Out With The Old

I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve.  There is too much pressure to have fun, or to set resolutions, and to dwell on the past.  New Year’s Day is more my thing.  Waking up to a fresh New Year, with life and things ahead.

That being said, this past year has been wonderful, with many special occasions and the best one of all being the arrival of Joel!

What else has happened this year?  Lets see:

We began setting up a nursery for Joel.
Dad retired and we had a big party for him in February.
I was huge waiting for Joel to get here but still made it to a wedding on his due day!!
Joel arrived two weeks late via EMC in April.
We had a little gathering to celebrate his arrival!
Isn’t he gorgeous!!
We went to a family wedding in the Cotswolds in July.
Dad turned 60 and had a birthday party the day afterwards.

We went on holiday to Cornwall with Steve’s folks, then mine.

Here’s our second week’s location.

Joel had his dedication ceremony at Church in September.

Grandma turned 60 with a family party as well!!

We fed the ducks quite a bit through the year (Mummy does most of it !) 
We went on holiday to Scotland in November.
Joel was a lamb in his first nativity at Church.
He’s growing up to be able to play with his cousins!
We had a wonderful Christmas day!!

Tonight Steve and I are just staying in with drinks and games, his friend Joe will come round and we’ll have some party nibbles.  I may not even make it to midnight as I’ve been up at 1am every night recently and am tired.

Tomorrow we’re off to the beach at Wales to meet my family and I can’t wait!  Izzy will love it, running around like a mad thing, and we’ll put Joel in his new back pack.  We took him out in it today, up to the castle for a good walk and he seemed to like the new perspective on the world!

And with that, here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year!  I hope 2012 brings you much joy!

Playing is a Busy Thing

It’s nice to be home, and it’s nice for Joel to play with the toys he got on Christmas Day that he had to then abandon for four days as we couldn’t really be taking them all down to Exeter with us.

His face lit up when he saw his choo choo train which was lovely.  I’m so glad I swayed to his demands and bought it for him.  It’s certainly a favourite and he giggles with glee as I set it off and it moves past him with it’s little song!  He then pulls all the animals out and turns it over, but he’ll grow to use it properly I’m sure!

He seems to like the Lamaze fishbowl, and is good at removing the fish, and we’ll work on the putting things ‘in’ as well.  Not sure when this concept will take root, but at the moment, pulling things out is lots of fun.

Mummy’s phone captures his attention!
Cheese???!

And the Puppy Pal Violet is one of my favourites!  Joel seems interested when the toy starts shouting ‘Hi Joel, come and play with me’ as this morning I’ve programmed her to know his name, his favourite songs, animal (for want of knowing I put down giraffe), colour purple (why not?!) and food (bananas are a current favourite).  So she sings a song about purple giraffes who eat bananas called Joel!!  It’s very clever.  She’s very soft and cute with a light up collar.

I’m glad we’re not swamped in toys.  the house couldn’t cope with it.  The biggest toy he got was the VTech ride on rocker that Mum and Dad bought him.  He sits on it feeling awfully clever but we have to keep a hand out in case he lunges sideways but he hasn’t done as yet.  It’s got a little computer screen that fascinates him and sings lots of songs and has a gear stick the same as his little VTech driver so he knows what to do with it.

I’m thinking I will have to sort through his toys and relocate some to his bedroom for a rotation else it’s just going to be a bit crazy down here.  That’ll be a job for another day though.  It’s Christmas and it’s nice to see him happy and surrounded by new things!!

Photo Opps

I know I have a husband who will take gorgeous photos of Joel and I have some beautiful pics about the house that Steve took.

But he does tend to stick to the arty type ones which are close ups or wide shots depending on the lens that he has on the camera.

So when I asked him to take a picture of the Christmas dinner table, with all the family around, Joel in his high chair, the food all laid out (in my lovely wedding dishes that don’t come out all that often to be honest) including the turkey as the main element, I was expecting a lovely, warm picture of everyone about to tuck into their Christmas dinner, the first that I’ve ever hosted myself.

Steve passed me my usb stick with 3 pictures on and I excitedly opened them.  To find:

No smiling faces, no baby eating his first dinner.  Just the turkey with the uncarved side.  Oh well, I shall have to use my memory of us all sitting down to eat together!  That’s the downside with hosting, you’re too busy to do everything and in previous years I’ve taken the group shot at the table.  Sigh.

The End is Nigh

Today I bought two underwired bras in the sales. I'm not sure I'll need to be wearing my tatty nursing bras any longer.

It makes me sad but at the same time proud.

He's so busy in the day he doesn't stop to feed from me and my supply has dwindled. I've begun offering a bottle twice a day and he drains the 5oz each time so I think he's not been having enough from me. I'm not going to let him go hungry and try to increase my supply in the meantime. It seems to be a natural time to stop and we're still continuing with the 7pm bedtime feed.

He's so irregular at night, sometimes sleeping through and sometimes waking that I have nothing then now, and my last attempt to feed him at 4am got him all frustrated after one gulp and crying and poking me. One small bottle eased all that and helped him sleep with a full tummy.

