Saturday, 27 November 2010

I Love My Kids But...

I have just had the most wonderful uninterrupted bath thanks to Craig for supplying the cocktail, British Gas for the hot water and the girls for staying quiet in their cots. I got to have a drink and read my Red magazine and felt very much like myself again and not a milk sodden children's entertainer/maid. I love family time but it's nice to get some time to myself. It is easy to forget what you like to do when you spend all day, every day doing what other people want. I feel pleasantly merry, cleaner, younger and happier. I thought I would have a quick blog before the chinese turns up.

Bedtime is my new favourite thing. Edie gets to paddle in the water while Freya enjoys her toys and then we divide and conquer with Craig sorting Freya out and I take Edie to our bedroom to massage then feed her.

Edie and I get to lie on the bed listening to Craig reading the bedtime story. He has a varied selection of voices, my personal favourite is his Rhod Gilbert-inspired dragon voice for 'Room on the Broom', a Julia Donaldson book.

Julia Donaldson wrote 'the Gruffalo' and her books are wonderful. We have recently moved on from very simple boring books (such as 'That's not my monkey...') to  stuff that has a bit more of a story. I recently discovered the blog 'The ramblings of an everyday mummy', in one of her posts she talked about favourite children's books. I read her recommendations and also other books suggested in the comments section and ordered a few from amazon. Story telling is just so much more fun now.

The boiler had been playing up recently. The water was going hot and cold and we were unable to run a warm bath for the girls. After calling out British Gas, they told us that the system was 'sick' and needed powerflushing and preferably replacing. A heart stopping amount of money later, we have a new boiler and clean pipes. The water is so hot that we had to turn the temperature down for fear of burning ourselves- it makes for a great bath/ shower experience. The house is nice and toasty too which is good because the temperatures have been falling to minus three outside.

We have been out at Elodie's second birthday party today. Freya and I joined them for a birthday picnic on Monday but today was the day of the party. Nicola bravely arranged for 40 people to come to her house and had outside caterers do 'Pie and Peas'.

The event was a real success, it was great from our point of view, Edie spent a lot of her time being cuddled by aunty Becky and slept all day long whilst Freya enjoyed the indoor trampoline, lots of people complimented us on how independent Freya was as she happily mingled around the 'play area'.

Nicola, who is an excellent baker, made Elodie's birthday cake. She did say that it had turned out "a little eighties"- I hope she didn't mind me saying but I immediately thought Fanny Craddock. Well done for a cute and tasty cake though.

As an aside...the nice thing about having girls is the beautiful clothes. I don't usually spend a lot of money on Freya's clothes but seeing as how it was a party... I got a new dress for her and bought some ugg type boots.

Saturday, 20 November 2010


Running slightly behind with the blog obviously...

We had a lovely Halloween considering Edie was only 4 days old. It is really important to me that Freya's life stays as normal (and fun) as possible now that her little sister has arrived. We wanted to 'do something' to mark the occasion, that meant carving a couple of pumpkins between feeds on Saturday. Seems a little mad when you are supposed to rest when the baby rests not hollow out seasonal vegetables.

Craig did his in the afternoon when Becky had popped round to meet the new arrival and I got mine done whilst we watched the Amityville horror with Craig's parents in the evening. I chose a 'first pumpkin' design as Freya had had one.

Craig did a wizard design as seen on the right and my dad chose one called 'Bat-tle Axe'.

I thought that the evening was going to be low key, a chance to show nanny and grandad Freya's costume and compare pumpkins.

Freya's pumpkin princess dress was only £7 from Tesco accesorised up with a hat et voila.

The evening turned out to be a real success. Mum had a laid on a fine 'spread' for the trick or treaters to which we added a couple of bags of iced gems (Sainsbury's was devoid of sweets by the time we went shopping for them). We lit the candles and pumpkins and settled down to watch Roald Dahl's 'The Witches'. It struck me that the little boy's parents getting killed in the first few chapters of the book just wouldn't do in today's politically correct society where children's books have to be full of benal happy crap. I recently paid £50 on Ebay to get all the original Far Away Tree books as somebody has decided that Enid Blyton is a little too hardcore for our little ones. Both Dame Slap and Fanny got the axe in the new version- crazy. Anyway, I digress.

Mum took Freya down the street in her slippers and they even called in on a house and Freya got her first treat. She was made up with the idea that she could knock on a someone's door and come away with chocolate. This is how nanny and grandad's house looked from the outside, very inviting to the armies of kids. The knocking began...


We took Freya to answer the door, she always wanted someone with her for reassurance "Daddy help... or Grandad help..." but she really enjoyed seeing the other boys and girls cotumes. She was particularly pleased with the skeletons as she knows that word (thanks to the book 'Funny Bones' by Allan Alhberg) She was also being quite sneaky and eating from the bowls of sweets that were kept near the door- how much she actually ingested we'll never know. All the excitment and sugar had her saying 'Trick or Treat' over and over with a huge smile on her face.

All in all, a great first Halloween. One of the trick or treater's mums reminded us that next year we would be trawling round the streets rather than being tucked up warm. 

The evening was made complete when I went in to Freya next morning to find that she had vomited chocolate and grapes all over her cotbed. Ah well, it was worth it. We just jumped in the bath together before Edie and daddy got up.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Topless in Darwen.

