Ahem…..

It’s been ages again.  Life is so busy its hard to keep track.

We have had a week away on holiday to South Wales with Steve’s parents.  Joel loved the seaside and long days on the beach with picnics, paddling and sandcastle building.  I was glad we didn’t attempt to camp under canvas as hurricane Bertha made her presence known at the start of the week so the weather wasn’t that great.  We were in a caravan which was a squash for the four of us plus dog.  We enjoyed taking Joel out on day trips and showing him different places.  He saw his first real lions which was lovely, he was so excited!!

What else?  Weaning continues to be stressful for Josiah.  He really likes having a taste and seems so interested but doesn’t seem to want to eat food yet.  I am not too worried.  These days babies on milk are fine till they’re 1 and I’ve read that most babies go through a 9 month period where suddenly they begin eating with gusto.  Just because Joel was a good eater and tried everything does not mean Josiah will be the same.  He loves bread, and drop scones and *ahem* cake.  I guess it’s a dry texture that he prefers.  Plus he is still very much a boobie boy.  He is not into dropping milk feeds at all now.  

Which brings me to back to work.  I have decided to go back a bit earlier than the twelve months, so at the start of November when I will take one month’s leave before going back properly at the start of december.  I figured I didn’t want to have it hanging over Christmas, and the no money part at Christmas wouldn’t be fun either.  Plus I get to go back and work for a couple of weeks before having Christmas week off and more holiday to look forward to.

Joel is starting his pre-school five mornings a week in September and will be home with me every afternoon until December when he’ll go to my parents two afternoons a week and the nursery one afternoon a week.  Mainly due to the fact Josiah couldn’t have Wednesdays at nursery so my parents will have him that day through December and he’ll be at nursery Tuesday and Thursdays until after Christmas when he’ll go to Wednesday and Thursdays and Joel will have those afternoons at nursery and both will be at my parents on a Tuesday!!  The logistics of two children in different places is a bit overwhelming and I’m still not sure how I’m going to sort it all but time will tell.  At least I have a while to practise before its a case of Joel to school, Josiah to nursery and me to work!!!

We are still working at the house.  The garden is looking fab with newly laid turf in the back garden.  I’ve been tidying up a bit and it looks like a fun child friendly garden now.  The front is all paved so we can fit two cars on the drive and I spent this afternoon with my Mum digging up the old bushes which have gone a bit wild and large.  We are going to plant some sparse low maintenance plants and put bark around them.  Simples!  I fancy a chamelia for summer, hydrangea for autumn, holly for winter and a cherry blossom tree for the spring.  Something so that we have colour throughout the year.

Here are some current pictures of life!

Joel loves his magazines.  We buy him the Thomas one fortnightly.  We enjoy counting, sticking and writing together.

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 Here is Joel helping offer Josiah some toast!  I have to keep an eye of them as he would offer Josiah anything, but on the whole he is very good with his baby brother.  We had one incident where Steve was ‘watching’ them and I heard screams and ran in to find that Joel had smothered Josiah with a pillow and he couldn’t breathe and was very upset.  I was glad Steve was there to handle it to be honest as I was fuming, but Joel had been playing peekaboo, just not realised Joss couldn’t breathe and he was so upset too.  He sobbed ‘I’ll never do that again, I’m sorry Mummy’ and it was heartbreaking and Josiah was beaming away at him again very quickly.  Steve learnt to keep a better eye on things as well.

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They love each other!!

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Ice creams on a day out and Josiah was very put out to not be included so helped himself to Grandmas!!!

 

 

Time Flies…..

It’s been ages since I posted again!  I don’t know where the days are going at the moment.

I’m writing this today feeling rotten with an upset stomach.  I thought Josiah was suffering with it as well until I found that he’s cut his first tooth!  He has one of his bottom front teeth poking through.  He’s not been drooling or anything, but has had a ton of icky nappies this past couple of days.

What else?

