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It all comes flooding back . . . .

August 6, 2010

Today my cousin gets married to the love of her life and yet I woke up excited!  Why?  I think it just brought all the memories flooding back of the morning that I woke up to marry my (now) husband.

Surprisingly (or not) I don’t think I slept very well that night, I had hung my wedding dress on the front of my wardrobe so that it was the last thing I saw when I went to sleep and the first thing I saw in the morning.

Its funny isn’t it, planning your wedding can take months or years, depending on how early you booked it and then all of a sudden that day is here and gone in a flash.

On the morning of our wedding, I remember my house filling up very quickly with bodies (live ones of course).  My Mum, my bridesmaids – sister-in-law and two cousins (one of which gets married today) and the hairdresser who was doing all the bridesmaids hair.

I ate as much breakfast as I could possibly manage because I knew that I would either be too nervous to eat at the wedding breakfast or talking too much (mainly the latter).  I had a shower and hated the fact that I wasn’t allowed to wash my hair (I love washing my hair) because the hairdresser said it would be easier to put up if it was dirty.  Then off I went to the hairdressers to get my “do” done.  It was a scorching hot day, one that had followed a week of torrential rain so I wasn’t going to complain.

FlowersBy the time I had returned home, my brother-in-law had arrived with the flowers – they were gorgeous and they made the house smell beautiful.  He also came bearing gifts from my husband to be.  A beautiful diamond bracelet from him and a jewellery box from my stepson Curly.  Curly was in his element having lots of people around to fuss over him and then the photographer arrived so Curly jumped to it and began with the posing.

CurlyAll too quickly the morning had gone and it was time to get my dress on, the moment I had been looking forward to had arrived, finally I would get to wear the beautiful dress I had chosen.  I put the dress on and turned into a teary mess, I really hadn’t expected that as I’m usually a pretty down to earth sort of person but not today – emotions were running very high and I felt completely overwhelmed.

We had photographs taken in the garden with my Mum, Curly and the Bridesmaids before heading out into the street to a waiting party of my neighbours all wishing me well.

The drive to the venue seemed like forever, we even stopped at one point so that me and mum could have a chat in the car and to make sure that we didn’t arrive too early.  As we pulled up outside, there were guests stood on the road waiting to see me.  And being the lady that I am, as I raised myself ungracefully from the car, I hit my shoulder on the door frame and yelled out in pain!  Yes this was more like the old me!

We were getting married in a civil ceremony at an old Coach House.  I had to go upstairs first to meet with the Registrar so that I could confirm once again that I was who I said I was.  The Registrar then told me that she would go downstairs and I would be called in a few moments.  Those few moments were probably only 5-10 minutes but it felt like I had been left alone in that room for half an hour.  Its a good job that I was so sure I wanted to marry him or I think I would have done a runner as my nerves were so high.  Suddenly there was a knock at the door, it was Jo, the Wedding Co-ordinator ready to take me down for the ceremony.  Pause for a few more photographs on the stairs and with the Bridesmaids. 

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Hand on my Mums arm, the doors opened wide and “oh shit” – yes those were the words that came out of my mouth!  As the doors opened I was greeted by 60 faces staring back at me and I suddenly felt very small, very red and very very hot!  I was told to start walking, so I put one foot carefully in front of the other.  As I walked down the aisle I vaguely remember smiling and saying hello to a couple of people before seeing my Auntie, face crumpled with tears and then . . . . the most handsome man staring back at me with a smile so big it took over his face and tears welling up in his eyes.  No it wasn’t the photographer, it was my Husband to be!

I did it!

Yippee, we did it!

Three years on I still remember the ceremony like it was yesterday, ok so I have watched the DVD a couple of times with Curly but its etched on my mind.  We had an extra vow added to our ceremony to include Curly as we felt that the day was just as much about him as it was about us.  Our little family were officially joining as one.

