Tuesday, 30 July 2013


A couple of Saturdays ago it was Caleb's first Birthday. On the Friday it was a year to the day that I had him, and I texted Seth at exactly 1.44pm to remind him of this fact, as it was exactly the time that Caleb was born. I have to say, I had very mixed feelings about the whole thing! I am obviously so excited to see my little boy grow. He has changed so much in the last year, from a tiny 6 pound 2oz baby to a little boy who has his own little personality. He makes me laugh every day with his chatter and he knows when he is being funny, I love him. Every day he seems to be learning more and more things and I love being able to watch it all as it happens. He is all over the house now, opening cupboard doors and drawers and emptying them of their contents, attempting to climb up on furniture and when I am washing up, he will come over, grab onto the back of my legs and pull himself up.

However, a part of me misses my tiny baby boy. A year ago on the Monday was my due date. This was when Seth decided to buy some face paints on the way home from work and paint my bump in honour of the upcoming Olympics.

On the Thursday afternoon, I felt little twinges that turned into contractions. When I got into hospital, they then debated over whether to give me a c-section as Caleb's heart rate kept dropping and they weren't sure whether they should just get him out as soon as possible, but then his heart rate would pick up again. I have to say, I felt a little bit emotional as the memories came flooding back. This is what having a baby has done to me, I never used to be this soft! I remember the few weeks that followed as well, being excited, happy, exhausted and overwhelmed and wondering why no one had given me a heads up that motherhood is so HARD!

I guess it's kind of hard to explain how I am feeling about Caleb growing up really. Everyone had said to me to treasure every moment because it passes by so quickly and when he was first born, I don't think I really appreciated just how quickly the time would go by! Every time I see a tiny baby now it reminds me that Caleb isn't small anymore and that he's getting older! Just last week, I held him in my arms and rocked him to sleep and when I looked at our reflection in the mirror, I could hardly believe how much he had grown in what seems to be a day. But, to sum it all up, a year ago had a beautiful tiny little baby who has now grown into a beautiful bigger baby boy! I don't know at what stage I should actually stop referring to him as my baby but for now, I'm sticking with it and keeping it around for as long as I can!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Farewell and Birthday Celebrations

Last weekend, Seth, Caleb and I headed to Norwich. It was my niece, Jess's last weekend at home before leaving on the Monday for her mission and she was having a farewell shindig on the Saturday night. We kind of crashed it (actually, my sister Lin offered) and turned it into a joint thing to celebrate Caleb's birthday as well. I was really pleased when she suggested it as the thought had crossed my mind that it would be lovely to celebrate his Birthday being as though all of the family would be together in the one place! It meant celebrating his Birthday a week earlier but I was fairly sure that he wouldn't mind too much.

The family get together wasn't until Saturday evening so Mum, Laura, Seth, Caleb and I played in the daytime. It was another gorgeous day (I am loving the hot weather that we have been blessed with recently! Not loving the permanent glowing quite so much though!) and so we decided to go to Wroxham Barns. It's a lovely place with various craft shops, gift shops and cafes.

We just wandered around the shops, ate ice cream (which Caleb loved!) and played in the park. When I say that we played, you may well think that I mean we played with Caleb in the park but no, we were mainly playing ourselves. We're real grown ups like that. We attempted pull ups on the pull up bars, which Seth could do with no problems at all; for Laura and I it was a bit of a failure! I did however manage to do a forward roll on the bar though so I was happy with that. It may have taken a couple of attempts but I did get a round of applause from people at the nearby picnic bench which made it all worthwhile!

We also had races on the swings. I think Seth won that as well. Lest you think we left Caleb out completely, he also had his turn on the swings and loved it. It always takes him a while to get used to it but once he gets into it, he loves it.


We headed over to Lin's in the evening for the family gathering. It was so lovely to have everyone there, including my nephew Jamie and his new wife, Lauren. She's a lovely girl and she fits in perfectly with the family. Although Jess loved having all of the family together, she didn't really like the attention and kept a fairly low profile, unlike Caleb who was loving all of the attention! He was given some lovely presents from everyone, he's a very lucky boy! The evening consisted of lots of food, chatting and playing, it was a lot of fun being with everyone, as it always is!

A lovely picture of all the family, even if it is a bit blurry!