We had Josiah’s dedication ceremony two weeks ago and it was lovely.  All our family gathered together and Josiah coped very well during the ceremony, got a bit grizzly afterwards but managed to shake it off until the end.

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We went on the Gruffalo Hunt at the local Forestry woods and it was lovely.  Joel really enjoyed finding the animals and the Gruffalo sculpture was fab.

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We had a Church weekend away and with Steve working in Birmingham I had to get the train to meet him there.  It was daunting to take two kids on my own, but nice people helped me on and off the train at either end, Josiah fell asleep and Joel had his rein backpack on and didn’t leave my sight.  It was a tad stressful at Newstreet as I couldn’t find where to meet Steve, Josiah had woken up and Joel was dragging his feet.  We got there eventually, after stopping to sort the cars coolant out and it was a sunny weekend.  Joss loved being in a caravan and we had lots of blue skies!!  Steve slept in the room with Joel, Joss was in with me and co-sleeping meant I didn’t get great sleep but it was chilly at night so we kept warm together 🙂

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What Is My Blog All About? #BEDM

This blog began in August 2010 when I was newly married and attempting to think about starting to try for a baby.

Ironically, I was already pregnant since July but didn’t realise!!  In April 2011 Joel was born.  As a first time mother everything was a bit stressful, crazy and my world turned upside down, but in a good way.

I got into blogging when I was taking some classes towards a Post Graduate Diploma in Media Futures.  I hadn’t known about blogs before that, and an assignment meant I had to create one.  I chose to follow the Rugby Union World Cup and report on that as whilst I was a Uni 15 years ago, I had played on the women’s rugby team.  I was a big Johnny Wilkinson fan 🙂

I then got a MySpace (ha ha!  Who remembers MySpace?!) account and used the blogging facility on there, before cutting and pasting it all into Blogger.

Having managed to fill my photo allowance on that blog, I then imported it all to WordPress a year or so ago as it seemed a good idea at the time!

I’ve had various blogs over the years, including a wedding planning blog, but this one seems to have stood the test of time.  It is a bit of a diary for me, and having recently had a second baby it’s been helpful to look back and compare pregnancy aches and pains and worries.  You’ll also find my attempts at making birthday cakes, our house renovation as we work through room by room (having moved in May last year), occasional recipes, two pregnancies and bump pictures, two birth stories, two miscarriage stories, the introduction of our dog, Izzy, family life and working life.  Oh, and occasional travels and holidays, although that doesn’t happen so much anymore!!

Plus, I have to say that I have loved reading other blogs of people in the same situation as me.  It’s almost comforting to know that you’re not alone in your worries and I feel that if me discussing something which is going on in my life can offer support or help to others, then I think it’s worth it.

So welcome to my blog.   Feel free to browse around. I hope you see something you like!

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Joel’s Best Day Ever!!! (So far…..)!

At Drayton Manor as it’s out of season they were opening Thomas Land for March weekends with half price entry.  I’ve heard it can take a good day to get round just the Thomas Land rides so we decided rather on the spur of the moment for us to take Joel and Joss on Saturday rather than in season when we can’t get on any adult rides.  We booked our tickets online that morning, to collect at the gate, made a picnic and packed Joss’s nappy bag and headed off.

Joel was very excited at the prospect of ‘Thomas Land’ and it only took under an hour to drive there.

Once there we followed the crowds (it seemed really busy considering it was out of season but then I guess we weren’t the only folks trying to get round for half price!!) and Joel was enraptured!  All the rides were based on a Thomas character and he ran around saying hello to them all at the Tidmouth Sheds!!

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It was really very cold so I bought him a Thomas hat and scarf to keep him warm.  I was not expecting such a chill wind factor poor fellow as we’d had such a mild March so far.   There were lots of women who also had been confounded by the weather and were wearing vests and flip flops!! I also worried about Josiah being cold in his pram but he was well wrapped up in there.  He went on the Winston Whistle Stop Tour (which had the largest queue being the first ride you get to), then we went to ‘Knapford Station’ where you could queue to ride either Thomas or Percy, (well, they pull the coaches) and Joel was adamant only Thomas would do.  We were nearing the front of the queue and were destined for Thomas when Joel decided he needed a wee!  Steve grabbed him and dashed to the toilet when the train pulled in!  I ended up hanging back to wait and Steve got back just in time for us to get the last buggy space and carriage!   His little face when he saw Thomas coming up to him, and then Percy was just amazing, he was so happy!