Made you look.

Just a short blog about Lancashire getting battered by the wind the other night (11th Nov). We spent the evening snuggled up in our cosy front room behind the big curtains with the fire roaring, so we heard the tempest but weren't really bothered by it. I ventured out the following morning to take the girls to the park (in the new buggy incidentally) to discover something was different.

(Top and bottom bunks...)

We have hundreds of pictures of Darwen tower because we live so close and because 'it's just there'. Having said that, it has just taken us ten minutes to find a couple of these pictures. Here's a good clear 'before' picture of the tower with it's dome intact.

This is one of Craig's more 'arty' shots but I love the shadow of the tower and the mist hanging over the town.

Anyway, it is on the horizon and we see it every day. When I went to the park, I noticed that something was wrong with the skyline straight away but you know when you think to yourself 'Has sleep deprivation addled my mind so much?'. I went to mum and dad's, where dad got his binoculars out and confirmed that I wasn't going mad. Here are the pictures from the news.

You can see that the tower looks more like a rook and less like a rocket, which is what it used to look like from a distance.

This particularly well framed and crystal clear photo was on the BBC website as compared to 'fuzzy, far away' local news- see below.

And finally, this is the clean-up operation. We are hoping that they repair it and re-attach it. Craig was unsure whether they would in the current economic climate.

Blogging has been more difficult of late, my day starts at six and I am still loading the washing machine and doing other chores at eight before sitting down to my tea. Blogging has fallen down my list of priorities- oh well managed to sneak this one in. I would add that I didn't manage to complete the post without Edie needing 'settling' and Craig taking over the computer to do routine 'maintenance'. At least I have a nice cocktail on the desk which is more than can be said for Craig. He has made me a French Martini, my favourite, 3 parts pineapple juice, 2 parts vodka and 1 part Chambord. Unfortunately his Lynchberg Lemonade required triple sec which Craig had to substitute for parfait amour (a disgusting perfumey ink coloured liqueur) and it has turned out like something teenagers drink to get smashed.

Must dash, tea will be ready soon... although, not too soon judging by Craig muttering 'Cook from bastard frozen' and slamming the oven door.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Stand and Deliver

It's official...I am no longer pregnant.

My due date was initially the 26th of October, this was then revised to the 28th after my third scan. When the 26th came and went, I was so disappointed and thought that I would be unable to bare 'going-over' and experiencing the horror that is a 'membrane sweep'. On the 27th, I waddled round the park and took myself to Sainsburys to do the heaviest shop possible. By the time I got back from the shop- I was feeling quite unwell, nothing specific but definitely not sparkly. I went to bed that night planning strategies for the next day.

At 0400 I awoke with a pain that I put down to just being uncomfortable in bed, when the pain went and then came back, taking my breath away with it, I knew. I had had weeks of false starts, thinking 'shall I tell Craig not to go to work?, shall I send Freya to mums? Shall I clean the kitchen?- I needn't have worried, you can't mistake labour. I went and cleaned the bath of all the bath crayon, see below. (Freya really loves the bath crayons but it does kind of spoil a nice clean bathroom.)

I ran a nice warm bath, lit my coconut candle (not my favourite smell but I couldn't justify buying a Jo Malone Orange Blossom Candle for £40) and tried to relax with my ipod in. I lasted for about an hour in the bath and even tried using Bejewelled as effective distraction/pain relief in labour with limited effect. I then felt the need for a shower which lasted about half an hour. By the time I had finished faddling in the bathroom my contractions were every two minutes- time to get Craig up. The rest is history and detailed in Craig's post.

It felt wonderful to be relaxing in our clean bedroom, munching toast and party rings washed down with tea whilst Edie slept and we watched Iron Man 2, I would thoroughly recommend a home birth.

Friday, 5 November 2010

When a child is born...

Sam's not had a lot of time lately, so I thought I'd fill in a quick update post in my work lunch break.

At 4am on the 28th of October 2010, Sam was woken from sleep by something she could not ignore - her labour had started. She busied herself for a couple of hours by having a bath and woke me at 6 am to tell me that she was having contractions every 3 minutes.

I called her mum to come and pick up our daughter Freya, and we got the room all prepared for the home birth. At 7 am with contractions now roughly 2 and a half minutes apart, I called the midwives. For some reason they thought that speaking to Sam was more important than me, but the upshot was that they would send someone immediately. Immediately in this case turns out to be after an hour when the day shift comes on - and who says that UK midwives are not dedicated?

Well, after such a delay they arrived and examined Sam to find her cervix at 6cm and totally thinned. They just had time to get themselves set-up and to discover that their rigorous planning for home birth did not seemingly include ensuring that the nitrous oxide cylinders had tubing to allow their use. So at 8.23 am after less than 4 and a half hours of labour and on paracetamol only, stood up clutching on to the blacking covered fireplace in our bedroom, Sam delivered our second child.

Welcome to the world to our new baby girl - unfortunately at this point sans nom.
A quick clean-up and shortly afterwards she was weighed at 3.42 kg or 8lb 6.5 oz.

Both mother and baby were healthy after the birth and once the midwives had gone, I made some toast and we settled down to watch Iron Man 2 in HD ;-)

We did eventually decide on a name and here it is, along with a picture...

Edie Niamh Chambers