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C n Hubby to be far right

Afterwards we had photographs in the grounds and a lovely meal (I think – honestly I can’t remember what we ate).  The speeches all went down a storm, in particular my Brother-in-Laws (Best Man) as he has a wicked sense of humour and was very close to the bone with a couple of his one-liners.

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Sneaky, sneaky!

After some down time in the Courtyard and gardens, came the part of the day which I was dreading the most.  The first dance!  In our stupidity wisdom we had decided to take dance lessons to have a “proper” first dance.  We chose “Can you feel the love tonight” by Elton John from Lion King as OH had taken me to see it in London on our first Valentines date.  The lady had taught us a kind of waltz I think, it went ok but the day before whilst dropping off the table decorations I had walked into a table and split my little toe open so being stuffed into pointy toe cream silk shoes was not exactly comfortable and I was petrified that Hubby was going to stand on it.  I think I only made one mistake during the dance and hopefully no-one noticed.

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Our day was magical, everything that we had wanted it to be and if anything did go wrong, then I don’t think we noticed.  Afterwards everyone complimented us on what a lovely day/venue it had been and how they had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  So to my cousin, C – I hope that your day is as magical for you both as it was for us!  Sadly at 7 months pregnant I cannot get drunk today like you did at mine, but one day I shall return the favour ;-)  

Love you lots xxxx

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What couldn’t you live without?

August 5, 2010

My great friend “down under” MumtoJ has tagged me in a post she has written about the things that she just couldn’t live without, not even for a few days.

So after some careful thinking, this is what I came up with . . . .

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1. My family – I’ve cheated on this one a little, because I could have just gone for each member of my family but I couldn’t put them into a preferential order so I’ve just lumped them all together.  Family always comes first for me, I was raised with good family values and I hope to do the same for my children.  I really don’t go away very often but in the last year I have been away twice overnight by myself and I have really missed being away from them even for such a short space of time.  I spend almost every hour of the day with Little Bean and despite only being 2 year’s old, she is one of my best friends.  She always manages to make me smile, even on her bad days!  Curly only lives with us part-time but even in those few short hours and days, he makes an impact, he always manages to amuse us or astound us, he is growing so fast it makes me look at Little Bean and realise I need to soak up every part of her before she disappears into the school years.    My Husband and my Mum hold equal positions on the best friend front but both for different reasons.  They are always the first people that I want to turn to in a crisis, or when I hear a funny tale.  I can’t imagine my life without my family in it.

2. My camera – I’ve had cameras for as long as I can remember.  I think my passion for cameras stems from my Grandad.  I always remember he had a cine-camera, a really old style camcorder.  I used to love sitting watching videos of me and my cousins playing in the garden.  For as far back as I can remember, there have always been boxes and envelopes stacked with photographs capturing my families history.  I wanted to carry that on.  I think the first camera my Mum bought for me was a little red compact Konica one.  It started the ball rolling, most years a new camera would be on my wish list as I always wanted the next new model out.  Still today, I have a new camera most years.  I currently use a Lumix Digital SLR for holidays and portrait shots.  Then I have a Sony HX5V compact which goes everywhere with me in my handbag for those “can’t miss” shots!  With children, they are frequent!

3. My health – apart from the odd colds and hay fever, I’ve alwimageays been a pretty healthy person.  All too often I think we take our health for granted.   Without it we wouldn’t be able to live to life we lead.  I love nothing more than going for a long walk with the children and seeing what the world has to offer. 

4. My home – its my sanctuary.  Its the one place that I retreat to when things get too much.  I can close the doors and feel safe and warm.  Don’t get me wrong, I love holidays but at the end of it I always look forward to coming back.  As the old saying goes, home is where the heart is!

