Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Finding Aberdeen

After all the pink eye excitement, we came back to a wonderful Finding Nemo birthday party for Addison. I had found a fish tank cake on the Better Homes and Gardens website, and we adapted it to the movie. (In case you were wondering, Addison has a "thing" for Nemo.)

I love this picture because it captures so much of what childhood is all about...EXPERIENCING your food! Nana made homemade pizza for Addison's birthday. Pizza is another great love of his.

Although Addison does look a little messy enjoying his cake, it's nothing compared to last year (see the picture in the blog entry on February 22nd). He's downright pristine here even insisting on a fork. I have never met a child who devoured his food with such gusto and then regretted the mess later. Invariably, when Addison finishes his food, he holds his hands out to me and says, "Hand. Messy," with the most disgusted look on his face as if to say, "Mom, please take care of this as quickly as possible!" My thought is maybe he could just be a little neater to begin with but that doesn't seem to be in the cards for right now.

Addison loved his presents! Since Christmas he has a real awareness of what they are. Anything wrapped up, he wants to open. Among other things, including Finding Nemo dishes, he got lots of books, some clothes, and a toy phone, which he has not put down since opening it.

All in all a good birthday and on a much more manageable scale than his 1st birthday. With two boys having birthdays just 6 days apart, I do wonder what the parties will look like in future. How long do you think I can con them into doing joint celebrations? We'll see!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Our Twins

Which one is Davis and which one is Addison? You decide...

Attack of the Killer Pink Eye

When it rains, it pours. At least that has been true for poor Addison. He woke up on Friday after his nap with a weepy, goopy, red eye. I took one look at it and knew instantly that it was conjunctivitis. Who that has ever had it as a child can forget it? Our doctor's office was closed for the day, so I thought I would try to give them a call Saturday morning. When Saturday morning dawned, Addison had it in both eyes and our doctor's office turned out to be closed for the whole weekend. What to do? I called the urgent care number unsure if this was the sort of thing that should be let go until Monday. Thankfully, a doctor called me back in short order and said that they really would prefer to get him an urgent care appointment at the hospital in order to write him a prescription for antibiotic eye drops. We arrived to a waiting room full of sick, unhappy children, but Addison took it all in stride. We waited for about 45 minutes to see the doctor, and when we finally did, Addison wanted to sit on the doctor's lap! Have you ever heard of such a thing? Indeed, Dr. Mom diagnosed his eyes correctly, and prescription in hand, we went home to celebrate Addison's 2nd birthday with a very special Finding Nemo party (more on the party to follow).

The update is that after 3 1/2 days of eye drops the redness is gone. His eyes are still a little weepy and goopy although not to the extent that they had been. Hopefully, the pink eye will disappear altogether in the next couple of days. It's made his normally saucer-like blue eyes look so tiny and swollen, like he's been crying for hours. So sad! And incidentally, he's been really brave about putting the drops in his eyes. I wasn't sure what to expect, but, believe it or not, he's put up little resistance at all.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Addison!

Two years ago today at 10:51pm, Addison Edward Holloway made his debut. He weighed 8 lbs., 9 oz. and measured 21 inches long. Today he is a running, chattering bundle of energy obsessed with Buzz Lightyear and trains. He is tender and sweet and loves to laugh and wrestle with Daddy. He has music in his heart and a sparkle in his huge blue eyes with those "ridiculously long" eyelashes. We love him so much and thank God everyday for giving him to us. Happy birthday, Tootsky!

Just born.

First birthday, first cake.

Two years old.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tales from the Living Room Floor

If you had ever asked me, "Would you consider a home birth?" I would have said, "No!" It's just not my style. I like things controlled and safe and planned, every medical apparatus within arm's reach. Plus, you can't get an epidural at home, and as I've always joked, "You wouldn't have a tooth pulled without Novocaine." Aaahhh...the best laid plans of mice and men.

