It looks like it’s finally over…

September 8th, 2012 2 comments

On the 19th August Erica went from a fun loving child that was full of life to a wee girl that just wanted to go to bed in about 5 minutes. Anyone with kids will be familiar with that though especially as the kids had just started school a few days beforehand. I checked in on her half an hour later and she was drenched with sweat and after a quick check with a thermometer we found out she had a 40C fever.

Anyone familiar with Erica’s health issues will understand why we’re always a bit more cautious with her than the other kids. If it had been any of the others we would have dosed them up with Calpol and waited to see if it had any effect before calling NHS 24.

Vonnie wrote about it over here.

Around 7pm Erica announced that she was tired and asked to go to bed beside me. I was lying on my bed skyping with my friend and Erica jumped in.
By 7.30pm, she had developed a 40C temperature and was rapidly getting worse. She was jittery and twitchy – a sign for us that a seizure isn’t far off in the wind.
By 7.45pm we were speaking on the phone directly to a nurse at the NHS24 telephone service who arranged for us to be seen by the emergency GP.


At the hospital.

By 8pm we were at our local hospital seeing a GP who diagnosed tonsillitis and loaded us up with antibiotics, paracetamol suspension and ibuprofen suspension before sending us home.
By 9pm – on a Sunday – I had my prescription dispensed with advice from a pharmacy two miles from my home.

Vonnie followed this up with a post saying the same thing of NHS 24′s Facebook page and it ended up with 50,000 ‘likes’, over a thousand comments and the local TV station sending a camera round. All we ever hear are complaints when things go wrong or that the service wasn’t up to expectation but we very rarely hear the positive stories and I think this one hit home to a lot of people. It did worry me slightly though when people questioned why my daughter was being given antibiotics for tonsilitis though. Most cases are viral but in this case it was bacterial and that’s how you fight those kind of infections usually.

Personally I’ve had great service (if you exclude my MRI debacle which seems to be administrators fighting over funding) whilst being rushed to hospital to get my appendix out or my mystery heart problems. Erica has been in and out more times than I care to remember and with four kids plenty of time has been spent on maternity wards and apart from a few personality clashes with people we’ve nothing but praise for the service.

Just to update the story a little. After the 5 day course was finished she went back to school only for her to spike a temperature that nights again. It seemed the initial course of antibiotics only gave the bacteria a good kicking rather than finishing it off so she was prescribed a further 10 day course by our local GP. That is a few days since we finished that up now and fingers crossed everything seems to be back to normal.

Categories: Family Tags: , , ,

Crossing over into Hades

September 7th, 2012 1 comment

*I’m going with the Judeo-Christian version of Hades rather than the Greek misty and gloomy version. What I’m getting at is it’s rather hot in there…

When the kids started taking swimming lessons at the Pollock  Swimming Pool it was great. Erica would go for her lesson and I could take Greer in myself and we’d get a splash about. Then when it came time to book the proper blocks rather than the short five lesson blocks Glasgow City Council give them for free we missed out on a place for everyone. The closest pool that we could get them into was at Bellahouston Sports Centre.

© Copyright Thomas Nugent

You wouldn’t think that by looking at it that you would be entering the depths of Hell when you go inside though would you?

I’ve spent many hours both as a child and as an adult in indoor swimming pools but I’ve never been exposed to such humid heat outside of a sauna in my life. The first time I took the kids I was wearing jeans and a hoodie which would have been comfortable most other places I’ve been. I almost passed out with the heat! Ever since then I turn up wearing shorts, teeshirt and sandals no matter how wild the weather is outside!

Enough of my troubles though. The kids are loving it! They count down the days until their next lesson and get more excited as each day goes by!

Greer has never had formal swimming lessons before but is loving it. Always the first one to give anything a try with the one exception that she won’t put her head under the water. She’ll work her way through that one though.

Erica had her free block of lessons before the summer holidays and is putting everything she has into this new block of lessons.