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The train took us to the other end of the park and on getting Josiah out of the pram he of course wanted a feed so I tried my best to be modest on a child’s train ride!!

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Joel loved the Spencer’s play area and dino trail, and the sun shone for us, albeit for a short while.  Then we caught Thomas’s train again back to the main park.

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After a few more rides we had a horrific and freezing cold rain shower so ran into the largest Thomas shop in the UK.  All parents had the same idea and then all seemed to wish that they hadn’t!  Joel thought it was great and kept grabbing boxes of trackmaster and other things all over the £70 mark!!  And like the other parents Steve had to carry Joel out under his arm crying ‘But I want that one!!’  (At the moment we have the Brio Thomas, Percy, James, Edward, Gordon, and Henry.  Not to mention Annie and Clarabel.   But he still wants Emily, Toby, Spencer and Hiro, or so he told Grandma the other day!!

Anyway, we were there for about 5 hours and after going on lots of rides and seeing it all we decided to head home as we were pretty frozen and tired out.  There were rides we didn’t get on so it would be worth going back, maybe next year if they do the same deal again.  And Joel was a really happy boy for the day out and it was a lovely family day for us all which we don’t do all that often 🙂

6 Weeks

Ok, so my little big baby Josiah is 6 weeks old now.  He really is a lovely baby.  He’s cuddly, cute and has fitted into life very well.  I’m gearing up for the next growth spurt which is meant to happen at 6 weeks apparently.   It may have started as he’s gone from going to bed at 7pm, feeding at 10pm, sleeping through till 2am and having a feed and nappy change, then sleeping till 7am  (yep, 5 hours so what is classed as ‘going through’ by Dr’s) to waking every 2-3 hours again for a feed.   Just as my body gets used to the extra couple of hours!!  It’s hard all the adjusting.

My boobs are finding it hard as well.   One day they are fed on a lot and feel very empty, and the next they’re ready for a feed whereas he isn’t interested.  And if I were to express it would just create too much milk.   I’m sure things weren’t quite like this with Joel.   I know when I got mastitis I had to express a lot, but I seem to have a lot more milk this time.  The other night Steve, Joss and I were sat in bed watching ‘The American Office’ (Steve has watched them all before, but I’ve not seen them) and Joss was feeding, came off quickly to sneeze and a projectile spurt of milk kept coming out of my right nipple into his face.  I quickly clamped a muslin over it and Joss got back to work but I never actually spurted milk like that.   I’ve noticed on getting out of the shower, if I’m not quick enough to get a bra on, and nursing pads, I’m dripping milk all down myself and have to get back in the shower.   I even managed to get milk in my laptop the other day.  Don’t tell Steve!  He loves his applemacs.

Anyway, I’m hoping that the supply will settle down soon.   I’m getting through nursing pads like there’s no tomorrow and they don’t stay where they’re meant to, and seem to turn inside out all the time leaving the sticky attached to me, rather than my bra.  I could do with another bra as well as I’m having to wash them so often for when I forget to put the pads in, like this morning!!  It was only after answering the door I realised that when Joss had fed off my right breast, my left breast had been leaking at the same time!

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This is the best way to spend a morning.  Feeding, cuddling and re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I managed to catch a little Joss yawn, and milky happy smile 🙂   Steve thinks that two is enough but I have to say I love the baby stage so much, I can’t quite imagine this being it for us already.   I’ve said we’ll have to talk about it in a year or so.  I love the close baby cuddles, helping them to grow through my own milk and doing all the goo-goo-gi-choo stuff!  Only for my own mind, I seem to prefer my own babies to everyone elses but I think that’s normal!!  Plus, I would love to have a little girl as well, not that a third boy would be a problem for me at all either.  The only issue is persuading Steve that it would be a good idea.  He is adament we’re done now.  😦  That’s way too practical for me!!