So how did it all begin? I went to bed Thursday night at midnight, so I guess that actually makes it Friday morning. I had been having contractions all day. They were strong and slightly uncomfortable but nothing I hadn't been dealing with for weeks already. Certainly nothing to excite any notice. I woke suddenly at 1:30 to a gush of water. What should I do? I'd been sleeping on the leather couch (thank goodness it's leather!) for weeks now. Trey was upstairs sound asleep. I tried calling to him as loudly as I dared at that hour but to no avail. Without knowing what else to do, I waddled as fast as I could to the bathroom to try to contain the water. I then hobbled upstairs to wake Trey who flew into action. We had so many things to do before we left for the hospital. I still had a couple of random items that needed to make their way into my hospital bag. I needed to get dressed with dry pants. We needed to call our babysitter for Addison and a ride to the hospital, but most importantly, we needed to call the hospital to find out what they wanted us to do. Trey spoke with them for a few minutes while I braced myself against the bed. The contractions had started in earnest, coming every 2-3 minutes. They were very painful although I was able to talk and breathe through them. I spoke with the midwife and she asked how I was coping. I said fine for now but that I would definitely be wanting something for the pain...famous last words. Trey continued making calls and I hobbled downstairs to wait for our ride and babysitter. Within minutes of making it downstairs the contractions were no longer bearable. I braced myself against the side table in the living room unable to breathe through the pain. By the time my dear friend Tammy, Addison's designated babysitter, had arrived, she knew we were fast approaching the point of no return. As an ER nurse herself, she could see it in my face and hear it in my voice. I was starting to feel the urge to push with each contraction. The crazy part? My water had only broken about 35 minutes before. She asked me if I thought we needed an ambulance, and I said yes. Thank goodness I did because while Trey was on the phone with the ambulance, I started to get really scared. The pain was unbearable and I knew I was about to have the baby right there. Tammy kept telling me not to push while Trey told the paramedics they had to get to our house IMMEDIATELY. As soon as they walked through the door, they asked me if I wanted gas and air. It's a 50% oxygen, 50% nitrous oxide combination used in the UK to provide pain relief for laboring moms. And let me tell you, it is amazing. It makes you feel kind of buzzed and high and made the pain completely bearable. I immediately stopped screaming and was silent (Tom Cruise would have been very proud). The paramedic then instructed me to push, and two pushes later, me on all fours, out came Davis! He had a strong, lusty cry and looked just like his big brother. They wrapped him in a space blanket to keep him warm and transported the three of us to the hospital via the ambulance. I was attended to by the midwife and Davis by the pediatrician. We were both found to be just fine, and after a shower and some tea and toast (what else would you expect?), we were permitted to take advantage of their 6-hour discharge option. After all, Davis had already been born at home. I had little desire to spend the night in the hospital along with 3 or 4 other women in my room and their crying infants. Trey got a cab, and we were home by 11am that morning.

So how are we doing now? Davis is doing amazingly well. He is a very good nurser -- much faster than his big brother was. He gulps his milk and within 5 minutes is completely full. His cheeks are already starting to fill out, and he's started sleeping 3 hours stretches at night. In between he seems like a fairly laid back baby just soaking in his surroundings seemingly unfazed by his noisy big brother (who will be 2 tomorrow!). Addison didn't take much notice of Davis at first. Now he wants to give him kisses. He is having a little bit of a hard time handling all the new changes, and we would really appreciate your prayers for him right now. He just got over the ear infection of last week and still has residual congestion. I think his 2 year old molars are coming in because he's been gnawing on his hands a little bit. On top of that we have guests in our house (my mom and dad) and a new baby. It's a lot for one little boy to handle and has prompted some emotional outbursts and difficulty with obedience. We are working with him and praying for him knowing that this is a period of adjustment for all of us. I am doing well physically. Although I'm tired, with such an easier labor and delivery than Addison, I am amazed at the difference in how I feel. Things had gotten so hard at the end of the pregnancy that by contrast I feel energized and stronger.

