Monday, 10 December 2012

Happy Un-Birthday to me!

Last week, Mum came down to stay with us on Thursday and Friday. Which was lovely in and of itself, but it also meant that we had a babysitter on Thursday night! Being as though my actual Birthday was our first day in our new home, we didn't really celebrate it as everything was pretty crazy at that time and it really didn't feel like my Birthday at all. So Seth said that we would celebrate my Birthday properly at a later date. Last Thursday night was that day! I headed into London and met Seth. It's surprising because we actually only live half an hour away from London, but I don't get to go in that often, especially since Caleb was born. It's a bit difficult being able to get around with a pram, especially at stations!

Seth had already decided what he wanted us to do that evening for my Birthday and so we did it - we went to see Les Miserables! I have always wanted to see it and it was something that was on our to-do list. I was so thrilled that we finally got to see it. We had brilliant seats, we were in the first row of the upper stall. Which isn't bad at all, considering we only actually got the tickets about an hour before the show was due to start! It was amazing and we had such a lovely time, the music is just phenomenal. The company wasn't too bad either :).


Monday, 26 November 2012

The Buena Hermana

...that is Laura, in case anyone is wondering who the buena hermana is. When we were both at work we always used to email each other, even when we both lived in the same house and would be seeing each other that evening anyway. Laura would always sign the email as the buena hermana, hence the title of the post.

Laura came to stay with us for the weekend and it was so much fun! She came down on Thursday evening. It's always so lovely when we get together, there's always lots of chatting and laughing and we always seem to have so much to catch up on, even though we talk and text a lot anyway. The weekend consisted of a lot of window shopping, Bluewater on Friday and Westfield on Saturday. We were going to head into London but Caleb had a bit of a cough and a cold so we thought we'd stay inside instead. Also, it was raining a lot so indoors was definitely the best plan! I must say, I was very restrained and didn't buy anything on either of the days, although we had fun looking around and trying on watches. We both love watches and we easily have over 20 between us! So I don't actually need a new watch but I always like to keep my options open!

On Saturday while we were at Westfield, we decided to try out Caleb's baby carrier. I've had it for ages but it was the first time we actually used it and he loved it! He was in it for most of the day and even fell asleep in it, bless him.
When we got home, Laura bought us all Chinese and we watched Strictly Come Dancing together. We're big fans in our house, I've even managed to convert Seth. I'm sure he would love that I just shared that fact, ha ha! (He probably wouldn't want me to share that we also did ballroom and latin dancing for two years either!). Once that finished, Laura and I decided ont he spur of the moment to go and see "Breaking Dawn, part 2", as I really wanted to see it. Seth didn't mind being left, bless him, he was just really happy for me and Lau to be together, he's such a lovely husband! I really enjoyed the film, can I just say. Yes, I like Twilight, it's out there. Crashing on...

It was such a lovely weekend, I loved having Laura here with us. I love that when we get together, it's just like old times when we both lived at home. Some things never change!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The kindness of strangers

Last week, I was in Tesco doing my weekly food shop. To start off with, Caleb was pretty chilled out. I always hope that he will be asleep when I do the food shopping as it always just makes life so much easier! But alas, this day, he was not. I was about 3/4 of the way through doing my shopping when he started crying and I'm not talking just a few tears, I'm talking complete screaming, inconsolable crying. Now I know that people often say that you always notice your baby's cry more than anyone else does but trust me, EVERYONE noticed. Lots of people were looking around at me. You can really spot the difference between people who have children or like children and those that don't because for those who have them / like them, even though they look, they're nice and slightly sympathetic at the situation, whereas the other group of people glare at you and tut, assuming that you're a bad mother because you can't stop the baby crying.

I ended up taking Caleb out of his carseat (we were using one of those trolleys where the carseat goes on top of it) and holding him, whilst also trying to manoeuvre a really heavy trolley. Which we all know is difficult at the best of times, thanks to trolleys that never go where you want them to, but when I have tendonitis in both wrists, it's pretty hard! I would have just walked out of the supermarket and gone back another day had it not been for the fact that I was so close to the end. Caleb calmed down a little bit, but when we came to the checkout, I had to put him back in the carseat so that I could put the shopping onto the conveyor belt. More screaming yet again. Loads of people were looking over at me and it was so awkward. Then I noticed that the customer from the checkout next to me had come over and had started to unload my shopping onto the conveyor belt for me. She was lovely and she commented that we've all been there and that it's good to help one another out. I could have hugged her there and then, it was so kind of her to help. A couple of minutes later when I was putting the shopping into the bags, an older couple came over and looked into the carseat. The lady asked if she could hold Caleb. I was a bit hesitant as she was just a random stranger who I didn't even know but Caleb was crying so much, I was trying to hurry to pack the shopping away and everyone was staring so I just said yes. She picked him up and was cooing over him. Her husband kept taking his glasses on and off to make Caleb laugh and it worked, he was really happy and smiley with them.