 

5. My smartphone – I currently have a HTC Touch HD though I covet an Iphone!!  But my phone goes everywhere with me – I use it for work, play, socialising – you name it.  I initially got my phone because I was working from home (well still am – sort of).  Having my phone has given me the freedom to check my emails and hop on the internet whilst I’m out and about with Little Bean.  If I have loads of emails then I can respond whilst I’m out or make the decision on whether I need to go home and act upon them.  I use it as a GPS navigation system in the car and whilst walking.  Aside from that I can take more photographs, keep in contact with family and friends, keep a track of my social life with the calendar.  On the odd days that I have been so daft as to leave my phone at home, I literally have been lost!

6. Finally, my car – more so now than ever.  Whilst we are waiting for our new house to be finished we have moved to a town 6 miles away from our main town.  This one has NO SHOPS!  Nothing!!  I’m sure we’re on some kind of bus route but I love the freedom that having my own car gives me.  I can make a snap decision to go and visit friends, or pop out for the day – I’m not reliant upon timetables or other people.  I can live my life as I want to do it.

So that’s it, I don’t think that’s too bad really?  What about you, what things could you NOT live without?

The Gallery: Playtime

August 4, 2010

This week’s theme for The Gallery by Tara Cain at Sticky Fingers was Playtime – who doesn’t love Playtime!?

Playtime can be interpreted in so many different ways, initially as a parent you think about your children playing but then you realise – hey, we get playtime too!!

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I took this photograph a couple of weeks ago of Little Bean and her best friend Little Miss – they were having a wail of a time just throwing stones in the water.  I think they would have stayed there all day but me and Cafebebe had different ideas!

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Little Bean has always had a thing about textures – in that she doesn’t like to get her hands messy or touch funny feeling stuff.  Initially she would freak out if i put a blob of playdoh in front of her.  Now she asks to play with it most days – always wanting to “cut it” or “stab it”.

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Playtime in the snow with Daddy.  Sadly we have moved from this house now – the big hill was right behind our house and great fun in the snow.  I’m not sure where we’ll go next time it snows but we’ll find somewhere because the children are both very outdoorsy and just love playing in the snow!!

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Hey, even I get to play sometimes – though as you can see this was before I was pregnant again.  This was a 70’s night out with the girlies (pictured with MumtoJ).  This was a brilliant night out – you just can’t beat fancy dress for a good giggle!!

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I’m sure Hubby will kill me for this one, but what could be more fun for the little ones than dressing Daddy up as a Princess!!

Doesn’t he make a happy Princess?  I think he was actually sulking because Little Bean wouldn’t let him wear her tutu!!

Highs and lows of pregnancy . . .

August 3, 2010

Top Ten Highs

1. The first scan – seeing the tiny little person on the screen makes it all seem real.

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2. The first “bubbles” of movement – initially you think that you’re just imagining it but when you realise that this is your baby you can feel moving – its amazing. 

3. The first kick – at this point you realise that baby is getting bigger.  Gone are the bubbles, now you really start to feel the baby moving around and it’s the best feeling in the world.  I’ve been really lucky in both of my pregnancies in that my babies have been real movers, constantly on the go.  Its a really reassuring feeling.

4. Any reason to buy a new outfit!  Finally, you get to say “I need this” and can actually mean it because your old clothes are quickly being grown out of!

5. Big boobs!  After always being the one with hardly enough to fill an egg cup, I loved my new boobs when I fell pregnant with Little Bean.  And despite breastfeeding for 5 months I still had them at the start of this pregnancy!!  Finally, my tops fitted like they were supposed to!

6. Eating for two – though this of course is a double edged sword, at the time you think its great that you can just eat what you want but once the baby is out, for some people you realise that it wasn’t such a good idea.

7. Being looked after – from the moment you announce that you are pregnant people want to “protect” you.  Hubby won’t let me do anything too strenuous around the house.  He knows I’m not a china doll but it lets him do “his bit” in the pregnancy if he carries the shopping and does the hoovering!

8. Buying baby stuff – not just the clothes, its the nursery furnishings, the pushchairs etc.  Each time I buy something for baby I feel like I’m one step closer to bringing him home.

