23 Dec 2015

Our new arrival and birth story...

We are delighted to announce that on the 4th December Mia Robyn Anna came into this world. Just like her big brother she was overdue, but unlike her brother's hectic birth story we opted for a calmer experience.

The consultant advised that we had three options:

1) induction, as before, which would 
likely be long and painful and end in an emergency section

2) wait it out which could be risky for her as we were concerned about lack of movements

3) elective section which would be calmer and less risky than an emergency section 

It was a tough decision as last time The Belgian had the whole summer holidays off and thus time we have a toddler too. However I didn't want a repeat of my previous birth and so I was prepped for my surgery three days later.

It felt surreal driving into hospital early knowing by lunchtime our baby girl would be with us. I had a carb heavy pizza and garlic bread the night before and a small carton of Ribena for breakfast as advised.

We had to answer lots of the same questions and sign forms. We met Dawn our midwife with the toddler and I was a bit disappointed when she didn't remember us quite as clearly! 

Our appointed midwife Lorraine was very down to earth and kind and came to get us around 11 to walk me down to general surgery.

The Belgian sat watching Homes Under the Hammer whilst I was taken for the bit I was dreading - the spinal. I am not the biggest fan of injections and obviously last time it was all a blur if madness and necessity in a haze of gas and air. But this time I was lucid and opting to have this big needle inserted into my spine. Craziness.

The young anesthetist, who had seemed so lovely and competent, took half an hour to get the needle in. I was zoning out and singing songs in my head when I noticed all had gone eerily quiet and there was a lot of fiddling going on behind my back. They kept asking if I was a horse rider and if my spine was straight!? In the end an older guy had a try. A 'fresh pair of hands' a midwife subtly suggested.

He did it first time.

When they wheeled me into the bright lights I broke down. That experience had been pretty traumatic and the idea of what lay before me was daunting too. Luckily it was my consultant Cat and she was clearly very proficient at her job. The OR filled with random chat between colleagues and the calm I had been promised was evident. 

Our baby girl was lifted out and cleaned up and given to The Belgian. I couldn't believe how much she resembled her brother from the dark hair and eyebrows to the button nose and milk spots to the perfect little rose bud mouth. Once again we were in love.

We had three names in mind Mia, Amber and Lexi but when we looked at her we both agreed she was a Mia and we had already agreed on the middle names. Robyn as it is my sisters middle name and Anna like her super-Oma and also her daddy's middle name.

As they wheeled me out she made a little cry and the midwife said she was hungry. The moment I'd been dreading. I thought I would give it a try and she latched on straight away. I was really proud of us both. I had been led to think I was defective with Ellis 

We had worried we didn't have enough love for a second but this is clearly not the case and we can't stop smelling her, cuddling her and marvelling over how perfect she is.

24 Aug 2015

Week in the life 2015: Thursday

Today I am going to journal about the story behind the picture.
The story behind this picture is that I was running late. I don't love driving but luckily the toddler is quite keen - helped along by an in car snack of wotsits (hence his orance face.) He is in his bright orange tee as we're in a public place today and its easier to find him.

The story behind this picture is that Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate was doing a Mad Hatters Tea Party theme for summer. We saw this spread and thought - 'photo op.' I had the big camera and wanted some good snaps for my Week in the Life.

The story behind this picture is that he is still too young to realise it was plastic food. He really wanted that strawberry.

The story behind this picture is that I am glad for the friends I have made at church. There is always someone around for my toddler to hang out with. He particularly liked the older girls and I am glad they know how to pose for a picture even if he gets a bit distracted.

The older ones were all taking part in a challenge trail and he wanted to join in too and would hit all the boards and babble as if he was passing information on.

Pond dipping is a dangerous business with a toddler who can take it too far! We saw some pond snails though.

The story behind this picture is that he is obsessed with car, trucks, trains and so when he saw this empty car he couldn't resist and so I helped him up and got a perfect snap. 
The story behind this picture is that thirty seconds earlier it was a perfect snap of the toddler. Story of my life these days.

The little explorer ruining the photo op again.

He is obsessed with hide and seek at the moment. He kept running off and I would chase him as best I could and then have a mini heart attack when I couldn't find him - only to see his cheeky little face peeking out from the bushes so excited to have been able to trick mummy.

Another great photo op but it reminds me of the strain of having to lift all of them up onto the chair one by one as it was too high and their mummies were no-where in sight.

The moment that makes it all worthwhile - the ice-cream at the end of the day. It ended up being a late night as he napped in the car around 5 and so bedtime was postponed, whilst he watched some cartoons...

21 Aug 2015

Week in the life 2015: Friday

I want to remember lazy mornings. Sometimes you wake up in a really good mood and babble away in your cot and play with your toys. Sometimes your grumpy and wake up crying and then we have to ease into the day slowly with some cartoons.

I want to remember how you like your toast plain and I like mine with jam. This jam is homemade by your Belgian great-grandma. 