On Sunday at church, Jess gave a talk in the church meeting on why she had decided to serve a mission. As I looked at her, it seemed hard to believe that she was the little girl who we used to look after and run around after, she is a proper grown up now! It seems strange that I won't see her for 18 months, although there will be letters and emails but our loss is definitely Salt Lake City's gain.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Caleb's first trip to the beach

Last Saturday was brilliant for two reasons. The weather was hot and sunny, and Seth didn't have to spend the day revising / studying. So, after no deliberation at all, we decided that we would head to the beach. It was the perfect day to go there and many others thought so too as it was crowded! However, we managed to find somewhere to set up camp pretty easily. Seth was a lot braver than me and actually swam in the sea (yes it was a hot day but the temperature of the water really did not reflect this!!). I only went in up to my thighs but I thought that was a pretty good effort! We took it in turns to take Caleb down to the water so that he could dip his toes in and feel the squelchy sand underneath his little feet.

His reaction was brilliant. In that there was no reaction at all. Nothing whatsoever. He didn't smile, he didn't laugh or cry, his face was completely deadpan while we were trying to get some sort of a reaction out of him. We were pretty amused by it though! He felt the same way when he was touching the dry sand as well, I don't think he had any idea what to make of it at all. I think this just means that we need to make more trips to the beach when the weather is nice so that he can get used to it!

When it came to him playing with his Mummy and Daddy, he was more than happy and he was laughing and smiling away as he climbed all over us.

I think the sea air and the new experience of the beach tired Caleb out as he slept the whole journey home. It was a perfect day.

This has nothing to do with the beach at all, but a couple of days later I took this photo of Caleb, staring out of the window while I was trying to feed him his dinner. It's too beautiful a picture of him for me not to share it!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

A lovely Sunday with my boys

Last Sunday the weather was beautiful. For anyone not in England reading this, it was 26 degrees celcius. I know you're probably laughing because it may not be all that hot for you but in England, that's pretty nice, warm weather, so after church we went to Hall Place to walk around the grounds and to just sit and enjoy the sunshine.

My family used to live in Kent, I was born here and we lived here until I was 8 and we moved to Norwich. It's kind of funny that we've ended up back down here, pretty close to where we used to live. We used to go to Hall Place as a family and I remember Mum and Dad hanging out on the picnic blanket while Laura and I would be running around, in and out of the bushes. Hall Place holds a lot of happy memories for me. Seth and I also spent the afternoon of our first wedding anniversary there so it was really nice to be back there with Caleb as well.

We walked and talked for ages while Caleb enjoyed just chatting away to himself in his pram. Seth and I don't get to really get to properly talk that much during the week, he gets home from work at around 8ish on a good day, eats dinner and then studies until we go to bed so Sundays is sacred time for us when we just get to spend it together. As it was warm, Seth thought he would help to cool me down by throwing a bottle of water over my head, he's really kind like that. Naturally, it was only right that I returned the favour! We sat under the shade of some trees while we fed Caleb and let him out of his pram to crawl around and climb over us. He loves his Daddy so much.

 Disclaimer: My hair is wet, not greasy. Thanks, Seth!

That night when we got home, the playing continued and I managed to capture some of it in this video:

I love my little family!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


When Mum and Laura were visiting, on the Saturday Seth, Caleb and I left them at our house watching Wimbledon (which they were only too happy to do, was made to watch it non-stop when I lived at home, they are both huge fans!) and we went to meet up with our friends, Anna and Phil. They were down this way for Anna's brother's wedding on the Friday and Anna had texted me months ago to see if we would be free to meet them on the Saturday morning for breakfast. Of course, I said yes!

Anna and Phil were our best friends when we lived in Lancaster, we spent a lot of time at each others houses. Seth was at university in Lancaster when we got married, so I moved up there to be with him for the couple of years until he graduated. I didn't know anyone there other than Seth and the prospect of being in a new place with new people and a new husband was all a bit scary and, well, new! Anna was already very good friends with Seth so I was pleased when we also became good friends. Girls night was a regular thing with Anna and a couple of our other friends where we would lounge around eating chocolate fondue and setting the world to rights! Since we moved down South we don't get to see them very much anymore so we were thrilled to be able to see them again. They had a beautiful baby boy, Rupert 14 weeks ago and it was so lovely to meet him for the first time. I forgot what it feels like to hold a little baby, it seems like such a long time ago now that Caleb was that small.