Even though my shopping experience wasn't the most fun in the world, I left feeling pretty happy that there are such lovely people who are willing to help out others when they see them struggling a bit and I hope that I can do the same for someone else at some point!

In other news - we have the internet! And Caleb is 4 months old today. And we are in our new home. Happy day!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


....or that's Norwich, to anyone who doesn't have the Norfolk accent. I am one such person. This is my fourth week of being here staying with Mum. Our property completed last Friday and Caleb and I are moving back down at the weekend. Seth is down there now with his Dad, doing fun stuff like painting and making it look pretty for when we move back. It will be so nice to be together again rather than having a "weekend only" husband!

I had mentioned previously that being here is kind of bittersweet because although it's lovely to be here, I really miss Seth. And of course that's true, but I have had a great time being here too. When we come back to visit just for the weekend, there is never enough time to do everything we want to do and see everyone we want to see, but I have had the luxury of being able to do both.

Caleb has had a great time hanging out with his cousins, Sam and Caitlin. He has seen them both quite a lot and they are huge fans of his! They have helped to bath him and Caitlin particularly loves helping out with him, she feeds him, helps to clear up sick, puts his dummy back in his mouth when he spits it out and has learned the trick of holding the dummy in place for a couple of seconds until Caleb properly starts sucking on it. Cait is not that fond of showing any sort of affection and isn't really a huggy-kissy type of girl. I have been taking full advantage of this and every time she has asked to hold Caleb, I make her kiss me on both cheeks, on the forehead and on the nose. Because I'm really nice like that. And she does it! Which shows how much she loves Caleb!

My sister Deb has popped round a few times since we have been here and it has been lovely to see her. She adores Caleb and it's lovely to see her with him. I have also had the chance to spend a lot of time with Lins, one of my other sisters. She has Mondays and Fridays off work and so since I have been here, we have spent the Mondays together. It's so nice being close to my sisters at the moment and being able to see them!
Laura lives in Liverpool, but she has actually been here every weekend that I have been here! She has been travelling down to see us and it's been great. It's been just like old times, with her, me and Mum in the house, with the obvious addition of Caleb! We have had a lot of fun together and Caleb has really enjoyed being able to hang out with his Aunties a lot. Not that he tells me that, but he is always all smiles for them and he chats away to them, it's pretty cute.

Mum has loved having us here, although I think that's more to do with Caleb than me! She keeps telling him that she is going to keep him here and send me back down to the new home. He chuckles at that every time she says it, I don't know if I should be offended or not??!

I have also had the chance to catch up with a couple of girls who I went to university with. I haven't seen Sarah since my wedding three years ago so it was great to see her and to meet her beautiful children, Megan and Jack. I saw Bernadette last year at her wedding and when I caught up with her, she was heavily pregnant. It was fun talking babies with her. She has since had a baby girl, Freya but I've not had a chance to meet her as I have had a cold and I don't really want to share my germs with a newborn bubba!

When I first realised that our house wouldn't complete in time and that I would have to come and stay with Mum, I was sad that I would be away from Seth although pleased also that I would see Mum. Everything has worked out pretty nicely as I have had a lovely time here. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

breastfeeding or bottle feeding?

I wouldn't usually blog about something like this, some people may think that it's a bit of a taboo subject, but I thought I would share my experience. Maybe no one cares, or maybe someone will find it interesting but I have personally found it really helpful to know of other people's experiences of feeding.

We all hear about "breast is best" don't we? I fully intended to breastfeed Caleb. I had no other thought of anything else. When he was born, I didn't own a single bottle or a steriliser as I didn't think I would need it. After all, I'm a woman who just had a baby, breastfeeding should be easy shouldn't it? Perhaps I was naive to think that, or maybe I just wasn't taking into account all eventualities. Because I had bled a lot following giving birth to Caleb, my iron was extremely low and as a result of that, my milk was slow to come in, ie. I had nothing for the first week. I was told to give him formula top ups so on one of the nights I was in hospital, Seth went out to buy everything that was needed and that we didn't already have. I gave Caleb the formula top ups but still carried on trying to breastfeed.

A couple of weeks in, breastfeeding was still a struggle. Caleb was latching on properly and everything but it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be! The midwife and health visitor told me that everything for me was delayed as my milk had only just come in. I found it difficult and painful too (I was doing everything correctly but it just hurt!), but I was adamant that breast was best and that I would continue to breast feed.

