we were looking at a numbers book that had hot air balloons in them. In order to help him understand what they actually were I put some YouTube videos on for him. He became obsessed. He wanted to watch hot air balloons every single day. Here we are, months later, and he still asks to watch them every day. A few weeks ago one flew over our house! So we got in the car and followed it for awhile so he could really watch it. Last week it flew over again so we're keeping our eyes open in the evening now.

He loves things that fly in general. Hot air balloons, hang gliders, helicopters, parachutes, rockets, airplanes, balloons and even birds. We watch a lot of YouTube clips in this house. Last week he put his little Cars 2 backpack on pretending it was a parachute pack and was walking around saying, "Jump from airplane!" My husband said he's glad we're about to move into a ground floor flat!

His latest obsession though is bird houses. Yes, bird houses. He wants to watch them on YouTube. You can find some videos of bird houses on YouTube but, hardly surprising, not many. He started wanting his very own bird house. I attempted to make him one out of cardboard but he wasn't fooled. I have to admit, I didn't do a very good job! So, last week the husband and I took him to one of the local garden centers to get him his very own bird house. We ended up with a nesting box since it seemed to be the best choice as a "toy."

He loves this thing. He packs it around talking about it and often says, "Birds come from eggs." That's another thing we watch a lot of on YouTube. Birds and baby chicks hatching. He's got a thing for eggs, too. He puts his toy birds into the bird house but it's also a home for his small airplane and small helicopter.

He also really loves watching videos of babies and toddlers laughing, dogs popping balloons and toddlers and babies playing with bubbles. This one is his absolute favorite and he laughs his little butt off throughout the whole thing:

It's so odd that  he lives in an age where he can see pretty much anything the instant he asks for it. You can find a lot of odd stuff on YouTube. He wanted dogs in hot air balloons the other problem!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

About me

I finally got around to writing an "about me" page so I thought I would include it as a blog entry as well since most people who are already reading probably won't notice the addition.

I often feel like a fish out of water.

In 2005 I moved from America to England for love. I am one of those crazy people you hear about who meet someone online and fall in love before ever meeting in person. Yeah, it can happen and lucky, lucky me, because it turned out to be all I hoped it would be and more. We’re happily married and have a two year old boy we adore.

But about this fish out of water thing, being in a foreign country does that to a person. Being a new mom also does that to some of us, although I’m getting a bit better at being that. Now I’m about to move to Scotland, which is a lot like England, but I’m expecting more of that “fish out of water” feeling. They may speak the same language but the accent is different (and often very difficult to understand) and there is a lot of new slang to learn. I’m still learning English slang after seven years! Not only that, but I’m moving from rural England to the largest city in Scotland. And, aside from my husband and my little boy, I won’t know a soul. But I like new adventures.

You may want to know who I am as a person. I’m a typical Pisces--generous, patient, compassionate, accepting, adaptable and friendly but often let others walk all over me, am easily led, indecisive and over-sensitive. I’m also an INFP personality. I’m a dreamer and often lost in my thoughts. I’m a peacemaker. I hate conflict and confrontation and will go to great lengths in order to avoid it, unfortunately, to my own detriment. I will apologize to people who should be apologizing to me, just to calm the situation but I will secretly hold a grudge for it. I complain too much about the little things (I’m tired, I’m hungry, it’s too hot, etc) but I’m a happy person and I always look for the good in people.

I love beautiful things. I love the sea and anything that reminds me of it. I prefer to listen to my music through headphones or turned up so loud that I can’t hear myself sing. I like sitting alone in coffee shops with a good book. I enjoy going to restaurants alone and am not embarrassed by it. I make time to read every day. I hate clutter but seem to live in a constant state of it.

This blog is about my life. It's a place to document the changes, the happiness, the sad times and the growth of my little boy. I don't expect it to be interesting to everyone who comes across it and I'm okay with that because it's really just here for me.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Life In An Instagram {5}

First off, just a note to say that I've removed Disqus from my site. I originally installed it because it allowed me to reply to comments rather than just replying below someone's comment. But now it's come to my attention that some people may have issues with being able to comment using Disqus. And after a bit of Googling I've found that other people can't be bothered leaving comments using Disqus simply because it puts them off. So, goodbye Disqus. It seems that Blogger lets you reply to comments now anyway so I'm happy with it now. The only down side is that I've lost all of the comments I've received over the past few months.

Moving on...

I love this link up so much. I really do need to use my phone's camera more often so that I have more to post though. And, I need to start taking more than just photos of Izzy!

Here's some of what I've been up to this week!

At Whale of a Time.

Walking to the park. Just a couple months ago I had to carry him part of the way but now he walks all the way there and all the way back.

He loves the roundabout!

He loves to go grocery shopping and often asks if we can go. This day he insisted on wearing his fireman helmet (most of the time it was backwards). We picked up a truck set for him on the way in but halfway through the store he spotted this mini Hello Kitty sets and really wanted them. He chose to get two Hello Kitty sets over the truck set. I love that my husband isn't the type of man to tell him that he can't have it because it's a girl's toy. He loves his "cats" now.

I will have to make an entry about the random things Izzy is into at the moment. This was taken at the garden center where we went specifically to buy him a bird house. Not to go outside, but for him to play with. Odd, I know.

 At Aztec Softplay they have a room that is usually filled with puzzles or crayons. This day they had buttons and spools for stringing but he just wanted to stack.