9. Making new friends – since giving birth to Little Bean I’ve made some fantastic new friends, ones which I hope I will keep for life.  Now that i’m pregnant again, I’ve joined antenatal exercise classes and I’ve met lots of new women who are in the same boat as me and hopefully once our little ones are here we will remain friends too.

10. The knowledge that you are creating a life – I can never get my head around how amazing it is to have a new life growing in your tummy.  And when you finally hold that precious little bundle in your arms, your heart will melt and you will experience a totally different kind of love – you will love so much you feel like your heart is going to burst right open!

Top Ten Lows

1. Morning sickness – feeling sick after a night on the tiles is one thing.  At least you know that (fingers crossed) you will be feeling better the next day.  With morning sickness you have no idea when you might start to feel better.

2. Painful ribs – my rib has been hurting since about week 25 and I’m finding it so uncomfortable.  The only thing which makes it go away is laying down but with a 2 year old to entertain I can’t be doing that all day!

3. Permanently erect nipples!  I feel like a porn star – most of the time I wear the cups from one of my bikinis inside my bra just to cover them up a bit but being pregnant – I forget!  At the moment I’m 33 weeks pregnant and today I caught sight of myself in a shop window – with my erect nipples and sticky out belly button I felt like someone just needed to draw a mouth around the bottom of my bump and I had a full on face on my abdomen!

4. Constantly needing to wee!  Right from the moment you find out you’re pregnant, you feel like you’re on a permanent hunt for the nearest bathroom.  Having a little person bouncing on your bladder is agony when you’re miles from a toilet.

5. That niggling feeling that creeps in when you’re feeling insecure – the one that says “what if something goes wrong”.  I’m sure that every pregnant woman must go through this at some time.  After an ectopic pregnancy and a missed miscarriage last year, I know this is something which has crept into my mind often during this pregnancy.

6. That tired feeling – during the first trimester you can’t believe just how tired you are.  You feel like you’re going to fall asleep at the drop of a hat.  The second trimester feels loads better and then in the third trimester, it starts again.  I’ve tried keeping up regular walking but I’ve often walked so far that I struggle to make my way back again.  It’s horrible feeling so unfit!

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7. Change in friendships – sometimes this happens when you’re at a different stage in your life to your friends.  They may still be going out socialising every weekend, getting drunk and dancing until all hours when this is something you can no longer manage.  Conversations can become difficult because you just want to talk about your pregnancy but some friends who aren’t necessarily baby orientated might find this a bit boring.

8. Cankles – towards the end of pregnancy you often end up with puffy hands, feet and ankles.  Being pregnant in the summer makes this condition slightly worse.  Sitting with your feet up really does help but its hard enough to feel attractive as it is when you’re the size of a house but cankles just make you feel even less feminine.

9. Acid indigestion – I think this should actually be my number 1!  This is something which has plagued me through both of my pregnancies.  Gaviscon has become my new best friend, every time I bend down to put my shoes on, pick up Little Bean, pick up toys etc I get that really horrible burning sensation in my throat.

10. Constipation – I guess its a way of preparing you for labour but it sucks!  I have been diagnosed as being anaemic too so the docs have put me on iron supplements which only serves to make matters worse.  I have tried drinking lots of water but then I’m back to number 4 again!

But you know what, its all totally worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing if it means that at the end of it all I have a beautiful baby in my arms!

What would you add to this list?

Hi ho, hi ho, its off to hospital we go . .

August 3, 2010

Last night I had that moment that pregnant women dread!! A harmless trip to the toilet resulted in a panic stricken call to the maternity unit as I was bleeding again.  This is the third time during this pregnancy that I’ve had a bleed.  The first at 9 weeks, the second at 23 weeks and now again at 33 weeks pregnant.

After two failed pregnancies last year we are naturally very anxious when things don’t run to plan.