Nairn on the other hand has had lessons before back in East Kilbride but he actually taught himself to swim a few years ago. We were in France and he was fed up not being able to keep up with his brother and just like when he decided to learn to ride his bike he just went for it and he was swimming pretty well by the end of the holiday. These days though his lessons are held on the other side of the water flume from the observation platform so I’ve no idea how he’s doing. He’s really enjoying it though.

As a young kid I used to go at least once a week with my Grandad and he taught me to swim in the paddling pool at our local pool. I couldn’t swim above water but I was like a fish under it. And then the school started taking us for lessons and myself and Craig McPhee ended up getting our 2km and 4km badges before we were 11 years old and went from strength to strength from there.

I gave up proper swimming though after trying out for the local team and not soaked with ice cold water by one of the other swimmers. I ended up working with her many years later and I don’t think she ever made the connection. After winning a bronze medal at the district schools gala for the 50m Freestyle event I probably should have kept in at it.

Categories: Sport Tags: ,

LEGO Minifigs Series 8 – Cheat Sheet

August 27th, 2012 5 comments

It’s time for Series 8 of the Lego Collectable Minifigs!

As ever I’ve yet to find a decent source for a cheat sheet so I’ve had to make up my own. The lot numbers really complicated things last time around so I’m going to take a different approach this time. As I find them I’ll post them up but there isn’t going to be a huge one off list like the last few series. Obviously I’ll edit and update this post with the details as and when I get them created.

So on to the feel guide…

  • Cowgirl – The lasso is easy enough to find in the packets although if you do manage to miss it the curve and size of the hat is also relatively easy enough to ID.
  • DJ – Your looking for the record and sleeve in this packet. Find both and your sorted.
  • Vampire Bat – The ears are the big giveaway here although the arms give a definite ID with their obvious wings.
  • Diver – The helmet is huge and the only thing you might confuse it with is the robot head but the robots antenna are easy to find.
  • Pirate Captain – The hat and peg leg make this one very easy to identify in the packet.
  • Downhill Skier – The skis. If you miss these then give up and go back to buying blind.
  • Santa – The sack and the beard piece were the easiest to find for me.
  • Actor – Two heads and the neck ruff are what your looking for here.
  • Business Man – The bowler hat and the tile newspaper are easy to ID though if you find the tile first you might mistake it for the DJ.
  • Football Player – I always thought it would be the helmet that I’d be looking for but it was actually the trophy that I found the easiest to find.
  • Red Cheerleader – Your looking for the pom-poms and the hair piece confirms it.
  • Alien Villainess - The big funky head and the gun are really easy to find as is the skirt piece.
  • Conquistador – The helmet and sword can be found very quickly although the breastplate does stand out. Make sure it has a small v in the bottom of one side so as not to confuse it with the American Football Player.
  • Evil Robot – As with the alien the gun stands out but the head/helmet is big enough to stand out as a lump in the packet that you see without even having to feel for it. Double check for the antenna and your sorted.
  • Lederhosen Guy – The hat and pretzel are relatively small pieces but if you find them they are very easy to ID.
  • Fairy – The wings really stand out in the packet but if you should miss them completely the wand is easy to ID as well.

The other way is to use the bump/dot codes on the packs to identify what is inside as I mentioned earlier. When you look at the back of the packet and hold it at the right angle you will see a couple of dots pressed into the seal along the bottom of the packet. It’s possible that these may also be flipped horizontally as with previous series but I’ve yet to see any myself.

Things have got a little more complicated since series 6 came out and you now have to take lot numbers into consideration. In series 6 those in charge at LEGO decided to start changing the dot codes every so often. They didn’t always do this though so with some lot codes the dots are the still same. As is always the case if you pick up a packet and want to contribute then send my a photo of the rear side of the packet with the dots highlighted and the lot code visible and we’ll see if we can make this a little more user friendly than last time!