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Here Josiah is having some tummy time.  He’s not terribly impressed by it.  He is a very strong baby and frequently headbutts me, punches me and flings himself about in the direction of nipples if he feels he should have extra milk!!  But how cute is he?!!!

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Some more of his funny faces, both awake and asleep!  He’s starting to lose his hair round the sides of his head where he rubs it and turns his head in his sleep.  He’s going to be a little mohican soon!!

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Joel seems to be adapting well to having him around now.  The other day my Dad was holding Josiah and said to Joel, ‘can we keep him here?’ and Joel was very disgruntled that Grandad wanted to take our Joss away and told him firmly ‘no Grandad, Joss comes with us, he’s my brother’!!!  He likes having his little brother at home now.

It’s not hard entertaining a baby when all they want is cuddles, milk and sleep, but now Josiah is getting more awake time so we’re having nappy off time, lots of kicking, playmat time, tummy time and waving rattles in his face!!  he still prefers milk and cuddles though.

 

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Double bath time!  This is the first time we put Joss and Joel in the bath together but Joel was very good and didn’t splash him and even wanted to be the one to wash him.  Joss wasn’t terribly impressed and didn’t stay in for too long but Joel thought it was brilliant!  I think once Joss is a bit older they will have lots of fun together 🙂  The HV has said not to bath him too much, he seems to be prone to dry skin, like Joel was although not quite as bad as Joel’s excema.

 

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Joel suddenly seems to big and grown up now he’s not the baby anymore.  I carried him through from our bed one night to his own room and he was all long legs and body!!  And so heavy.  He is now mad on Thomas the tank engine.  We took him to Thomas Land on Saturday as they had half price entry to just Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, and we didn’t see the point in waiting to pay more when we wouldn’t get to go on any adult rides anyway!  I’ll do a Thomas Land post separately, but it was a great day and I was worried about us doing a day trip with Joss just being 5 weeks old but it was all ok!

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This weekend Martha my niece turned two so yesterday we went over Nottingham to have a little party.  Joel was very excited as he is very aware about birthdays now, and on being told that he wouldn’t be getting any presents himself cheered up enough to wish Martha a happy birthday and to give her our presents.   She had this marble run which Joel really enjoyed so that would be good for his birthday too.   We have however already bought him the climbing frame and don’t really want to spend any more money, (and can’t really spend any more money).

Plans are in motion for Joel’s birthday, being the Easter weekend we are just having our families round on the Saturday for lunch and playing in the garden on the new climbing frame which should have been built by this point by Grandpa and Daddy all being well!!  He has asked for a Thomas cake so I’m enjoying looking on pinterest for ideas.  The idea is to do it all as cheap as possible so I’m going to make some bits to make it more ‘Thomassy’ without the extortionate price tag that Thomas seems to generate!  All we need is for a sunny day!  Fingers crossed!!

Sad News Today

Twelve months ago my great aunty (who’s been more like a grandparent since all my grandparents passed away over 10 years ago) was diagnosed with leukemia. She was 91 years old and given three months to live. She made it to 92 and saw 3 more babies born in that year (she has 33 great greats so far and my baby will be 34!!)

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This is us at my wedding.  I’d changed into a going away dress as we headed off immediately on our honeymoon to Mexico, and rather than throw my bouquet, I gave it Aunty Joan as a gift.   She’s also wearing a necklace which I’d used to decorate the centrepieces on the tables!!

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She was such a strong and feisty lady!! She’d been having treatment and kept fit and well, stayed in her own home and told us she was going to stay for at least a year to prove the doctors wrong.  She almost made it to the 12th Feb which is the exact date of her diagnosis.