At 23 weeks we had quite a lot of bleeding following some bedroom athletics.  This of course made us both feel terrible and so we decided that there would be no more until baby was safely in our arms – it hasn’t been fun but we think it will be worth it in the end.  They said at the time that I had an ectroprian which is an erosion of the cervix.  Our frivolities had most likely aggravated it which resulted in the bleeding.  At the time I was sent home and told that all should be fine and just to watch out for any further bleeding as further bleeds could lead to scar tissue building up on the placenta – ultimately leading to the placenta not being effective enough to care for baby.

The last couple of weeks my tummy has been very tender right at the bottom of my bump, often feeling like I’ve pulled a muscle.  I’ve also had odd bouts of period pains in my tummy and back but they have subsided again so I’ve not worried too much. 

Then last night I had bleeding again and my heart sunk into my stomach – here we go again.  At least this time it was at a more civil hour so I didn’t feel quite so bad about calling my Mum over to look after Little Bean.

We arrived at the Maternity Unit and were seen pretty quickly bearing in mind how busy the unit was, looks like there were a lot of new faces entering the world last night.  Hearing the newborn babies cries was just magical – seeing the labouring mothers doubled over walking the corridors was rather frightening!  That will be me again soon!

I was strapped up to a baby monitor, the part which I love – just listening to the steam train that is my boy’s heartbeat.  Upon examination I was told by the Doctor that I had a Polyp on my Cervix which was bleeding.  It could be linked to the ectropian but it appeared to be quite small and so shouldn’t be a problem.  They are testing me for infections and have told me to watch out for more bleeding.

This morning I did that stupid thing that we internet surfers do, I googled Cervical Polyps in Pregnancy.  The first article which I found scared the pants off me as it said that most polyps are benign but all polyps should be thoroughly investigated to ensure they are not cancerous.  After the whole Jade Goody thing, I naturally let my brain run ahead with itself and worry. 

Of course, many other websites say that it is nothing to worry about, that it is very common in women who have had previous pregnancies.  But once you have seen the “C” word you can’t help but panic.  This morning I’m not actively bleeding but I am still showing signs of blood when I wipe each time I go to the toilet. 

Have you ever had anything similar in your pregnancies?  Please tell me I’m just being daft and not to get my knickers in a twist!

Parenting advice please . . .

August 2, 2010

Just to bring any new readers up to speed with my family situation, I have a (nearly) 9 year old step-son Curly, a 2 year old daughter Little Bean and our next baby boy is due in September.

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On the whole Curly and Little Bean get on quite well, she worships the ground that he walks on and he loves her 75% of the time and finds her annoying the other 25% of the time.  Curly actually told a friend of mine last week that he hopes his new baby brother will be more fun than Little Bean because she gets on his nerves!!! Something me and Hubby weren’t really very happy to hear!

Little Bean now knows when to expect her big brother to be coming to stay and gets very excitable.  Once he is in the house, no-one else will do – it has to be big Bro or no-one!

Now that the school holidays are upon us, Curly is spending an extra 2 days per week with me and Little Bean.  Last week the first day went really well from Curly’s point of view, he was an angel whereas Little Bean was basically a little sod!

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But over the weekend, the two of them have driven me and Hubby to distraction with their behaviours and attitude.  We put them both to bed half an hour early last night because we had just reached our wits end!

On Saturday we took Curly to see Karate Kid whilst Little Bean had a sleepover at Nanna’s.  It was nice to spend some time just with Curly as we often feel like he gets pushed back a bit because of how much we still have to do for Little Bean.  It was a late night, not getting home until nearly 10pm so we knew we would be in for a fun day with him on the Sunday.  He still woke up at 7am and then remained grumpy and sulky for the rest of the day.

