Scout – Wild One

Scout Turns One - Diana Baker Photography

Scout: One Week NewThe Quickest Year

Last week, our little Scooty [Scout] turned one. I’m still in disbelief because 2018 may very have been the quickest year of my life… I mean, I thought Oscar’s first year flew in, but this second baby malarkey is next level, is it not?!

It’s been the most magical year. She’s been so laid back and fitted into our family perfectly. I can’t help but feel sad that she is growing up as she is the last baby, but it’s also amazing to see the little person that she’s growing into. I wrote a post when she was just new about how I felt that I am a “different mother” this time round, and I still stand by that. Our second baby has brought us the amazing chilled newborn-ness but without the inevitable worry that comes with the first. Able to soak up all those little magical moments without the overwhelming shock that your life has just been turned upside down and forever changed. It’s just easier, and for me, more natural.

Scout Turns One - Diana Baker Photography
Photography: Diana Baker

Our Unicorn Baby

Although, as Scout has got older, I’ve realised that I’m a different mother in other ways too. Basically, my cup of care is dwindling. I’ve not had the time or even inclination to create routines or analyse “leaps”.

For the first 4 months of her life, she slept like a baby unicorn. She slept like I didn’t know it was possible for a newborn to sleep. Of course, it’s all gone to complete sh*t now, however, a good friend of mine made a very valid point – those first few days, weeks and months are the toughest to adjust and settling into life as a family of four, so being well rested is invaluable. And that’s true. I just wish it had lasted longer… but, it’s not forever, yada yada, one day we’ll be dragging them out their beds, yada yada, eyeroll.

Baby two has broken all the “rules” and she gets cut slack that we never would have with Oscar. I am ashamed to say I spend many an hour actually in her cot feeding her to sleep most [ok, every] night before stealthily ninja-ing my boob away and climbing out. Anything for an easy life.

There were also nights in summer when I was trying to create a bedtime routine, but failed miserably to be honest, because if she didn’t settle I’d just give up after 3 seconds and bring her back through to the living room to watch Love Island with me… because, well , I didn’t wanna miss Love Island, did I? This is stark in contrast to the bedtime drill Oscar had. In his (nearly) three and a half years on this planet, he has not once left his bedroom after “bedtime” – poor lad!

I think I’ve realised that with your first baby the next milestone is new and exciting and you can’t wait for it, second time round, I’ve been happy to just enjoy her and long to keep her small, however unrealistic that is.

Scout Turns One - Diana Baker Photography
Photography: Diana Baker

Happy Birthday, Miss Scout Zelda Rose –

375 days new with 8 teeth that sometimes still get clamped around my nipple at 3am.

Who knows what you weigh because we never take you to the Health Visitor drop in clinic. Sorry.

You’ve been to London and Disneyland Paris & your first wedding but slept through the majority of it. That’s ok, there’ll be plenty more adventure. 

You started walking at 11 months, so that’s something to hold over your brother, he didn’t bother till he was 14 months. It’s come with it’s fair amount of bumps and bruises, but you’re getting there. 

You love clementines, swimming, snuggles, kisses and music.

You can say “Dada” and “Hiya” and I honestly thought you said “Teddy” the other day but I probably imagined it.

You’re feisty but gentle, strong willed but cautious. Your laugh is infectious. You’d play peekaboo all day if you could – preferably with Oscar. You love him. 

We also think you look a little like Pikachu the Pokemon.

Most of all, we love you beyond measure.

Scout Turns One - Diana Baker Photography
Photography: Diana Baker

All in all, 2018 was amazing, but also really hard and stressful at points and we were saying the other day, that Scout has been the easiest bit of it. Of course there have been the cranky 3am breakdowns but it’s all been far outweighed by her little toothy, scrunched up nose grin.

She makes us laugh all day and our hearts burst over and over at the wee bond that’s forming between her and her brother. I mean, it wasn’t love at first sight, for Oscar at least, it’s been a grower, but they’re getting there and it’s wonderful.

What a year. Can’t wait for the next, I hope it slows down, but have a feeling it won’t.

Scout Turns One - Diana Baker Photography
Photography: Diana Baker

 

Maid Of The Forth

Maid Of The Forth - Edinburgh

Maid Of The Forth - Edinburgh

So, on the day after the sunniest May Bank Holiday on record we took a trip on the Maid of the Forth to Inchcolm Island. Of course, this is Scotland, so it rained all day, but we had such a great adventure regardless!