About a week or two later again, everything was going swimmingly. I was able to breastfeed, the milk was most definitely there! He had one formula top up a day but other than that, he was just being breastfed. Caleb wasn't putting on weight as fast as the doctors, etc. thought he should. He was also suffering with reflux and colic and so I was told to give Caleb 3 formula top ups a day. Being a first time Mum, I didn't think to disagree and to say that I just wanted to breastfeed my baby, I was doing whatever I was told to do. Which wasn't always easy as on more than one occasion I was given conflicting advice about what to do. But I gave Caleb the 3 top ups a day and gave him the medication that was prescribed. I was then told to put him on a different formula only available on prescription which was supposed to help his reflux and help him to gain weight, and he was given different medication. Long story short (I know, you're thinking, this is the short story? You've been going on for long enough! But indulge me!), when he was on the new formula top up, he wouldn't want to eat at any other time. I'm not sure if it filled him up too much or what, but every time I tried to breastfeed, it was a battle to get him to feed and even when he did, it was only for a few minutes at a time. I told the doctor about this and was informed that maybe it was best just to put him back on what he had been having before, both in terms of formula top ups and medication. So, that we did! Everything should be fine, shouldn't it??

Caleb decided that he didn't want to breastfeed anymore. I tried every trick in the book to try and get him to breastfeed but he just decided that he didn't want to. He would scream every time I even attempted to breastfeed him. He went on complete hunger strike. We both shed a lot of tears over it, but in the end I decided to bottle feed.

What was that, bottle feed??! What a crime!

I know that's what some people might be thinking. I never actually thought like that about any mother who chose to bottle feed as it was their decision. I had a hard time with it though. I had really wanted to breastfeed. I felt like I was letting myself and Caleb down, and I guess I felt like a bit of a failure. It also made me sad because I felt like I had gone through so much to be able to breastfeed in the first place and having got over so many obstacles, I now wasn't able to. Plus, as silly as it may sound,  I almost felt like Caleb didn't really need me anymore, as breastfeeding was something that only I could have done for him and now anyone could bottle feed him. I was going through a whole host of emotions. After just over a week of bottle feeding, this is what I think now....

The decision not to breastfeed was Caleb's, not mine. I didn't expect him to be bossing me around at such an early age! I would have loved to have been able to continue, but what with my little one absolutely refusing and going on a hunger strike, I didn't have a huge amount of choice.

Because I'm not breastfeeding doesn't make me a failure as a mother, it just means that I have to take a different approach to feeding than I was expecting to.

Breast is best. But only in as far as the baby and the mother are happy. The main thing for me is that I am doing everything I can to look after my baby and take care of him in any and every way I can.

What anyone else thinks of my decision to breastfeed or bottle feed doesn't matter. Everyone's experiences are different and everyone needs to do what they feel is right for them and their baby.

My baby is happy. He is smiling and chatty and putting on weight. And if he's happy, then I'm happy too.


Yes, indeed, we are homeless. It's not as bad as it sounds, we're not exactly camping out on a street corner or anything.

We are buying a property and we were hoping that the dates would tie in nicely for when we had to leave our home. They didn't. So, a couple of weeks ago we had to pack up our lovely little home and put everything in storage. Mum was an absolute star, she came down to stay with us for the week and helped to pack everything. My sister Deb also came down to help, they were both amazing, we couldn't have done it without them! So, where are we now? We are still waiting for exchange and completion to take place. Hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer now. Seth is staying with his brother in London, as he is still working there and needs to be able to get back and forth, and Caleb and I are staying with my Mum in Norwich. It is fairly bittersweet and I have mixed feelings about it all. On the one hand, it is lovely to be back "home" again with my family and getting to spend time with them, along with seeing friends that I haven't seen in a long time. But on the other hand, we're not with Seth! He is coming up at the weekends to be with us which is lovely, but we really just want to be together again. So we're crossing everything and hoping that it all goes through quickly from this point onwards.

Caleb is amazing. I just thought I'd put that out there. He is smiling away and talking to himself, it's adorable. I took him to be weighed yesterday and he is now 9lb 14oz, which is great, he's really putting on the weight now, despite being a bit of a slow starter in the whole weight gain department. I love him so much and I can't wait until our little family is properly together again!

Friday, 7 September 2012


Well, hello there! It has been a little while since I have updated the blog, looking after a baby is actually pretty time consuming so it seems! I had fully intended on keeping it updated regularly but then Caleb will go and do something like fall asleep in my arms and at times like that I decide to just treasure the moment and the blog and pretty much everything else can wait! Caleb is really rather lovely though, we love him to bits. He is seven weeks old today and the time seems to have gone by so quickly!

The past few weeks have been pretty busy and full. Seth was on paternity leave and he also took two weeks holiday so he was off for a month with Caleb and I which was lovely. During that time Caleb went into London for the first time with us and experienced the underground for the first time. He cried the entire time he was on it, I don't think he was a huge fan! We also went to the Harry Potter experience, which is a behind the scenes thing at the Warner Brothers studio. I had bought Seth tickets for it for his Birthday way back in June and so we finally went. We had a really good time.

Seth playing in the Weasley's car
Seth and Caleb outside No. 4 Privet Drive
Walking along Diagon alley
Hogwarts! I took way too many pictures here!