I have to say, I didn't really speak to Phil that much. He is lovely, but Anna and I were chatting away so much that I don't even think we realised that the guys were there sitting right next to us! When we finished, we drove to the temple and spent some time in the grounds, sitting in the sunshine. I am so glad that we got to see Anna and Phil. Even though we haven't seen them since February, I love how when we get together, nothing changes and we still talk as much as we always used to.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Samaroo girls

As you all know if you read my blog, Seth is busy studying as well as working at the moment and so on occasion Mum and Laura come down to visit. A few days ago was one of these times! Mum comes down quite a bit but I always love when Laura is there as well, as it's just like old times with all of us together again. We always have so much fun and it's great to catch up on everything that is going on. Well, face to face anyway, being as we talk on the phone a lot as well.

On one of these days, we went to Bluewater. I sometimes feel sorry for Caleb, having to hang out at the shops with us girls, but he loves the attention of having Mum and Lau around so I don't think he minds the shopping too much! We stopped for lunch and then afterwards, Lau suggested that we go to the Haagen Dazs restaurant for some dessert. The first time I went to one was on the Champs Elysees when I was in Paris with Seth for my 30th Birthday and then of course, Laura and I went a couple of weeks ago in London. We thought that Mum should experience the tasty delights and so we indulged once more! Caleb was in a highchair up at the table with us and he tried ice cream for the first time. He's not always the easiest baby to feed but this time he had his mouth wide open for the ice cream, he loved it!

Laura was so full afterwards that she could hardly walk, Mum and I took much delight in mocking her endlessly for it as she was laying across a bench looking slightly green. We're really kind like that.

On Saturday night, we went out for dinner to a carvery. Seth was with us this time which was lovely, I always love it when he can join us too (I am so looking forward to his exams being over for the year. Can you tell??!). Caleb entertained the whole restaurant with his cute laughter as he was playing with his bottle. If you're a parent reading this, do you ever just laugh along with your child, thinking that they are completely adorable even though no one else seems to notice? Everyone noticed Caleb, about 4 members of staff were standing close to our table and they just stopped to watch him and laugh along with him for about ten minutes, it was lovely.

Mum and Lau both went home on the Sunday. I never like saying goodbye to them as we always have such a lovely time when they are here but at least I get to see them again in a couple of weeks when we go up to Norwich. I'm looking forward to that already!

(Oh, by the way, if you were wondering about the title of the post, Samaroo is my maiden name.)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Manning family gathering

Seth's parents are soon leaving to be missionaries for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Athens, Greece for 2 years. It's such an exciting time for them and also, a perfect reason for a family get together before they go away. We don't always see all of Seth's family as much as we would like to, as they all live in different parts of the country so it's nice to be together with them.

It's always pretty fun being at the Manning family home when everyone is there (Seth's eldest brother James, and his wife Natalie weren't there as they live in California), as there is just so many of them - Seth is number 6 of 7 children. Then when you add all of Seth's nephews and nieces into the mix as well, there were quite a few of us there (I'm pretty sure there were about 19 of us in total). I remember when we had just started dating; I used to call Seth from the car to tell him that I had arrived and he would come out to my car to meet me before we went inside. It's laughable now, thinking back on it, but I used to find it a bit intimidating because there was so many of them. Don't get me wrong, they are all lovely, I was just being a bit of a baby! Now that I'm a part of the family I'm pretty comfortable with them all :).

On the Saturday we all hung out and played games. Now that Caleb can crawl around, he was loving life! He was all over the place, following after his cousins. They loved being with him and playing with him and he enjoyed all of the attention they showered on him!

 That evening once all of the children were in bed, the grown ups had a chinese meal and toasts were made to Kay and Nick (the parents). We were going to play some games that evening, but we all just ended up chatting into the wee small hours!

We all went to church together on Sunday and we significantly swelled the numbers there, ha ha! It was nice to see people there who I haven't seen in a long time. I think my favourite conversation was with one of Seth's close friends. He commented that to him, I had always seemed so dignified and ladylike and then he sees me, crawling around on the floor after my baby. The joys of motherhood! I'd like to hope that I am still a little bit dignified and ladylike in the process though. One can dream!
That afternoon, Kay took photos of everyone so that she could take them with her (I had been meaning to take pictures of everyone together but alas, it didn't happen and so I don't have any to post on here). We all said goodbye on Sunday evening and left to head home. It seems kind of strange that we won't be having family gatherings in that home for the next couple of years, but I am so excited for Kay and Nick as they prepare to leave for Athens.