He was exclusively breast fed till 22 weeks, then breast fed alongside food till 8 months and now is combine fed.

I am proud of how far we've come. Especially after our rough beginning. I did think we'd go till 1 year but its not working out that way and I'm happy to follow his lead.

Plus underwire is helping my figure and its nice to try and feel as though my body is coming back to me. I still have one further stone of the 3 added during pregnancy to shift and three months to do it in. I sense a New Year's Resolution coming on…

Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media

Christmas Day :)

Well, after last night I have to say today went so splendidly!!  I was really chuffed with it all!  All my preperation seemed to pay off as I was able to be relaxed and sit and chat and drink prosecco, serve up a five course meal and not have any major disasters!  Hurray!

I didn’t get to church.  Joel was up in the night again so I was tired and we slept in till after eight this morning.  We opened some presents in bed as a family and Joel really loved his Fisher Price push and go choo choo train, especially the giraffe!  He seems to really rather like giraffes!  I had a lovely eternity ring!!  Steve does take hints!!

Then he went for a nap whilst I dressed the turkey with a bacon lattice and stuffed it.  All the veggies were prepped yesterday so just needed cooking or reheating, and starters were on the table for 2.30.  As I was pregnant this time last year I should have remembered that my sister wouldn’t be eating smoked salmon so I did her and Karl eggs mayonnaise!!  A bit of an 80’s classic but they liked it!

Then we had our turkey (Lidl special and jolly nice to be honest) stuffing, bread sauce, sprouts, roasted parsnips and carrots, braised red cabbage, sausage and bacon wraps, and roast potatos!

My parents really appreciated being looked after and on arrival had two glasses of prosseco each!  After sherry at their’s before coming down, so they were very merry and enjoyed a game of buzz on the PS3!  It was lovely hearing all the laughter whilst I was sorting the gravy and Amy and Karl arrived in time to join in and it was a lovely relaxed day.

Joel was again asleep, tired out from opening two presents from mum and dad!  He got a bit overwhelmed with it all, and was much happier after a big nap and then joined us for a bit of turkey (got an ‘Mmmm’ from him) and some sprouts (bleurgh!!)

After the pudding we skyped my sister in Wales which was fun as my parents haven’t skyped before, and then Steve, Joel and I skyped Barnstaple to say Merry Christmas to the Cranstons down there.  We’re travelling tomorrow to stay for four days.

I feel so lucky to have had such a great day and Steve and I worked together today and it all came out brilliantly!!  I think the fact I could relax knowing the hard work was done!

Merry Christmas everybody!!  Here’s hoping your day has been as wonderful!!

Christmas Eve

I’m sat up waiting for Steve to get back from the pub.  I sort of made him go out after an argument where he told me I don’t let him have fun anymore as for New Years Eve he wants to play zombie shooting computer games with his friend and drink himself silly till 3am.  We’re meant to be going to Wales for the day on New Years Day so I didn’t think this was a very good idea and thus the argument grew.  I still feel as though he’s manipulated me rather, as he’s gone out (again for the 3rd or 4th time this week) and I’ve stayed in to wash up, set the table for lunch tomorrow and make the bread sauce.

Oh well.  I didn’t want to go out myself, but I had visions of snuggling on the sofa with a mulled wine watching It’s a Wonderful Life and feeling relaxed and that’s not going to happen now.  It’s 11pm and I’m very tired so whether I stay up for Steve’s return is debatable.

Hey Ho.  At least tomorrow should all go to plan now I hope.  I spent all day getting ready, and peeling the veg and tidying the house.  I gave Steve a very short list of jobs to do, so he went to bed for a nap so I ended doing them as well as I’d only have been stressed otherwise and I wasn’t going to leave them until tomorrow.  tomorrow is for fun, family and food and church in the morning then relaxing.  I don’t intend to wash up tomorrow at all.  That will be Steve’s job.

The carol service was lovely.  Joel was in his Christmas sleepsuit and managed half the service.  He then realised it was 7pm, he wasn’t at home and therefore would grizzle.  Mum decided to take him home (she’d done her bible reading) and afterwards, we walked into their house expecting to find a sleeping baby, and there he was, manically waving, and kicking and having a wail of a time having scoffed a banana and a pancake and with tons of energy!!  Mum thinks he just found the service a bit boring!!  Hee hee!  I enjoyed it a lot though.  I always do.

Joel has been very good today as well.  He’s eaten well, slept well and played well.  He enjoyed houmus and grated carrot sandwiches for lunch today, then blueberries and cucumber sticks.  He’s funny as he definitely has preferences.  If you put a blueberry and sandwich in front of him at once, he’ll eat the blueberry first.  Then he may come back to the sandwich a little while later!  I wouldn’t like to mix my courses like that but I guess it’s all a bit of exploration for him.  He’s enjoying being able to experiment with his food and he loves feeling it all and tasting it a little bit before putting it in his mouth.

I shall enjoy seeing what he makes of Christmas dinner tomorrow.   The bits he can have at any rate.