We are so grateful to God for His goodness in entrusting us with our two beautiful little boys, Addison and Davis. Thank you for all your prayers and notes of love and support over the past few days and weeks. We can't wait to introduce you to our new little addition. I will be adding a photo album for Davis very shortly.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Quick Update

Our internet is down at home, so I am writing this from the Linksfield Library (remember those days?). Sadly, this will delay me posting pictures and sharing the full birth story, but hang tight. I promise it's coming, and please pray that we can resolve our internet issues quickly. This would be, indeed, a miracle considering all past experience with BT, but, hey, stranger things have happened in the last 48 hours.
Much love,

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's a Boy!

It is with great delight that I announce the birth of our 2nd son, Davis Marischal Holloway, born at 2:21am in our living room. It is quite a story, which I will share with you all soon along with pictures. For now let me tell you that he is 8 pounds, 19 1/2 inches long, and as beautiful as you can imagine. We are both resting comfortably at home after a 6 hour discharge from the hospital, per my request.

Thank you all for your prayers. They have been answered. Stay tuned for the full story...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Countup Day 1 - Little Tiny Bulbs

I grew up in the Garden State. Yes, that's right. New Jersey, despite its sullied reputation, is actually the Garden Sate. I honeymooned on the Garden Isle, Kauai, and now we live in Aberdeen, the Flower of Scotland. I am definitely a wannabe gardener. I deeply admire people who know plants and shrubs and just how to care for them so that they flourish. This past fall I had every intention of planting some bulbs in our front garden, but when life got in the way, it just didn't happen.

To my great delight, however, I've discovered that there already were some bulbs in our front garden that I just didn't know about. They first began poking up their little heads in January, believe it or not. Yesterday, I discovered that several of them are now a few inches high. And besides the bulbs, as I look around, I'm noticing buds starting to appear all over the place, including new growth on the lovely hydrangea bush out front. It's so hard to believe that spring is already making an appearance in the middle of February in a place lying on a longitude further north than Moscow, Russia. We have had an admittedly mild winter. Although we had a coating of snow every day last week, so far our temperatures have hovered in the low 40s. The last two days were brilliantly clear and truly felt like spring.

We've been warned about the harsh weather that can come in February and March, but we have yet to see it. And these little glimpses of spring make me so excited to experience the glorious spectacle that has won Aberdeen 11 Britain in Bloom titles.

The Countup: A Foretaste of Heaven

I have been completely floored by the expressions of love and compassion you all have shared with us after our discouraging news. I awoke to an inbox full of notes letting me know that we are being held up continually before the throne of grace. I wept as I read them, this time tears of joy, knowing just how loved I am and that I am not alone.

And so, in the spirit of the words I posted yesterday about eager anticipation and longing, I am abandoning the Countdown for someting sweeter, and I believe, more ultimately rewarding. I am calling it the Countup: A Foretaste of Heaven. The themes of these blog entries will be back to the same old stuff you're used to. No more baby updates until the little one actually arrives. Instead, I want to focus on the small blessings and interests of everyday life that have inspired this blog from the beginning.

The photo above is a sunrise over the coast of Kauai where Trey and I honeymooned 7 years ago. When I think of a "foretaste of heaven", that is what I think of and that is why I included it. I have never seen a more beautiful place. I remember waking every morning while we were there to the dazzling sunlight reflected off the Pacific Ocean. It was so brilliant, it made the water look like liquid gold kissed by a glowing haze of ocean spray, and it reminds me of John's words in the book of Revelation.

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
Revelation 21.23

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

General Holloway Update

The news wasn't encouraging this morning.