We have had quite a few visits from various family members since Caleb was born. Mum and Laura have been the most regular visitors. A couple of weeks ago they came down to stay with us for the week. The plan was for Mum to stay for the week (it was thr first week that Seth went back to work and I didn't want to be on my own!) and Laura was just going to be with us on the Monday before heading back up to Liverpool. She ended up changing her train ticket twice and staying for the whole week, which I was thrilled about! Mum and Laura had a great time with Caleb, they both absolutely love him and they were fighting over who would push the pram when we were out and about, it was pretty funny!

Laura wearing my nursing cover as her new headwear!
On Bank Holiday Monday, Seth and I decided to take a trip to Dover, as we had never been there before. We didn't do the white cliffs tour while we were there although we are planning on visiting again and exploring properly. We spent our time walking along the seafront. It's a really nice place, we enjoyed being there. Caleb slept the whole time, but I'm sure he enjoyed it in his own way.

Did I mention that we are in the process of buying a flat? We are in the process of buying a flat. It feels like a very grown up thing to do! I don't really feel old enough but then, I don't feel old enough to be a Mum either! The whole getting on the property ladder thing isn't as straightforward as we would like it to be and we're hoping that everything goes through smoothly! It also coincides with our landlord selling the property that we are currently renting so we are really hoping that the dates all tie up so we are not left homeless! We're looking forward to being homeowners and to make our little home our own.

Well, that's the past few weeks in a nutshell! We are enjoying life and enjoying our baby boy. Life is good!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


Now that our little boy is here, there is quite a lot to get used to as new parents. It's funny, we had nine months to prepare for having a baby and yet now, it feels like there was nothing that could prepare us for him! It's overwhelming and exciting all at the same time and I feel like I have gone through every emotion possible in the last 3 weeks and 4 days! But I thought that I would fill you in on a few little details to do with our little Caleb.

He is very thin and long, and he has long arms and legs. He often startles himself and his arms shoot out which really makes Seth and I laugh as he looks like he is trying to conduct. He loves his hands and he is always putting them in his mouth but he hasn't quite figured out the fact that he is the one responsible for knocking his dummy out of his mouth, he still needs to learn some coordination! Caleb is ridiculously strong, especially considering that he is only 6lb 3oz, I think he may be a bit of a handful when he is a bit older as he seems to have his own mind already! For the first few days after he was born, I called him my little goopy eye, as his eyes were, needless to say, always goopy. I no longer call him this as his eyes are better since his tear ducts properly formed. I also call him my snuffly piggy as his nose is quite often blocked. Seth keeps telling me not to call him these names in case they stick! Hi has the cutest little smile and although I know it's wind, he still looks adorable. He looks a lot more like Seth than me and everyone who has seen him says the same, except for the young guy on the tube the other day who tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that Caleb looks exactly like me. He is the only one who seems to think so though! Caleb has really long feet, even though he's such a small baby, so we think he is going to be a swimmer. I think we both get a bit frustrated when he cries a lot as we feel like we should know what the matter is and I wish that he could communicate to us somehow so that we could make it better. We check to see if he is too hot, too cold, if he needs changing, etc. but as I have been told many times, sometimes babies just cry!

As I said before, I don't think that anything could have prepared me for Caleb and how much our lives would completely change but we adore the new addition to our little family!

Monday, 6 August 2012

The experience

I haven't updated this blog recently but I have had other things to do. On Friday 20th July at 1.44pm, our beautiful little son, Caleb Joshua Manning came into the world.

When I had asked people how I would know when I was in labour and they would say to me, "trust me, you'll know!" So when my contractions started on Thursday afternoon, I wasnt sure if I was actually having them or not, because I didn't "know"! It's not like they're at their full intensity straight away or anything. I texted Seth at around 5.30pm to say that I was pretty sure I was having contractions. A couple of hours later, all of those who had said to me that I would "know" were in fact quite right, I did know! They're pretty painful and although I felt like I could handle them better standing up, I was practically collapsed against Seth.  I had planned on having as natural a delivery as possible at the Oasis centre, a midwife-let unit and at around 11.30pm when my contractions were lasting around 1 minute and were between 5 and 7 minutes apart I called them. They told me to stay at home for a bit longer. When I eventually went in at around 2.30am, for various reasons I had to go to the labour ward instead of the Oasis centre to be assessed as it was thought that everything may not be as straightforward as we'd hoped (the Oasis Centre will only take you if everything is completely fine). The midwife hooked me up to the fetal heartrate monitor and was filling in paperwork when the baby's heartrate slowed right down. Within seconds the room was flooded with people, quickly dressing me in a hospital gown and talking about an emergency caesarean. They put me in a wheelchair and took me through to a delivery room. Luckily they decided that I wouldn't have to have the caesarean but they did decide to break my waters to speed up labour. The next few hours were a bit of a blur for me. I thought they went by pretty quickly but I was in that labour room for around 11 hours. At first I didn't want any pain relief but then I ended up using the gas and air. At first I didn't like how lightheaded it made me feel but a couple of hours later, they couldn't take it away from me if they tried! It didn't take the pain away at all but it does make you more detached from it. Being the non-drinker that I am, it had quite the effect on me and I pretty much sucked on that thing with each contraction until it knocked me out. I originally didn't want the gas and air because I didn't want to lose control and not know what I'm doing or saying but then it got to the stage where I didn't care. I don't remember much but I have a feeling that I probably completely embarrassed myself!