5 weeks ago she started deteriorating and had to go into a hospice for 3 weeks and then 2 weeks ago went to a nursing home as she was getting weaker.

This little baby was due last week on Tuesday and I’d really hoped he’d be here so she could know about him but we had the call this morning to say she’d passed away at 5.30am.

A few days more and she could have known he was here so I’m devastated she won’t know his name as we wanted to meet him first to decide his first name. He will have her dad’s name James as a middle name (my great grandfather) and my Granddad’s middle name Denham (her brother) so there will be a family link but my Dad has said no one will expect me to be at the funeral as it’ll be next week or the week after but I’ll still be healing from the operation.

I don’t think I could miss it, and despite probably being too emotional and hormonal with wound scars and a newborn am I trying to get out and about too soon?

It has been expected for a long time but she was such a feisty lady I really didn’t expect this today at all and am feeling so sad.  If this baby had been a girl she would have had Joan as a middle name and we’d told Aunty Joan this as well a few months ago which pleased her greatly.

She’s at peace now and in a far better place.  And I think she’ll get to know when we have news.

Grandma

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today.

It’s been 10 years since my Grandma died and she was such a lovely lady.

She was an old school Grandma.  Born in 1907 she died at 96 years old.  I remember her always being a lot older than other peoples grandmas but that was just the way my Grandma was.  She was over 70 when I was born!

She was the second to youngest of 13 and born into a working class family in Tunstall, Stoke on Trent.   She had to leave school at 13 to go to work and trained as a lithographer in the potteries.  I guess that’s partially why my family all have such an affinity with china and always have to check under plates in restaurants to see where it was produced!!

I’m not sure totally how she met my Grandpa, but he was a bank manager and considered out of her league!  His two sisters tried to persuade him against her but they married and had two children before WWII and then two afterwards as Grandpa was in Africa for a lot of the war.   My mum was the youngest born when Grandma was 45 (thus the older than most Grandmas).  I never knew my Grandpa as he died before my parents got married.

She was such a constant in my life and we used to visit every Tuesday whilst growing up.  My parents moved back to the midlands to be nearer our grandparents when I was born as they wanted us to have our Grandparents in our lives.  When she got older and I was working at Wedgwood I would go for my tea once or twice a week and do little jobs for her.   And we had daily visits nearer the end once she had to go into hospital.

She was a very gracious lady and I remember we would get to her house before lunch time to find homemade soup ready on the stove, or sandwiches all made and cut into triangles with fillings like tinned red salmon and cucumber (Grandma would pickle the slices first) mock crab (carrot and cheese mixed with salad cream) and corned beef mashed with ketchup and horse radish, and lots of homemade cake,   Afternoon tea would consist of freshly made drop scones and sitting round the table with a pot of jam and real butter, a tea pot with leaves so we had to remember to use the strainer and proper Royal Albert cups and saucers.   It may seem like a fath now in todays society where a bag in a mug is the norm, but learning to pour tea properly certainly makes a more special occasion.  And when I visited The Ritz for afternoon tea for a friends hen party I was the only one who seemed to know the etiquette behind the ceremony for which I was very thankful to Grandma.

I do feel sad that she never got to meet Steve, or see my wedding, meet Joel or this new baby.  Joel’s middle name of Lewis is for Grandma as that was her maiden name.  She was so supportive of all my extra curricular activities.  She encouraged our music lessons, and thats how I learnt to play the piano and violin.   She loved that I enjoyed guides and the outdoors and singing in choirs.  She always came to my concerts and had strong mints in her handbag to give me afterwards!!

She believed in education and due to having to leave school early to work made time later in her life to make it up and was gaining higher education credits from Keele University to work towards a degree.   She used to go away for writing weekends and loved writing poetry, painting and she had her own little kiln to paint china.   We had many lovely weekends away with her in the Lake District and Wales.

I guess you never stop missing the people who had a big impact in your life.   She was a wonderful Christian lady and helped make me who I am today and I hope that she would be proud of where I am now.