Hello you.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

I've been away for a while. To be fair, life's been pretty busy ...

A couple of weeks ago, after a stop start labour that started on a Thursday evening and ended, finally, the following Monday afternoon, our beautiful son arrived.

Now after a manic couple of weeks that passed by in a blur of cards and presents and flowers and Christmas and visitors and appointments, he is laying on me, feeding, occasionally opening his eyes to peep at me whilst I type one handed.

Parenthood is different second time round. On the one hand it's relentless and tiring and daytime naps are no longer a thing. On the other hand we are more relaxed and more confident in our decisions and the way we are dealing with everything.

I am going with the flow and riding on the feeling of euphoria that is still hanging around after his birth, because I know this time that it goes by impossibly quickly, and that as eternal and difficult as the sleepless nights feel at the time, they won't last long, either. I am happily soaking in him - his little tiny elbows (who knew elbows could be cute?), his noises, his smell. I am storing away precious first memories of my daughter becoming a sibling. I'm not thinking about things very much. Just going with whatever happens.

It's nice. And unexpected.

I took a long time to get over the birth of Jellybean, physically. I'm feeling much better this time round. I think it's half because I've done it before, and half because the midwives were so brilliant, and empowered me to have a very calm, in-control kind of labour, the kind of labour that I'd hoped for but kind of didn't dare to hope for at the same time. It meant that I felt powerful instead of helpless and calm instead of afraid. I keep re-remembering it, trying to cement the weird awesomeness of it into my brain.

When he arrived I felt nothing but pride and wonder and awe. (And, you know, like I'd fallen down a flight of stairs and bruised every bone in my body on the way down, but still).

When he arrived I just looked at him - over a pound bigger than Jellybean was, and weirdly clean thanks to his dip in the pool - and enjoyed the weight of him on me.

I said 'I love you' over and over again.

I said 'I'm your Mummy.'

I said 'Happy birthday!'

I said 'So it was you in there this whole time.'

It was him the whole time - him in the beginning making me throw up, him in the middle fluttering in my belly, him at the end hiccuping while Chris and I paced the silent hospital corridors in the night, trying to make labour start again during one of the longest nights of our lives.

He is one hundred million percent worth it.

Now I'm going to try not to nod off whilst eating stew one handed. 

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas! 

What happens when you hand a three year old a camera

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Yep, that's right. Still no baby.

I'm in limbo land: every day I make tentative plans not knowing if they're going to happen or not. The end of pregnancy is unique in that you actively anticipate pain and get quite excited when it arrives. And then feel disappointed when it goes away again. You also spend a lot of time telling people a date that might not actually mean anything.

But the good news is that every day I get to spend lots of lovely time with my daughter, and building up a few treasured memories of our last few days with just the two of us. Mostly we potter around the house playing. We also go for very long, slow walks in the hope that gravity encourages the baby to start getting a move on.

Slow, muddy, misty walks.

A while back I dug out my very old digital camera for Jellybean to use. She became a photography obsessive. Now, if I need to drag her out of the house for baby-moving reasons, I call chirpily 'let's take your camera!' to try and persuade her out into the cold.

I often wonder what goes through Jellybean's head (especially given some of the things she comes out with). Now I can see what the world looks like from her perspective, which is quite fun. It looks a bit like this:

Girl's got skills!

That's it really. If you need us we'll be here. Quietly waiting. Enjoying each other's company. Reading stories in blanket forts and bouncing on gym balls and scrubbing the kitchen floor (alright, the last two are just me). And wondering what Christmas will look like in our house this year ...


Advent starts here - Christmas traditions await!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

It's advent time!

I love the run-up to Christmas. The long, grey, drizzly December days seem so much more bearable when you know something exciting is coming up. Plus the decorations come out, so no matter how dusty or dirty your house is, you can just switch off the main light and enjoy the gentle glow of fairy lights. Ahhh.

Traditionally we light a candle every dinner time throughout December - the idea is that we say a slightly longer/more thought out 'grace' prayer than usual, although with a hangry toddler this sometimes doesn't go to plan. Also at some point in December we try to:

  • Go on an evening walk to look at Christmas lights
  • Make paper chains
  • Make gingerbread men
  • Make Christmas cards

And there is the obligatory viewing of Home Alone/Love Actually/Miracle on 34th Street/National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation/A Christmas Story whilst wrapping presents in the evenings ...

It's actually pretty important to establish family traditions, whatever they might look like. They are an important, identity-forming part of childhood. I mean, I remember our childhood Christmas traditions as clear as day - and it is humbling and quite exciting to know that we are forming those early memories for our kids. Plus, it's nice to enjoy the excitement of Christmas without the main feature being a huge pile of toys under the tree.

(I'm not going to lie though - I was always very excited about the toys).

My blog is going to be fairly quiet over December due to the new baby, but there are a few posts coming up. Also, throughout December, if you follow me on Facebook, you will find a series of children's Christmas book reviews for the first week of December - so if you need an excuse to go book shopping, this is it!

I'll be posting every day in December on my Facebook page with some craft/food gift ideas too, as well as some great blog posts by other bloggers. So get in the spirit and follow me there!

Also I've got a pretty good advent board on Pinterest going on. Check it out here.

In the meantime: what do you do for advent? Do you have any traditions that you have to follow every year? Let me know in the comments, I love Christmas chat!

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