I had always said that I didn't want an epidural. The thought of a needle going into my spine freaked me out. However, Caleb's head was so low down that with every contraction, I felt the urge to push and even though you know that you're not supposed to, it's actually really difficult to tell that to your body when it desperately wants to! It also really added to the pain of the contractions and I was only 3cm dilated at this point! The anaesthetists were tied up in theatre and so I had to wait about an hour and a half before I was able to have an epidural. Let me tell you, it was the best thing in the world! It was really great because I couldn't really feel the contractions or anything and I was able to get some rest and sleep, which I really needed. On occasion, the room was flooded with people again as Caleb wanted to keep everyone on their toes and thought it would be funny if his heartrate kept dropping, just to panic everyone. Each time they thought  might need a caesarean after all, his heartrate picked up again. The next thing I knew, they checked me and I was 10cm dilated. Loads of people were there once again as they took away the bottom of the bed and put my legs in those leg support things. I was told that now since I was 10cm and Caleb's heartrate had been so up and down, they needed to get him out as soon as possible so he would have to be delivered by forceps. I had the epidural so I couldn't really feel anything other than the pressure. I think I was pushing for about 20 minutes and then Caleb was born. We didn't know he was going to be a boy but it came as no surprise to Seth or myself that he was, I think we were both kind of expecting it. Needless to say, we both cried, it was a pretty emotional moment. Seth got to hold Caleb for about an hour and a half while they were stitching me up. I couldn't believe that we actually had our baby. I had been tracking his progress on websites since I knew I was pregnant with him and it seemed so surreal that this beautiful little baby boy was now here and that he was ours.

I will tell you more in the not too distant future but I thought I would give you that little update of the overall birthing experience for those of you who wanted to know!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

40 weeks, maternity leave and Team GB

Happy 40 weeks to me! As you can see then, the last post did not end up being the last post, sans-baby, however I am still hopeful that it will come quite soon!

Last week I started maternity leave. It feels so nice not to be at work and to be able to stay in bed that bit longer in the morning. I have actually surprised myself by being quite organised so everything is pretty much in place for when the baby comes. Laura came down to stay with me for a couple of days last week and we had so much fun together. Our two days consisted of shopping, eating a ridiculous amount of food (yes, we went to krispy kreme and yes we had two doughnuts each, but who's counting??!) and vegging out as well. The shopping included Laura buying the baby "Team GB" olympic sleepsuits, they are amazing and I can't wait to see our baby in them! She was so excited to get them for us and we love them. Laura took really good care of me and we had a great time, it was a shame to see her go. As well as just enjoying her company and having her here, it also took my mind off the fact that I am waiting for the baby to arrive!

Last Wednesday was mine and Seth's 3rd wedding anniversary. I can't believe that we have been married for 3 years already! The time has gone by so quickly. We celebrated it by going out for dinner to a nearby Mexican restaurant and had non-alcoholic cocktails afterwards, they were so good! Virgin coladas all the way.

Last week, Seth and I went food shopping. I know, you're thinking that that's really not anything very interesting (unless of course I went into labour while we were there but you already know that  didn't!). As we were making our way through the car park, you know how you turn sideways to walk in between cars so that you can fit in between their wing mirrors? Seth found it really funny that I can now no longer do that as I am deeper than I am wide! All the things you don't really think about! I had to navigate my way around, analysing if I could actually fit in between cars or not. I quite often underestimate how big my stomach is. For the longest time, people didn't even realise I was pregnant and now, strangers ask me when I am due and say that I must be about ready to pop now. Yes, yes I am, could someone please pass that on to the baby? Much appreciated!

Ever since we got married, before we had even discussed having children, Seth had always said that when I was pregnant, he wanted to buy face paints and to paint the baby bump. I always thought that he would forget about this but a couple of nights ago, he came home from work with a cheeky grin on his face and then produced the face paints. So what better time to paint the bump than the due date?

The face paints were red, white and blue so of course, what with the olympics coming up very soon, it was only natural for Seth to paint the "Team GB" logo on my stomach! I was very limited in my view and so I had to wait until he had completely finished painting it to see how it looked. I think it turned out brilliantly, he did an amazing job! (Has anyone else noticed that it looks like the lion has an ear because of where my belly button is??!) Seth was rather pleased with his handiwork, and with good reason! It was a fun evening.

Friday, 6 July 2012

how much longer?