First of all, yesterday Addison awoke an hour into his nap crying very hard, which is really unusual for him. Later in the afternoon he started poking at his ear and saying, "Owwy. Cheek. Kissy." I immediately began to suspect that he had an ear infection. He hasn't had one in a long time, but he's had some nasal congestion and I know that the drippage can get caught in their little ear passages and get infected. Thankfully, I was able to get an urgent appointment at the doctor's for 10:20 this morning -- 10 minutes before my scheduled midwife appointment. As things worked out, I waited an hour to be seen by the midwife and Trey was able to get Addison in and out fairly quickly. Sure enough he has an ear infection in his right ear. They prescribed an antibiotic saying that it wasn't absolutely necessary. We could "wait it out" if we wanted...Please don't get me started on the general laissez-faire approach to healthcare here, which is as motivated by money, in my opinion, as the overly invasive US approach. **rant averted**

Secondly, my appointment...While I'm 2-3 cm dilated and well effaced, the baby is high, and the midwife thinks that he/she is in a posterior position, meaning face up instead of down (still head down, but facing the wrong way). This is in direct contradiction to what the ultrasound technician told us 3 weeks ago when we were at the hospital, and after the breech misdiagnosis, I'm not sure whether to trust what she tells me and assume the baby changed in the last 3 weeks or assume she's gotten it wrong once again. In her opinion, the baby's posterior positioning is part of the reason that labor has not progressed. She did sweep my membranes in the hope that it would cause a few strong contractions which would turn the baby face down and bring him/her further into my pelvis. Since she did that procedure, I've had some very strong contractions and I've been very crampy and sore. Of course, that has happened before, so my hopes are not high. The most disappointing news of all was that, because the baby is still high, she wants to wait the full 12 days to do the induction. She called the hospital and got it set up for February 26th. Despite a lot of pressing from us about why the arbitrary 12 days, the date stands.

Needless to say, I cried most of the way home. I am in a tremendous amount of back pain right now. My swelling is awful. Just when I think I've hit rock bottom, I find out there's a new low. But after a good cry and a long talk with my mom, I am doing better. Please keep praying that this baby will come soon. My body has reached a real breaking point. Physically I wonder how much more I can actually take, but I know that God has promised not to give us more than what we can bear. I struggle to understand what that means right now, but my prayer is that God will give me the grace over the next few days to wait on His timing and remain open to what He is trying to teach me right now.

Some Words of Wisdom

"I think that when you have to wait for something you really want with all your heart, whether it’s getting your first bicycle or having children after struggling with infertility, receiving that desire is a little foretaste of the pure joy of heaven."

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

T-Minus 1 Day

Allow me to apologize in advance for the cranky tone of this entry...

I wasn't going to bore you all with another account identical to yesterday's. In fact, I wasn't going to write anything at all because I had nothing whatsoever to say, but then I realized that the absence of a blog entry would make some of you think that I was in the hospital delivering. So, no, for those of you who got your hopes up, allow me to bring you back to reality. I am still here waiting.

Since I have nothing else interesting to write, let me at least share my baby blog plan with you. If I am in anyway coherent in mind and body, I am going to post a very quick entry here letting you all know that we are on our way to the hospital. I've put together a fairly comprehensive email list for Trey of family and friends back home to be notified once the baby arrives. Hopefully, we'll have a photo or two to attach to it as well along with all the vital stats. Once I get home, which, Lord willing, should be within a day of delivering, I will update you on all the KNOW I will! So that's the plan.

Tomorrow I go to the midwife's at 10:30 for a check to see how things are progressing. She also promised that they would set up the induction date, which supposedly will be 12 days from my due date. I think that's cruel and unusual. I'm vacillating between two manipulative techniques to make sure it happens sooner -- playing the ugly American or just bawling my eyes out. Any thoughts?

PS Yes, I know the one in the photo is backwards, but it represents how I feel right now and so seemed appropriate.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

T-Minus 4 Days

Yesterday I was sure I was starting into labor. The baby was so eerily quiet during the morning hours that I started to get a little concerned, but as the day went on the little one woke up. I can only imagine that the baby is completely out of room and nestled into a fairly comfortable position. The movements I feel now are little squirms and adjustments, signs, I believe, that the baby is in position and just waiting like me.