I want to remember how tactile you are. How you often hold my hand, cuddle me and put your hands on me.

I want to remember how sometimes in the holidays daddy takes you out on your own and I get some me time. This me time involved red pepper soup, a cheese toastie, catching up on blogging and social media and then some craft time. 

I want to remember how much I enjoy the process of Project Life and how it's a much better fit for my life than regular scrapbooking. I currently love stamping little phrases and alpha stamps and coming up with contrasting colour schemes. Oh and washi tape. 

I want to remember how lazy I've been with meals this week. I just don't feel like cooking or washing up. We went for tea to a cheap two-for-one pub. However it was not very relaxing and the toddler was very unsettled and spotted the playground out the window and did not want to be sat in his high chair when he could be playing. I think we will save things like this for date night as it wasn't a relaxing experience. I was eyeing up their rocky road sundae for dessert but in the end we just left as we'd had enough!

I want to remember how Friday nights are a low key affair where we stretch out on the sofa with treats and watch a film together. Sometimes I make microwave mug chocolate cake for us and serve it with ice-cream. Usually we watch a thriller that is the Belgians choice, but tonight I got to chose and we went for 'If I stay' and both enjoyed it. 

I want to remember how I have enjoyed documenting our week and will leave it at Friday as everyone was getting fed up of all the pictures and I'm happy with our slice of life I captured.

20 Aug 2015

Week in the Life 2015: Wednesday

Today felt like a real hump day where everyone was a bit tired and grouchy and I almost didn't take any pictures as I wasn't in the mood. But I'm glad I persevered and actually managed the most pics with the big camera and found some time to edit them and add some words. I think I will use verbs to explain today.
The above picture is the toddler 'sharing' his crayons. I gave them to him hoping for some quiet time, but instead he kept handing me a different colour and wanting me to draw something with it.

'Hugging' on our family walk in Golden Acre park.

'Climbing' on the bench and 'grinning' at his achievement.

'Marvelling' at the gorgeous flowers.

'Ignoring' instructions - as usual.

'Rescuing' from drowning.

'Resting' and aching a bit after the long walk.

'Perching' on daddy's shoulders in his nappy as his trousers and shoes and socks were soaked from his earlier jumping.

'Scoffing' his late lunch after avoiding a nap and trashing his room.

The evening consisted of eating pasta, watching Netflix and meeting with our new childminder (yes really a NEW one!)

How was your hump day?

19 Aug 2015

Week in the life 2015: Tuesday

Morning Tuesday!
It was my lie in and as usual I was awoken by the toddler crawling all over me in bed.
I came downstairs to toy carnage - but I guess you can't have it all!

The morning saw us sorting out things like online banking, emails , schedules and planning whilst the toddler watched some cartoons. (Excuse the poor quality pics I had to charge my camera battery!)

A big story for today was that the Belgian is heading to Manchester tonight to watch his beloved Club Brugges play Manchester United. To say he is excited is the understatement. So we did a little photo shoot with the toddler dressed up in his Club gear - its a bit snug but it created the desired effect.Also got a bump shot since we had the big camera out.

It was raining and we want to work on decorating the toddler's room a bit this week and so we headed to Ikea. It was very busy as you can imagine and the toddler was allergic to the trolley seat, as usual, and wanted a shoulder carry.

We had lunch as who can resist those meatballs?

I opted for the mash instead of chips as its lovely and creamy and I knew I could probably pinch a few of the toddler's chips.

They have a new promotion where you scan your receipt and you get an extra treat from the kiosk. The man in front of us was all full of meatballs and won a free hot dog. He wanted to leave it but his wife insisted he got it as it was 'free' (very Yorkshire!) so he sarcastically said, "fine I'll just shove it down then!" We got a chocolate donut and I was very pleased with this as we hadn't had dessert.

Rain. Sigh. So glad we had our fortnight's holiday in France and Belgium and has some sunshine.

The toddler is very sneaky and a little houdini who often manages to escape out of his car seat straps. He still has the lap belt on but its not ideal!

Post-nap bed head and snack time.

The Belgian headed off to the game and a long afternoon inside stretched before us.
We filled it with some crafting. The toddler enjoyed making handprints with my rainbow ink pad.
Then we made moshi monster cakes using a box mix I got from poundland.
He enjoyed eating the raw mixture and putting the cases in the tray.
Once they were baked he liked eating the frosting and all the little monsters from the top.
I told him to make one just for daddy and he picked the most girliest and pink moshi monster for the top! Haha!

In case you were thinking this toddler is very well behaved and where are all the tantrums. Here is one... It was all because I suggested he picked up all the stamps he had dropped on purpose. I know - how dare I!

Chilled out in the bath. Then mummy enjoyed an evening of photo editing, blogging and watching Leap Year on Netflix.

The Belgian was back around 1 a.m his team having been defeated 3-1. He'd still enjoyed himself and was glad they'd scored at all.

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