I am now 38 weeks pregnant. Although I know that I am still a week and a half away from my due date, I still can't help but hope that every day will be the day that I might go into labour! I had signed up to a million various baby type websites, babycentre, mothercare, SMA and all the rest and last week I kept getting email notifications informing me that I am now 37 weeks pregnant and considered full term. Whilst that is pretty reassuring, knowing that the baby could be born then and everything will be alright, it also makes me think, "okay, I'm full term........ now where are you??". Maybe it would be better if they didn't mention anything about you being full term at 37 weeks, as at that point I'm still 3 weeks from my due date and potentially around 5 weeks away from having the baby!

Then again, perhaps it does increase the anticipation! Seth and I are both getting very excited about meeting the baby. After not having anything sorted out for the longest time, I can now say that I think everything is in place as far as it can be anyway, and we are ready for the baby to come. On the other hand, am I the only first time Mum who, whilst being excited about it all is also a little bit freaked out? Take for example last night. I was really tired, Seth wasn't home from work yet. So I just laid on the sofa and watched TV. Very lazy and unproductive of me I know. But then I got to thinking that in a couple of weeks' time, everything is going to change. It's no longer going to be about me doing what I want, we have this new little person to take care of and look after. And whilst I really can't wait, I still find it slightly daunting! Okay, very daunting! I don't know anything about babies! I'm rubbish with babies! I am the overgrown child who sits there with their arms outstretched, waiting for a newborn to be placed in their arms because I am not capable of picking them up myself. You think I'm joking, but really, I'm not actually much better than that. I went to see Katie a few days ago and held her beautiful baby girl and I was afraid that somehow I would break her. How exactly I would do that, I don't know, I was only holding her! Everyone says that it just comes naturally to you when it's your own, so I'm hoping that they're not just lulling me into a false sense of security!

Despite me freaking out a bit about it all though, I am still so happy that we are having this baby. I am also really happy that I can eat pineapple again. I don't know if it's true or if it's an old wives tale that eating pineapple can help to bring on labour because it can soften the cervix. But when you've been craving it since around 16 weeks, it's not really the sort of thing you want to take the chance on anyway, is it? I'm also not eating lots of pineapple to bring on labour (although I wouldn't mind!) but it's really nice to actually be able to eat it again and not have to worry.

My Mum has decided to keep a chart of all of my family's guesses as to when they think the baby will arrive, how much it will weigh and what sex it will be. Two members of the family have guessed mine and Seth's wedding anniversary as the date, the 11th July. My midwife and I have decided that I should have it on the 9th, because she's on duty in the hospital that day. I know it will come when it's good and ready but I find trying to guess these sorts of things quite fun! Sometimes when I try to guess the sex of the baby, Seth in a very male, matter of fact way points out that I didn't want to find out the sex. I'm still glad that we didn't, because I still like to keep guessing!

I'm hoping that this will be the last blog post I write, sans-baby, so we shall see how that works out!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sapphire's baptism and recent events

This last Saturday, we were up with Seth's family as it was his niece, Sapphire's baptism that afternoon. The whole day was really lovely, we had a bit of a lay in (always much needed, especially because my 37 week pregnant self is finding it hard to sleep these days!) and when we got up and got ready, we were just hanging out with the family. Between all of the brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, nephews and nieces, there are so many of them that it's always really nice just chatting to everyone!

As everyone began to get changed for the baptism, Seth and I went up to our room to get changed and we noticed that my dress wasn't there. That would be because it was hanging on the wardrobe door at our house. Due to some miscommunication I had thought that he had packed it but alas it was not there. Usually it wouldn't have been a massive dilemma, I would have just borrowed something from one of my sisters in law, but my rather large stomach made that a but difficult! Luckily we managed to leave with enough time to swing by Mothercare, where I managed to find something to wear (I think Seth left my dress behind on purpose because he actually just wanted to buy me something new!) and we got to the church with about 5 minutes to spare.

The baptismal service was lovely, Sapphire was smiling throughout and looked so happy! Laura (her Mum - just in case you ever get confused reading this, Seth and I both have sisters called Laura - this Laura is Seth's sister) and April sang a lovely song. They were both really nervous and I have no idea why as they sang beautifully! When it had all finished, we headed back to the Mannings for food and to play. Well, the kids played, as there was a bouncy castle in the back garden. It was such a nice day and really lovely to be able to spend it with Seth's family. Sadly, even though I took my camera, I didn't take any photos of the weekend - sometimes, it's nicer just to soak it all up and enjoy it rather than take pictures of it all!

In other news......

Last week I had my grade 5 piano theory exam. I have no idea how I did, all I know is that it was a lot harder than any of the past papers that I had done when I was practising, so I am hoping that I have done enough to pass! I worked pretty hard in the run up to doing it and it was a bit of a "crash course" in piano theory - I only started to have theory lessons at Easter time, so I'm just glad that I even managed to take the exam! I know I've put in the work though so now I will just have to wait and see what happens. Apparently it takes around 6 weeks to get the results. My which time, this little one should be here:

This photo was taken at 36 weeks

Crazy thought! And in terms of baby news, all is going well. I am starting to feel quite heavy and walking is getting to be harder and harder. It's funny because before I was pregnant, I would see or hear certain things and promise myself never to be like that. I would see pregnant women waddle and I was determined that I wouldn't. Whilst I can still manage to walk without waddling, since the bump has dropped, it is getting increasingly hard to walk normally! I would also see pregnant women with their hands on their bumps quite a lot. I would sometimes wonder why they did that, as they know that the baby is there. I have become one such person on many an occasion and I have discovered that we do it for the following reasons.