I felt very uncomfortable throughout most of the day. My back ached, I was very crampy, and I started to have regular and sometimes painful contractions, especially as evening progressed. By bedtime I thought I would be woken up in the middle of the night in full-on labor. However, not so. I actually slept very well and awoke this morning to just a few intermittent contractions and a quiet baby again.

So the waiting it just me or does this seem like the longest countdown ever?

Friday, February 9, 2007

Passing the Time

So how do I pass the long hours with my feet propped up waiting for the blessed arrival, besides blogging, of course? Well, I've taken up cross-stitching. For my birthday, Trey gave me, among other things, a cross-stitch pattern of St. Machar's Cathedral. I just finished it yesterday, and I wanted to share it with you.

My other project right now is a knitted baby blanket in white yarn with little mint green and pale yellow flecks. I'm about 1/3 through the pattern, and when I'm finished with it, I'll post a picture of it as well.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Tutor Trey

Last week Trey started as a Tutorial Assistant to his advisor in a course called European Reformations. The class meets on Mondays for the main lecture and then breaks into smaller groups on Thursdays to meet with a tutor and go over the assigned readings. There are about 10 students in Trey's group. His big concern last week was getting the students to talk because a tutorial just won't work if it's a straight lecture. In fact, one of his colleagues here at the University told him about a tutorial he led in which no one would talk, so he sat there in stone cold silence for 6 minutes until finally a student broke and started talking. SIX MINUTES. Can you imagine how incredibly long those 6 minutes must have felt? Thankfully, last week's session was not so quiet although Trey said they were a little on the shy side, but honestly I can remember the first few days of class pretty well. Everyone was quiet. It takes a little while to get the flow and rhythm of the course and muster up some courage to voice your opinion.

This is a really wonderful opportunity for Trey. While he has a decade of high school teaching experience under his belt, this offers him the chance to teach at the university level and to teach subjects directly related to his field. We are hoping that this will open up other possibilities -- maybe even lecturing.

In the meantime, it's a new experience for me to have him rise super early, get all dressed up, and head out the door with his briefcase. It almost feels Ward and June Cleaver-esque.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

T-Minus 7 Days

"This baby feels like it has a good size head."
~ Midwife at appointment this morning

Oh dear...I've been down that road before. Addison's head has always been in the 95th percentile. No doubt this will make for an interesting delivery.

So, yes, this morning I had my 39 week midwife appointment. My blood pressure was good. Urine was clear. Baby's heartbeat strong although still in the wrong spot. I finally had to tell the student midwife checking the heartbeat that she needed to try higher on my belly. For whatever reason, this baby is so curled up that they can't hear the heartbeat in the usual spot. Baby is still head down (praise God!). And they are estimating a 7 1/2 lb. baby, which I think is BOGUS. My doctor back home said the exact same thing about Addison and he ended up being over 8 1/2 lbs. My opinion? 7 1/2 lbs. is the PARTY LINE. I told her I thought this baby was bigger and she smiled and said, "Well, no one wants to hear they're having a 9 lb. baby." Ahhhh...the truth emerges. She didn't like the look of the swelling in my right leg and told me to be particularly careful navigating the streets now that we have a coating of snow and ice. Believe it or not, the swelling is actually not as bad as it has been. It's gone down in my hands and face quite a bit, and my left leg almost looks normal.

The midwife asked me if I was having any contractions. I told her that they've been less frequent over the past few days but much stronger and more painful. In fact, last night they woke me up. She said that that was all a good sign.