I don't know if you've heard about the weather in Britain but it's been pretty bad lately. Torrential rains for weeks now and no signs of ending until September. So, when we had some sun and I told Izzy we could go to the playground and then it started raining, I didn't want to break his little heart. So, we went in the rain and he had the best time. This is him putting his umbrella down when we got there.

I think I may use one of the side shots I have of him to make a sillouette. Maybe do all three of us!

Happyland toys are awesome. 

Pilchard(s) in the Happyland cottage. He mixes and matches everything.

I hate this picture of me and Izzy isn't making the greatest face either but I figure I hide too much so I'll just put it out there!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

So What! Wednesday {2}

This week I'm saying So What! if...
  • I haven't worked out at all this week. At least I'm eating right.
  • My toddler has suddenly stopped listening and is acting super hyper half the day.
  • I skipped Slimming World last week. I'll go tonight.
  • I haven't "done" my hair in days.
  • I keep daydreaming about the Mexican food I'm going to eat in Glasgow on Friday.
  • The living room floor is covered in toys and the small sofa has become a collection of clothes.
  • I drink more coffee than ever since switching to decaffeinated.
  • I'm giving away a ton of stuff that I could be making money from while we're packing. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A new place to live

We have a place to live in Glasgow. We're really moving!

We are driving up on Friday to sign the lease and get the keys. We found a 2 bed / 2 bath flat that couldn't be any closer to the university. The location is great. We are right in an area filled with shops and cafes and there is so much within walking distance. There's also a subway station right near us and £1.20 will get you right into the city centre. I can't imagine we'll use the car very often.

The flat itself.... there is nothing wrong with it. It's nice, they've just laid brand new carpet (and it's the nicest carpet I've ever seen in a rental), it's on the ground floor and really not much I can complain about. BUT... I'm really not a fan of most British houses and flats. I'm American and I grew up in very open houses. What I love about the apartment we're in right now is the open plan. The new flat we are getting is very much like a typical British flat.

You come into the front door and there is nothing but hallway. A door to the kitchen on the left and a door to the living room on the right. Halfway down the hall is a door to the bathroom on the left. At the end of the hall is a door to Izzy's room on the right and our bedroom on the left along with another bathroom attached to it. Doors doors doors.

I hate this type of floor plan. Not only does it feel incredibly claustrophobic to me, but it also seems like such a waste of space. I know, it's not the end of the world. We're lucky that the living room is bigger than the standard here and that was one thing I wasn't going to compromise on. But overall, the location was just too good pass up.

We won't be moving until next month and while I'm not looking forward to the actual move, I think it will oddly be the easiest one we've had yet. This will be my eighth place since moving here seven years ago. I think my husband has some gypsy blood in him! This will be our farthest move so we'll be renting a truck this time (one trip, yay!) and my husband's sister, brothers and dad are all going to help. It'll be very different from our typical move of hauling carloads over a week or more!

So, our new adventure is not far away now!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Aillidh {2}

I know I don't have many readers but here is an update anyway just to let you know that Aillidh passed away on Saturday night. I cannot get her family out of my mind. I know that how ever awful I imagine it is for them, that in reality it has to be a hundred times worse. It's just so incredibly sad that she actually got her transplant and it took successfully but she died from other complications. It's frightening as a parent to be reminded of how easily you could lose your child.

I will get back to blogging regularly this week. I really do need to focus on actual writing rather than depending so much on link ups. But I really do love those link ups.

Friday, 6 July 2012


It's been a week since I've posted. There has been a lot happening in my mind over the week and I've just been sort of dealing with it.

Someone very close to me checked themselves into the hospital for a mental evaluation last Friday night when, apparently, things just go to be too much. The person was transferred into a mental health facility. It was very worrisome and extremely stressful not knowing what was happening. Fortunately, they are back home now after several days and getting to see their doctor and having some meds adjusted. I'm glad my husband was here for me because when thing like that stress me out I tend to have very little patience with my little one.

The other thing that has been really upsetting me this week is the life of a little girl named Aillidh, the daughter of a fellow American-expat. I don't know her personally but we have a lot of mutual friends (via an expat community). Aillidh is eight years old and has Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. She's been an inpatient in the hospital for like half a year now. They had been looking for a bone marrow donor for ages but due to her unusual mix of being part Native American and part Scottish, things didn't look good for long time. Finally, when she had nearly run out of time a donor was found and she received the transplant. The transplant took but unfortunately, she started having problems with infections and for the past couple of months has been fighting them.

This week things got really bad for Aillidh and her health rapidly declined. I'm only watching from afar and have only been able to offer words via the Facebook page and send positive and healing thoughts, but I've been very affected by it. I never ever thought that her story wasn't going to have a happy ending. Especially after she received her transplant. But yesterday it got so bad that a priest was called in to administer her last rites. It sounded as though she wasn't expected to make it through the night. But, Aillidh has been a fighter through all of this and it appears she is still fighting. She held on through the night and even showed some improvements in her sats. Today they have gone back down a bit. I can't even imagine what this is like for her parents.

I was talking about her in the car to my husband the other day, when it finally sounded as though she wasn't going to make it and I started crying. It's just so horribly sad. Eight years old. Only last month she was listing off the things she was going to do when she finally got out of the hospital. Every morning now when I wake up she's my first thought, hoping that she's made it through the night. I still have hope that she's going to pull through this (especially after she seemed to get a bit better for awhile last night) and I am continuing to keep her in my thoughts and trying to send positivity and healing energy her way. She can use all the prayers and thoughts she can get, so for anyone who is reading this, please keep Aillidh (and her family) in your prayers and thoughts too.

Aillidh's Facebook Page