breakfast in the garden

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Saturday morning I woke up really early, super early for someone that’d been breast feeding a hungry new born all night,  but I was glad to have gotten up when I did because It was such a beautiful peaceful morning.  I took a sleepy Arthur so he wouldn’t wake Graham and after a quiet cup of coffee I soon had a small girl by my side to enjoy the moment with.

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Summer Bucket List

This time last year I had just started working in a windowless department in a busy hospital.  It was a post I had always dreamed of working and yet once I was there I quickly learned that this area of nursing was far from the type of nurse I wanted to be.  I’ve always been pulled towards the caring side of nursing but because of the fast turn around in this department there was little time to do anything more than introduce yourself, and that’s if the patients responsive.  So last summer was a bit of a bummer.  I wasn’t happy where I was working and I hated being away from my family three days a week.  I’d leave for my 12 hour shift when Beth was asleep and would return home to her sleeping or desperately trying to stay awake.

After the summer things began to adjust.  I changed departments and went down to part time hours, and Beth became more settled to her new routine.  However, that summer was pretty tough.  And so from that I really want to take advantage of my maternity leave this summer and make the most of the warmer days with my family and friends.  Especially as two of my closest friends are emigrating in the coming months (one at the end of this month, boohoo!)

So when I found this in The Happy Family movement blog I felt inspired to participate and, well, here is our summer bucket list.

2013 Summer’s Bucket list

Swim in sea/lake

Have a BBQ with friends

Picnic in the park

Visit muddy boots farm

Make our own beer

Go fruit picking

Make a summer scrap book

We are beginning the fun today so I will update here as we go along 🙂

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Elderberry syrup for sick children

Yup!  Summer is on its way in Scotland.  This means rain, warm to windy cold chills, and runny noses.  Scotland is wild, beautiful and unpredictable, and so is it weather.  This spring time cold we are fighting here is stubbornly going nowhere.  Graham and I are surviving but poor Arthur is at the receiving end of snotty nose kisses and the odd cough in his face from his adoring big sister.  She really is a dotting mother hen to this sweet little baby boy.

When we were sick as children my mother used her doctorate in botany to make us her elderberry syrup.  Elderberries are rich in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C, and this syrup has honey in it for its bacteria killing properties.  Oh, and it is very yummy!  My Mum also made rose hip jam but that’s for another blog.

So here is her recipe

(This is for anyone over the age to one due to the honey)

Take 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried Elderberries and add 3/4 cups of water to a sauce pan.  Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for about 30 mins until the berries have softened.  Mash to get out all the goodness and then sieve the mixture.  Leave to cool then stir in 1 cup of high quality honey.  Take one table spoonful up to every two hours or even as a syrup on pancakes etc.  Stores in the fridge for up to about 3 months.

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yarn along

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I knitted this five hour sweater for Arthur ages ago when I first learned we were expecting.  This vintage pure wool yarn was found in a good will shop and I like the chunky tweedy texture of it.  The ONLY down side is, uh, I ran out of yarn about an inch before the end at the back.  Luckily I found a yarn in very similar color so its not too bad, and you know, he spends most of his time lying down anyway.

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In the garden

We had a lovely weekend spent at Graham’s parent’s house.  What I like best is that they live near the coast, have a huge garden and a cosy wood burning stove.  It is utter bliss for this town dweller.

Another benefit of visiting your family is the access to people on hand to help out.  Beth and Arthur are both suffering from a cold so it was great to have extra people to help with two snotty, cranky children.  Graham and I really needed a good rest, especially because poor Arthur is finding it difficult to feed during the night with a blocked nose and a tongue tie.  Thankfully last night he cracked breast feeding with me lying down so a better nights sleep was had. He is waking every two hours to feed so things are going fine otherwise.

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Shore wood drying out in the green house for future projects.

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The boys made a patio for outside the french doors to our house.  It’s a high step into the garden so they took three wooden pallets and made two wide steps.  It still needed stained but they did a great job for three men, a vague idea, and too many hammers!

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Poor sick Arthur.  He is such a relaxed, calm baby.  What a tonic for his father who has two crazy females to live with 🙂

and then we had two

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On Sunday the 21st of April at 12.32pm we welcomed baby Arthur Edward Higgins to our family.

He was three weeks early (both my children are impatient!) and weights a healthy 7lbs10oz.

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We had hope for a natural delivery but in the end I needed to have another Cesarean section. However, all the staff were great and the birth was still pretty special.   The medical staff took our wishes into consideration and so we saw him as soon as he was out, we were continually kept informed on what was happening, and in the recovery room our midwife let us see the placenta.  Beth was rushed into the world and her birth felt like a bit of a whirlwind so this time round Graham and I had a good idea of what we wanted to happen.

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