My next appointment is for a week from today -- my due date. She said that if I continue to have regular contractions between now and then, she will do an internal exam and "sweep my membranes". Without going into too much detail, it's a procedure that can naturally jump-start labor. My hope? I won't be seeing her next week because I will have already had the baby, but if this one is anything like Addison, he/she has set up camp and is not coming out any time soon. Little buggers!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Steal Away to Jesus

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21.4

As a budding blogger, I truly enjoy reading other people's blogs, and since coming to Aberdeen, I have faithfully read the intimate portrait that Libbie Groves, wife of Old Testament Professor Al Groves at Westminster Theological Seminary, has painted of her family's battle with Al's terminal cancer. Al was one of Trey's professors during his time at the seminary, and although I have never met them personally, I was very touched by the way Libbie and Al allowed everyone to share with them during this painful time. I have marvelled particularly at Libbies' grace, wisdom, and comfort throughout this trying ordeal. I have shed many tears reading her poignant words, trying to wrap my mind around what it must be like to say such a long "good-bye". Her entries were always filled with hope and peace and pointed every reader to Jesus.

This Monday Al passed into glory surrounded by his wife and 4 children, and as I read the account this morning I could taste the relief and joy that they all felt knowing that their dear father and husband was in the amazing presence of his beloved Savior, that he felt no more pain, and that before very long they would be with him again. What comfort! Her words are full of indescribable joy, a response to death that ought to inspire every Christian. Indeed, "Death is swallowed up in victory!" (I Corinthians 15.54) I'm including a link to her most recent entry entitled HOMECOMING!! -- praying that you too may find comfort in the times that try your soul.

I leave you with the words of a Negro spiritual I've been listening to lately on a new CD. They are so simple and yet so true.
Steal Away to Jesus

Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus!
Steal away, steal away home,
I ain’t got long to stay here.

My Lord, He calls me,
He calls me by the thunder;
The trumpet sounds within my soul,
I ain’t got long to stay here.

Green trees are bending,
Poor sinners stand a-trembling;
The trumpet sounds within my soul,
I ain’t got long to stay here.

My Lord, He calls me,
He calls me by the lightning;
The trumpet sounds within my soul,
I ain’t got long to stay here.


This one is dedicated to all you Office enthusiasts out there. One of the small American indulgences we've allowed ourselves since arriving in Aberdeen is an iTunes Season Pass for The Office...only the greatest comedy show EVER. Every Friday I get an email from iTunes with a link to the new episode, download it, and watch it -- okay, I admit it -- more than once.

Some of you will already be familiar with an episode that aired back in October called "Diwali". I, myself, was unfamiliar with this holiday, so on the off chance that you are too, let me explain. Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, and in this particular episode, the entire office accompanies one of their fellow Indian colleagues to a Diwali celebration put on by her community. At the end of the episode, the attention-seeking boss Michael does a rendition of Adam Sandler's famous "Hanukkah Song" changing the words to fit Diwali (click on the link to see it for youself). Well, Addison has fallen in love with this song, and, coming as no surprise, wants it played over and over and over again. In fact last night instead of the usual three (Jingle Way, Duwel, and Jesa), Addison requested, "Diwali!"

Oh dear, we have a heathen on our hands...

Monday, February 5, 2007

King's Cottage

This morning, as I sat in my usual spot on the couch, sipping my coffee and enjoying the swirling flakes of snow that (unfortunately) just frosted the tops of the cars, I caught sight of the magnificent crown tower at King's College Chapel. We are so blessed here on Orchard Road to have a partial view of this magnificent structure, and it looks particularly picturesque in the snow. But of course, back to reality, I have to share a humorous story about it with you.

Trey, as I'm sure none of you will find surprising, is on a quest to increase Addison's vocabulary with interesting $10 words. The latest? King's College. From our bedroom window you can get a much fuller view of the Chapel, and Trey will hoist Addison up to the windowsill and say, "Addison. Say King's." And Addison will reply, "King's." And then Trey will return, "Say College." And Addison will proudly announce, "Cottage." The first time I heard him say it I busted out laughing. The thought of this grand insitution reduced to "cottage" status makes me giggle inside.

We joke that when Addison gets older and is ready for University, he will attend King's Cottage, the lesser known of the schools comprising the University of Aberdeen.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

T-Minus 11 Days

There's not too much to report on the baby front, but since I know many of you are curious how things are progressing, I thought I'd update you on the latest.