But the problems began the minute we brought Little Bean home.  Curly keeps claiming that Little Bean is hitting him with her hand, toys, teddies or anything which is close at hand.  To begin with we asked her if she had hit him and she’s a pretty honest little girl when she has done something wrong.  She said that she had hit him, so we put her on the naughty step and then told her to say sorry to Curly – which she did.  This carried on for the rest of the day but sometimes she would say that she hadn’t hit him and so we didn’t know what to do.  Should we punish for something which we haven’t witnessed with our own eyes.  Are we encouraging Curly to be a “tell-tale”? We told him that we will only punish her when we see it happen ourselves and that the rest of the time he should just be firm with her and tell her “no hitting”.  But is this right?  Should we be encouraging him to discipline his little sister?  We really don’t know how to tackle this situation at all?

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To give you a bit of background on Curly, we used to have a small dog and Curly used to tell similar tales on the dog.  Initially we would tell the dog off, believing that Curly was telling the truth.  That is until we started watching through the crack in the door to see that he was telling tales about the dog – scratching, biting etc when she was the other side of the room to him minding her own business.  From then on we told him that we wouldn’t tell the dog off anymore unless we witnessed it with our own eyes.  It’s starting to feel like groundhog day and we are facing the same issues again.

How do you deal with issues like this? Obviously we don’t want Little Bean to go around smacking others, which she does when she gets frustrated, and when we witness it she is reprimanded but likewise we know that Curly has told white lies about her before and there is the history with the dog.  He likes it when someone else is getting into trouble because it makes him feel better.

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We find disciplining Curly very difficult indeed because he is only with us on a part-time basis and we don’t want to be constantly nagging him.  We are very aware that friends and family “feel sorry” for him because they feel that he is left out or treated unfairly but honestly, we discipline Little Bean far more often than we do Curly – probably because of the age she is at.  If we buy them new things; clothes, toys etc. we do it fairly and they each get the same amount of money spent on them but because of the difference in their ages/taste/sex we can often buy more for 2/3 things for Little Bean for the same price as 1 thing for Curly.

Are you part of a split-family – how do you manage discipline and people’s reactions to your family?

Some people can be so touchy!

July 30, 2010

Those of you who have read a recent post of mine about BASE jumping and have gone on to read the comments will know that it really struck a cord with one reader who seemed to take serious offence at what I had written.

Throughout the day I took her comments several different ways.  Those of you who know me well, will know that I don’t back away from an argument easily, I stand up for what I believe in and will not be bullied by anyone. 

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In this case, I felt that the reader had not “read” my post well and so didn’t understand where I was coming from as throughout the post I was saying that the jumpers are Brave, Stupid and Selfish but she only chose to focus on the Stupid and Selfish comments.  Now I’m pretty sure that in this day and age are allowed to speak our opinions freely.  My post was not intended to cause anyone offence, it was a questioning post asking for other peoples views.

As the programme was being aired on TV, Twitter was getting many many comments on the jumpers, ranging from people being amused to people being annoyed.  I thought writing a post would be a good way to really see what people had deduced from it.  Most of my readers have the same opinion, that its daft and stupid – but then again most of my readers are parents who put family before anything else.  I’m sure if I had directed my post towards only BASE jumpers then I would have had a few more adverse reactions.

I did at one point yesterday think, “I can’t be bothered with blogging if I’m not allowed to say what I think” but that was around the time that I had Little Bean sat on the naughty step for the hundredth time that day so my thought didn’t last long.

At the end of the day, our blogs are our own little space on the web where we can write about pretty much anything we want to.  If people read it and don’t like it, then there is no need for them to return but I have found many like-minded people through the blogging world.  It has become my little bit of escapism from the world of nappies, bottles and endless piles of ironing.  I shall not apologise for thinking that people are mad for wanting to do such extreme sports, just like they are entitled to think that I am mad bringing children into this world.  I haven’t gone in search of their blogs to moan about it.

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Apparently, bringing children into this world is selfish and stupid because it is already overpopulated.  Yes it is, but if we all have that same opinion then humankind would cease to exist and we’d all be “up the creek without a paddle” so to speak.  This just goes to prove that we all need differing opinions to keep the balance of the world right!