Doune The Rabbit Hole Ye Go

August 24th, 2012 1 comment

I’m sitting here struggling to keep my eyes open. Vonnie and the boys left about five hours ago to head up to the campsite for the Doune The Rabbit Hole music festival. I won’t even be able to get in touch with Vonnie and the boys as there is no mobile phone reception at the festival site and she has the car. I don’t know what to do with myself. Both girls climbed up onto the couch to look out of our front window and upon seeing the street lights said they now going to bed and went and put their pyjamas on. G didn’t even fight going to sleep, she just climbed up into bed and closed her eyes with a smile.

I’m terrified to go into my bedroom as the bed looks like it was hit by a sock bomb. We have a spare laundry bucket for all the unpaired socks we have and my job this afternoon was to go through them and find all the socks that were perfect for wearing with wellington boots at music festivals. I never did clean up the unmatched ones afterwards though. I think I might sleep on couch…

I thought I’d do a little tidying and baking in the kitchen to surprise the girls with tomorrow morning and couldn’t think what to make. I eventually found I had the ingredients for Coconut Ice and got to work making that hoping to get a few squares to myself tonight before they devour it all tomorrow. I completely forgot you need to leave it overnight to set before you can eat it though. D’oh!

It’s taken me about an hour to write this entry by the way. I’m that tired I can barely read the text. I’m just to scared to go anywhere near that bed!

Lego Collectable Minifigs Series 8 starting to hit the shops

August 21st, 2012 2 comments

*Edit* The ‘Feel Guide’ for Series 8 can be found here.

It would seem that the Series 8 minifigs have started to hit the shops a little early in the US.

  I’ve been making daily trips to my local toy shops ever since I read about this on the off chance that I’d managed to get the release date wrong. No such luck it would seem.

So far i still have a shopping list of about 200 fairies and 50 evil robots for the kids before I even look at getting all 16 minifigs myself!

Categories: LEGO Tags: , , ,

Braver than some.

August 19th, 2012 1 comment

For the first time in years we managed to take most of the family to the cinema. I think it’s actually been something like three years since we last managed it and even then I think we were one short on that occasion as well.

It’s just not affordable for us. Even with ‘family tickets unless we get vouchers or someone else pays we just can’t afford to drop £50 on an couple of hours fun on a regular basis.

Anyway we managed to take the younger kids to see Brave . Ever since the first news came out that Pixar were making a movie set in Scotland we’ve been counting down the days until it’s release. Even Nairn wanted to see it. We devoured all the teasers and trailers we could find but the one thing we noticed was that very little of the story was given away. In fact apart from the setup of the clans suitors competing for Merida’s hand in marriage the only thing we noticed about the story was that she ran away and at one point fights a bear. That was it. No clues as to the story other than this and with a PG rating no real clues, other than a very brief shot of the bear, of just why it was a PG.

The kids loved it but the next time a kids film gets a PG rating that the kids really want to go and see I’ll be doing a bit more investigating. For the last third of the film G was on her mums knee and I had Erica on mine for the last 20 minutes.

I still find it very strange to hear Scottish accents in films as they always sound fake. I loved that they actually cast Scottish actors for all the major roles though I’ve always though Craig Ferguson’s accent is completely put on. People from Cumbernauld just don’t talk like that! I was in stitches every time Kevin McKidd’s Young MacGuffin said anything and cringed every time they tried fit in some sort of Scots catchphrase. Help ma boab!

I almost jumped out of my seat and shouted ‘Yas!’ when I heard John Ratzenberger get a line in!

The kids have now taken to running around the house with clothes hangers pretending they are bows and arrows with G insisting that she be Merida as she is the only one in the house with ginger hair! Trying really hard not to show them how I used to make bows and arrows when I was Nairn’s age. By the age of ten we’d worked out how to make recurve and composite bows!

Categories: Films Tags: , ,

It’s that time of year again!

August 17th, 2012 No comments

We’ve counted down the days and weeks just waiting for our little loved ones to go back to school and the day has finally been and gone! Over on the east coast it seems as though today is the first day back but over in Glasgow our monsters have been back in school  since Wednesday.