I continue to get very strong contractions throughout the day although nothing consistent or painful enough to constitute true labor. Thankfully, the swelling seems to be under control mainly by just sitting with my feet elevated for most of the day. It's negligible in my left leg; ever present in my right. When I stand or sit for any length of time, my right foot turns this awful purple color and the toes begin to look like little sausages, hence the need for constant elevation. Leading such a sedentary existence and without television to while away the hours, I've started knitting my first baby blanket and cross-stitching a sampler of St. Machar's Cathedral. Between that and the internet, I stay fairly occupied. I am amazed at how Addison has adapted to my immobility. He plays quite contentedly in the living room with his toys, and when he wants to read, he'll stand next to me for book after book since it's now impossible to get him on my lap and both of us don't fit lengthwise on the couch. I'm sleeping pretty well at night, a marked contrast to my pregnancy with Addison. It took about a week to get used to sleeping in a sitting position on the couch, but now I'm very comfortable and sleeping quite soundly. I am trying to enjoy these quiet, uninterrupted nights because I know they will be coming to an end all too shortly.
The end of this pregnancy has proved a much greater trial for me than last time. I can only imagine that part of it is living so far away from home, outside of my comfort zone and support network. Although I'm not working full-time late in pregnancy as I did before, I still have a lively 30+ lb. toddler to keep up with who doesn't really understand how our world is about to change. And it's right about now that I start to miss all the niceties of home -- a car, a cell phone, a chicken cheesesteak. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and steadfast prayers at this time. It is truly what gets me through each day.

My next midwife appointment is Wednesday. Stay tuned...

Friday, February 2, 2007

Aberdeen Grammar School

On today's constitutional, Trey took a little different route and went past the Aberdeen Grammar School. It was too beautiful out for him to resist taking pictures, so allow me to share with you one of the oldest grammar schools in the United Kingdom.
Aberdeen Grammar School was founded in 1257. 2007 marks the monumental 750 year anniversary, which is to be commemorated with multiple fundraising events. Hmmmm...sounds awfully American. Despite its name, the school is actually a secondary school (middle school and high school), originally an all-boy school that turned co-educational in 1973. Perhaps her most famous alumni is Lord Byron, whose statue graces the front of the institution.

As I researched about the school, I discovered a few humorous facts worth sharing thanks to trusty Wikipedia.

In 2002, a small number of sixth years painted an entire temporary classroom block, pink, during the middle of the night before their last day, as part of the so called "muck-up day tradition". Painted on all four walls from floor to roof, it led to a pupil being arrested, caught in the act-although charges were never actually brought. In 2003, the PETA animal rights group held a protest outside the school to try and persuade children to stop drinking milk. Over 100 pupils held a counter protest pelting the activists with milk and chanting their own pro-milk slogans. Police had to be called to save the PETA group including one man dressed as a cow.
I didn't realize that milking a poor cow was a former nursing mother myself, it sounds awfully humane. But who am I to judge? Just an ignorant, meat-loving American. And the image of such a stately and venerated institution painted bright pink...well it brings a tear to one's eye.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Dunnottar Revisited

Trey and his mom visited Dunnottar Castle last week. Although it wasn't a clear blue sky day, the weather was better than when we went with my siblings, so the pictures came out a little sharper. I've added them to the Dunnottar Castle photo album. Enjoy!

The West End

One of the advantages of having a car here in Aberdeen is being able to discover new areas. This past week while Trey's mom visited, we were able to explore all over both in the outlying countryside but also right here within the city limits. The most exciting discovery was Aberdeen's famed West End, a very exclusive region of the city known for its enormous detached granite houses and posh shopping. I've added a new photo album with pictures that Trey took this past Sunday of some of the most impressive granite structures in the West End. have 2 Mercedes SUVs in the driveway. That's oil money for you.