1. It is fun to feel our babies moving around. It's pretty amazing to know that there is a little person growing inside you and why not make the most of it while it lasts?
2. The baby can feel it when you touch your stomach so it's nice to have that contact with them. Seth always tells me that this does not extend to poking them to get a reaction though. Or shining a torch on my stomach to see it reacting to light, but that's a whole different matter.
3. It stops you from hurting your stomach when you walk into things. Point 3 is a very important one. I can't tell you how many times I have overestimated how much space I have and underestimated how big I am, resulting in my banging my stomach on many an occasion and it hurts! It's not like it's an area that is used to being knocked!

We still have a few things to get done before the baby arrives, but I am starting to get restless now. I think the reason for that is probably because my friend Katie (3 weeks ahead of me), had her baby on Friday. She had a little girl, Vivienne Mae. We had been discussing our pregnancies so much the whole way along that now that she has her baby, I want ours to be here! I am so impatient, and I have a feeling that this baby is going to keep me waiting! Mum has decided to keep a chart of everyone in the family's guesses as to when the baby will be born, the sex and the weight. Any ideas, anyone?

Friday, 22 June 2012

my major mishap


I'm not a hugely clumsy person. When it comes to tripping up and stuff, yeah I do that a lot and probably even more so since being pregnant. Seth often reminds me to be careful because I'm balancing for two now. But in terms or general clumsiness, such as dropping things, I'm not too bad at that, or no worse than most people I suppose.

On Sunday evening, we had a dessert party at our house. So on Sunday afternoon when we got home from church, I set about making brownies. Seriously, don't be impressed, they were packet mix brownies. So really, there was not a great deal of making involved, just adding water, oil and an egg. Anyone who was at our wedding knows from all of the speeches that my culinary abilities are far from outstanding and sadly they haven't greatly improved in our almost three years of marriage. It's on my list of things to do.

Everything was going well and going to plan. We had a bit of time before our friends arrived so all was well. I put the brownies in the oven and then as I reached up into the cupboard to put the vegetable oil away, it slipped out of my hand, hit the work surface and the bottle exploded. Everywhere. I called out for Seth to come and help me and when he saw it, he laughed more than somewhat but then helped me to clean up. We were both laughing about it, although I couldn't believe that I had dropped it. Now, when I say it had exploded, the bottle was still intact but the lid had come off. You really wouldn't think it could cause that much mess, would you? Anyone who has been to our house knows that our kitchen is tiny so it wouldn't take much for it to be covered, but it was quite literally covered in oil. The work surfaces (including the one on the other side of the kitchen), the dish rack, the sink, the walls, the fridge, the cupboards, the windows, our orchid, the floors, the washing machine. So pretty mucy everything in the kitchen that could have been covered in oil was. Seth started to clean the floor and then walked into the lounge to do something, which resulted in oily footprints going from our kitchen to the lounge so I was down on my hands and knees with the cleaner, trying to sort it out. Every time we thought that we had finished cleaning, we would look and just see more oil! And it's really not the easiest of things to clean up either. I laughed at how ironic it was that even though I was making packet mix brownies, I still managed to make a huge mess! I think that really it was some sort of punishment because I was taking shortcuts and not making something from scratch. The culinary Gods must be trying to tell me something. Since it happened, Seth will be eating something and he'll say, "this doesn't taste quite right, I think it has oil on it". He thinks it's hilarious, cheeky monkey. Any time I see a spot of water somewhere in the kitchen, I touch it to make sure it's not some of the oil that I had missed. Luckily we had actually managed to clean it all up though!

Despite my mishap, we still had a lovely evening and the brownies tasted quite good too. Thank you Betty Crocker.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


You thought I'd had the baby already didn't you? Just to put your minds at ease, I've not had it yet but am due in less than 4 weeks now! I know that in reality it will probably be late so I'm trying not to dwell on the whole due date thing too much! Although I say that now, you just watch me getting impatient when the baby takes its own sweet time to make its grand entrance into the world!

