Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thinking of switching it up...

I have been finding it hard to blog even though I do really enjoy it. However, the main purpose for this thing was to keep family and friends updated on our wee lives and (as cliche as it is) to keep a better record for myself...but with my slacking that is not happening. I have decided I need to re-dedicate myself to keeping these posted or quit and focus on other stuff. Ya'll know what I mean? So, I guess I just wanted to know, does anyone still read this or shall I just hang up the hat?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to Create a Phobia

Last summer when we came to Utah for my sisters wedding, an incident occured which has had unexpected and far reaching consequences.

Unassuming, innocent Andrew loves bugs. He was thrilled to play outside and pick-up, poke, flick and, well...mame the various critters indiginous to our beautiful Utah climate. Of those wee beasties...gulp...spiders were among them. (If you don't already know how I feel about spiders you can read this). So when confronted with these vermin during our outings, I would do my best to discretely scoot away from Andrew while fervently suggesting that we play with other things or go inside for a popsickle. That was all I could do to keep my cool. Heaven help me if he got too close to the little blood sucking stinkers. day heaven wasn't there to help.

I was sitting at the bar in the kitchen eating yogurt when from the corner of my eye I noticed Andrew pick something up. At about this same time I hear Andrew giggle and say, "It tickles me mom!" This naturally garnered my attention. As I focused on the small ticklish object held firm in Andrew's chubby fingers my senses filled with horror, and in a tidal wave of pure primal instinct I yelled out in hysterics, "NOOOOOOO ANDREW, PUT IT DOWN. AGGHHHHHHH!"
Yes--Andrew had picked up one of those big (yes, seriously LARGE) brownish, hairy devil-spiders by one of it's long, spindly legs and dangled it in the air while it clamored feverishly to climb up. Poor Andrew thought it was tickling him.

Insert my reaction.

Andrew threw the thing across the floor with pure terror in his face and scrambled to the nearest couch where he grabbed and pulled pillows ensuring a tight encasing around his head.

I had blown it...big time. The kid was petrified.

Fast forward to approximately a year later. Andrew is obsessed with spiderman. He loves to check out books about bugs and focuses primarily on the spiders. He owns exactly three spider shirts--all of which are on regular wardrobe rotation. He loves spiders, he is naturally very curious about them. However...what happens if he actually sees a real life arachnid? He freaks, runs away and calls for me (or mainly daddy) to come get it. We know he likes them, but if we try to coax him over to have a look, he firmly shakes his head and says, "" In fact, once he say a tiny, tiny guy crawling on s slide at a park. I mean, so miniscule it didn't even make me nervous. But he would not go back on the slide for all the gummy worms in the world and we ended up going home after only 10 minutes at the park. HOWEVER to further add some unsettling garnish to the situation is his reaction once the beasties are, ahem, disposed of. He acts immediately relieved but says things like, "Oh, he is my friend, he just needed to go back to his house."Or, "Can he come and play again?"


You see? This is what I created. In one fell swoop I trained a boy naturally very curious and interested in spiders to be afraid, nay terrified, of them. And now we have on our hands a situation encrusted with confusion and a little morbidity in which his nature is saying, "Play, play with the little fellas" but his nurture (provided by myself) is saying in bold neon lights, "STOP, RUN, TERROR, HORROR...."

I imagine that someday when he is married and his new wife shrieks, "Andrew, come in here, I need you to get a spider!" He will respond with a shriek of his own and say something like, "No, you saw it first!"


So there you have it, fellow mothers...friends, family...if you ever need a recipe on how to create a phobia that is how it's done.

Do you think it will work for me and chocolate?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Our lives have been upside down. Nothing major. No serious health issues or plagues or other such nonsense. We have just been topsyturvey. As many friends and family know, we have been back in Utah now for about three months and, man, ughhhhh, man, has it been a whirlwind. I keep having moments where I think things are finally getting settled and then something comes and knocks my legs out. Again, it's nothing major...just the verberations of life starting to sit down. Nonetheless in order save the many boring deatils of what that has all specifically meant I will just say that overall it has just been busy, uncertain, full of illness (just getting reaquainted with the ol' American germs, I suppose) and did I mention, BUSY? So busy, in fact, that by the end of the day when the wee ones are finally asleep I have been so knackered that all I have wanted to do is read or watch TV. This has meant severe negligence on anything computer related. (This includes, but is no limited to, blogging, writing in my journal, writing for facebooking and on it goes.) However, the point I am trying to push along in this weighty rant is that this although we have been dowside-up, this last week or two have been better...much better. In fact, I feel like the West Family Train has but put back on the rails, got a nice tune up, and is now slowly begining to chug along...and we are gaining momentum. It's a nice feeling...a splendid feeling, in fact.