We tried to get a first day group photo but G decided she wasn’t happy being the odd one out. I kind of like it…

As is the usual the boys are saying they hate it and how it’s so boring. I’ve yet to see them come out of school without a smile on their faces though so I think it’s a bit of a lie. Nairn is moving up to P2 this year and after having a few things flagged up last term we’ll hopefully get back on the road to getting his issues looked into. It doesn’t matter if he’s autistic, dyslexic, anti-social or just bored as long as we can get someone that actually knows what they are talking about to see him again it will be a good start.

The P7′s are now out in a prefab portakabin style hut in the playground thanks to the sheer number of pupils being enrolled this year. I’m beginning to wonder just how far ahead Glasgow City Council looked ahead and how good their maths skills were when it came time to close schools and build fewer new ones. Findlay seems to not be having any problems with it though. This morning the rain meant everyone went straight into the school hall and the P7′s went straight to their hut. Two classes with one teachers assistant manning the door meant there were a lot of incursions into enemy territory and many attacks on his class were repelled in turn whilst her back was turned.

The big one this year though is Erica. She moved up to P1 and in all honesty you’d think she’d been waiting for this day for the last three years. Full of confidence and has made friends with everyone. Even now that she’s been there for a few days when she says it’s boring she says it with a face that knows how much fun she’s going to have!

I thought we’d have far more time now the kids are at school. I forgot though that G doesn’t start nursery until next week and we’ve always got somewhere to be. This is the first time I’ve had to sit down with a coffee and write for example!

Categories: Education Tags: , , , ,

The day that…

August 7th, 2012 4 comments

…I first seen what kind of kid my son was going to be.

My introduction to family life was different to a lot of people. When I met my future wife she had a three year old son. He’s been raised as my own every since but I never had any experience of the baby stage. When the chap above was born I thought I had a handle on it all but looking back my head seems to have been saying he’s just a baby, he’ll grow into his personality in a few years time. When I took this photo I loved it but I think I loved it for the wrong reasons.

I look back at it now and I can see that he already had his cheeky personality back then! The cheeky grimace/grin. The fun filled eyes. Basically this photo is as perfect a snapshot of Nairn’s character as any that I’ve taken since and being a doting parent with a camera there has been a more than a few photos!

We’d just moved into the first home we had bought as a family a few weeks before. There are still boxes in the background that we haven’t unpacked and if I remember correctly the carpets had only been put down the day before. It was his first chance to get out of his playpen and roll about without us having to make sure he stayed on the blanket.

The best bit is he hasn’t changed a bit!

 

This post is my entry into the The Day That… blogger photo competition

Curiosity got the better of us.

August 6th, 2012 12 comments

For the last few days all I’ve been able to talk about with the boys was about the new robot going to Mars and how it was going to land. I was determined to watch NASA’s webcast live but it meant getting up at 6am and making sure the boys were up as well. Sounds like an easy thing to do until I remember that I was still awake at 1.30am…

When I showed the boys this they thought I was nuts.

I have vague memories of our youngest waking me up during the night thinking she had wet the bed when she hadn’t although that might have been the night before. My alarm went off at 6am. I turned it off rather than put it on to snooze. I know this because the next time I looked at the clock it almost 8am and everyone had to be up, dressed, fed and out the door for the back of nine. With a household our size that was pushing it a little!

We missed the first pictures sent back from Curiosity

It was the same thing with the final Shuttle missions. Every time I arranged for us to be free during the launch something would come up. Findlay would be at his dad’s, we would miss alarms or we’d be stuck in traffic. It’s almost as if we’re just not meant to see these things live.

We even missed stuff like this released throughout the day. This is a photo of the spacecraft taken from an orbiting satellite.

To top it all off I spent most of this morning on the phone, fighting with our net connection or doing housework that it’s taken me fourteen hours to even start thinking about catching up with it all. I think it’s going to take me another fourteen hours to get up to speed on it all! One saving grace is that the kids can watch it all in a single two minute news clip on the news rather than watch the data slowly trickle in.

Silent Sunday

August 5th, 2012 8 comments

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