On Saturday night, my friend Katie and I headed over to our friend Naomi's house for a girl's night with her and one of our other friends, Emma. When we got there, Katie walked into the lounge first and I heard a huge chorus of "SURPRISE!". They then realised that I hadn't come around into the lounge at quite the same time so they did it again when I walked in which was pretty funny. We thought we were just there for a girls night but it turns out that it was our baby shower! Neither of us had any idea at all. It was such a fun evening with lovely food, great people and fun games. We played a game where we had a little plastic baby in a big block of ice and we had to see whose baby would be "born" first, ie. who could melt their ice the fastest. We also had three clothes pegs each and we weren't allowed to say the names "Kirsty" or "Katie" or to say the word baby and if we did, the person who noticed could steal one of our pegs. Katie was amazing at that game and I think she wound up with around 9 pegs by the end of the evening. People also wrote on baby vest shaped pieces of paper to guess the dates our baby would be born, whether it would be a boy or a girl and how much they would weigh. According to that, my baby is going to be late, it's going to be a boy and will be about 8 and a half pounds. Time will tell I suppose! Katie got mostly girl guesses. She is due 3 weeks before me, so she is 38 weeks pregnant now and I guess due any time really!

I have no photos of the evening sadly as I didn't have my camera with me, but I took a picture of one of the cupcakes:


The eyes are slightly smudged due to me not transporting it home very well! Actually, there was another cupcake on top of that one which is why it is smudged and the icing went a bit funny but I ate that one before I had a chance to take a picture of both of them together, they were really tasty!

People were very generous and got us both some lovely gifts, I feel very spoiled on behalf of our baby! It was such a lovely, unexpected evening and so kind of Naomi to organise it all for us.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Jubilee weekend

Did we all have a good Jubille Weekend? Ours was great, we spent it in Liverpool with Laura and April and Chris. We really wanted to head up to Liverpool again before the baby is born so the Bank Holiday weekend was a great chance to do it.

When we pulled up to Laura's apartment she came out to meet us, the first thing I noticed was her t-shirt.
How cool is that? For those of you who don't know, Laura has called our baby Megatron since she found out that we were having a baby and it seems to have stuck. So now, people in both of our families as well as some of our friends have taken to calling our baby Megatron. As funny and amusing as it is now, I'm hoping it won't stick once the baby is born!

We stayed in the apartment for a few minutes, long enough for Laura to give Seth his Birthday present (the Ocean's films - love them!) and she also bought me a present - a beautiful turquoise bracelet from Fossil. I love Fossil, most of my watches are from there ( yes, I have more than one watch. I think I have 8 actually, 6 of which are Fossil) and I have a Fossil handbag as well. I should work there I think, I would very much appreciate the staff discount. But anyway, how lovely is she for getting me a present too? The reason for it was because it had been really hot and I am pregnant and was finding it difficult. I love that she bought me a present for that, she is so generous!

We went out for a bit of a wander around - Liverpool is a nice city just to wander around and people watch. We then went for dinner and ate ourselves silly - the food there is so good! When we came back to Laura's, we just vegged out and chatted. And amused ourselves by taking lots of photos. Seth put up the air mattress and didn't really move from there for the rest of the evening. Laura decided to torture him by playing a song on youtube that he hates, so he decided to build a fort using the air mattress to block us both out, it was really funny.

As Laura and I were chatting away, Seth was watching a film on TV. We must have bored him because he fell asleep, so like any mean wife would do, I took a picture of him. Then Laura decided to recreate it!

We found it pretty amusing. We're weird like that.

On Sunday we went to church in Liverpool, then we went back to Seth's sister April and her husband Chris's for lunch and to spend the afternoon and evening. It was really lovely to all be there together. April made a lovely roast dinner and she made the most amazing chocolate cake for dessert, it was so delicious! After dinner, we played an epic game of Trivial Pursuit. It was a version I'd never played before, where you could bet on whether or not you thought the person would get the question right, it was really fun. I say it was an epic game as we were playing for about 4 hours!

It was a lot of fun though. Seth won, he was pretty pleased!

On Monday, Laura, Seth and I went for a walk around Albert Dock. I would be lying if I said that we didn't go there just to go to the sweet shop there! They have so much and it's always really busy, I think it must be every child's dream.

Laura bought us all jelly belly beans, I love them. I was craving them earlier on in my pregnancy and she sent me some. I am no longer craving them, I just wanted them, so we all got some. It had to be done.

Once we left there we went up to Liverpool One where they had a "Proms in the Park" outdoor concert. There were a lot of people there and deck chairs were set out for everyone to sit and enjoy the music, so we did just that!

Laura pointing to where she lives, only her apartment is on the other side. 

The music was fantastic, it was really nice to just sit in the sun, chat and take in everything going on around us. Various orchestral groups played during the time that we were there but we found one group particularly amusing. Well, the conductor at least. It seems that her rear was taking on a life of its own while she was conducting, we found it pretty entertaining!

The photo doesn't do justice to just how much Seth was laughing!
We eventally left there to go and get something to eat, then we went back to Laura's to pack up and headed home. It was such a fun weekend and so lovely to get to spend time with Laura, April and Chris. The next few weekends I think are probably going to be spent a little closer to home. I know that the chances of me going into labour early are remote, but just in case it does happen, I would rather not be 5 hours away from home.

Well, that is all for now! I'll keep you posted with any more goings on!