Maid Of The Forth - Edinburgh

The Crossing

The Maid of the Forth sets sail from Hawes Pier in South Queensferry and we opted for the 3 hour tour with a landing on Inchcolm Island… which I didn’t even know existed until I read about it on their website!

The ferry sets sail from beside the Forth Rail Bridge and Oscar was losing his mind watching all the “Choo choos” cross it before we set sail, ice creams in hand.

The sailing to Inchcolm Island is a leisurely 35 minutes which was perfect for keeping a toddler engaged – not too long! On the way there we got to see some of the other islands of the Forth and hear about the history of them which for some was quite colourful – like Inchgarvie Island that features a prison, I mean, that basically the Alcatraz of Edinburgh, right? We were also lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a huge group of seals on ‘The Haystack’ next to Inchcolm, Robin and Oscar sprinted up tot he top deck to get the best view.

When Oscar was born we were living in a flat in Leith overlooking the Firth of Forth, so for us, it was really interesting to hear about all the little islands that we used to be able to see from our flat!

When the boat arrives at Inchcolm, those with passes for ‘landing’ can depart, otherwise the ferry heads back around the island and continues it’s tour (I think the wonderful Karen did this trip, and you can see her blog here – note the weather on the day she went was A LOT better – lucky sod!)

Maid Of The Forth - Edinburgh

Maid of the Forth - Edinburgh

The Island

We chose to include the island landing for our trip (despite the weather) where you get to spend around 1hr 45 minutes there, which is ample time to take it all in. Inchcolm Island itself is fab and the Abbey was brilliant for exploring – lots of hidden rooms and staircases to scout while it rained outside (Scotland, innit?).

Then, when the weather cleared for half an hour we headed down to the beach to skim some stones. If it had been nicer day, the beach would have been perfect for a picnic and we could easily have spent the day there, the views are amazing!

Amenities wise, there’s a small gift shop with the usual souvenirs and toilets but no cafe, so best to take a packed lunch and invaluable toddler snacks with you, or buy some on the boat to take ashore!

Maid Of The Forth - Edinburgh

Maid of the Forth - Edinburgh

Toddler Friendly

As the weather got a little worse, it was time to head back to the boat for the return journey. While we opted to take Scout in the carrier for the day (she sleeps better this way), those with prams were helped onto the boat by the crew who couldn’t have been more helpful!

The sailing back to harbour took us under all three of the Forth Crossings before we docked back at Hawes Pier with a completely exhausted toddler that couldn’t stop talking about boats and castles and a baby asleep in the carrier – so all in all, a success!

Funnily enough, when I wrote my Adventure List: Part II back at the beginning of the year, this trip was one of the suggestions that cropped up and I don’t doubt that we’ll end up back there in summer armed with a bucket and spade and a picnic! If you have an inquisitive toddler (is there such thing as a toddler that isn’t inquisitive) or older kids that love to explore, then it’s a great day out, with a little bit of everything thrown in – a huge thank you to Maid of the Forth for inviting us along!

Maid Of The Forth - Edinburgh

Capturing Us

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

— Aaron Siskind

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

It can’t just be me that thinks photographs are so special. I’ve always loved them. In fact, when I was about 11, I won a regional photography competition with a picture I took of our family cat, Fifi, sitting on a bean bag – yeah, I know, just call me Annie Leibovitz…

Then, when I had kids, it all of a sudden seemed even more important to take a billion pictures. Pictures of their little hands and feet, baby eyelashes and little sleeping pouts – knowing how much they change and how quickly you forget all those little details. I still have pictures of Oscar as a little baby that we look back at and say “do you remember him looking like that?!” – And we’re genuinely surprised at how much we have forgotten, probably in a haze of sleepless nights, work, toddler tantrums and, well, just life… So I cherish every photo. And I try to print as many as possible.

I’m also lucky that Robin loves a bit of technology and “learning a new skill” (I don’t call him a serial hobby-ist for nothing) so when I got a new camera he watched about a thousand hours of YouTube tutorials (you think I’m joking…) and can now take a very decent picture, he sometimes even talks me through his ‘vision’ for a snap! He’s taken wonderful pictures of Oscar and I, and recently, some great ones of Scout too. However, what we don’t have is pictures of us all together, our family of four.

To remedy this and fill the void in our collection, I contacted the wonderful Gillian of Gillian Morton Photography having followed her on IG for a while I knew I loved her style of shots. So, on Monday before the snow hit (and man, it hit hard) we ventured out to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in -1 temperatures to meet Gillian. Continue reading