However, as I get more involved in the life I now have causes me to face to the sadness that still lingers over leaving our lovely, quaint existance in Scotland. Now, a brief caviot if you please: I am happy and releived and grateful to be here, in Utah, near family and friends that were greatly missed. I am grateful that Mike has made us all so proud through his hard work and graduated like my own version of a knight in shining armor. I love the sunny weather and the fabulous playgrounds and the majestic mountains and the cubscouts and the temple and the fact that my kids get to spend so much time with their Moody aunts and uncles and grandparents. But...oh...but...that also means that we are no longer near the West aunts and uncles and grandparents. It means that we said goodbye to the castles and the history and the accents--oh how I love the Scottish way of saying things. We left behind dear friends and people who became so special. We traded in small village bakeries and farms for big time grocery stores that, although are mighty convenient, lack the village-life charm. Although I am thrilled to, once again, explore the brilliant mountain hikes and red rock valleys I will miss, more than I can express, the green fields seperated by mossy stone hedges dotted with shaggy cows and bushy sheep. I will miss those walks by the river and exploring the countless paths that seemed to burst with a thousand different shades of green. It will miss those views that made me believe, truly, that when Adam and Eve fell a tiny corner from the garden of Eden must have broken off and landed in Scotland to grow and spread and create the panorama I got to witness everyday.


So, yes, I am happy and excited and expectant about our future. But I am sad to have closed my Scottish chapter. Therefore as a way of saying goodbye I decided to post a few pictures as a small ode to the things I love and left behind.

Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa West's house. Abby opening a present with Uncle Matt enjoying the sight.
Pink Wellington's--an absoulte must.
West Family
Grandpa West and Andrew relaxing on a fine afternoon

Classic and beautiful English Cristmas dinner

Aunt Lizzy

Living history

Old, faithful sweatpants

Good friends

Andrew's WONDERFUL pre-school (this is the Christmas play)

Scottish culture/heritage
The surroundings

Sigh...until we meet again ;-)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Third of January, 2012--

We made it. We have officially arrived in the United States and beaten jetlag to a pulp over the last few days. After a full 27 hours of travel (this included flights from Newcastle to London, London to TX and TX to Salt Lake City) we touched familiar earth at approximately 1 am on 27 December 2011. Thank you, Dad, for risking the perils of sleep depravity in order to collect us. We arrived sore, headache infused and knackered beyond all reason but so happy to be in one peice and to see that giant of a smile on my dad's happy face.

The journey wasn't without a few hiccups here and there (Andrew falling asleep on the floor in the middle of yet another security checkpoint, four hour layovers, not being able to have our buggy in London--note:toting kids and carry-ons across a massive international airport=backbreaking hard work--being delayed in Texas for 45 min because a group a skiers arrived late and needed to have all their equipment loaded, and nearly losing the most important peice of carry-on luggage) but to be fair the whole kabubble (my word for our experience) went about as good as you could expect, really.

Although I should mention that my body has had more protests about our adventures than my two children. After having the flu for about a week, I ended up traveling with what morphed into Bronchitis (never-ending hacking cough and such), pink eye (a result from taking care of poor Abby who was the original case) and a strange and mysterious rash all over my right arm.

Nevertheless we are now much better and happily installed in my generous parents basment while Mike completes his final clincical placement in Saratoga Springs. The kids have toys and a nice, spcaious room, Mike and I have our nice bed, and it's like Christmas every day as we go through our old storage boxes and re-discover our belongings. It's made leaving so much behind an easier transition.

Now, there is still a lot to be said. We need to talk about our brilliant stay in England with Mike's parents over Christmas and the adventures leading up to our move from Aberdeen. But that will come soon enough. Right now I need to cough up a lung.