Sunday, 23 December 2012

Ho Ho Ho

We are very excited about Christmas in our house. Well G Kisby and I are anyway. I have tried to whip Mabel into a frenzy about it but she is still a bit young to get it. G Kisby has questioned why I would want to anyway, "she won't sleep for the excitement". Secretly my answer is, "who cares, neither will I, Father Christmas is coming man, this is no time for sleeping"

I have whipped Fee's boys into a frenzy for years. Particularly when I was but an 18 year old student. I do admittedly see the error of my ways now (and am slightly nervous about the come back in years ahead) but will still nonetheless text one of them at an inappropriate time on Xmas eve. Probably pretending I have just seen Santa whilst up on my night feed or something on those lines...

Despite not really understanding Christmas Mabel has participated well with her advent calendar. Well, I say participated. I spent forever wrapping individual Peppa Pig characters for each bag but lacking a full 24 I filled a couple of bags with a chocolate coin. So giddy was she when number 4 turned out so that for the bags thereafter she has been very openly ("no chocolate?" as Pedro Pony is thrown down in disgust) displaying her disappointment.

Admittedly Pedro has since been very much loved but still. 

And as a quick Wilf update. He is still a very smiley boy and I almost got a chuckle singing Kylie to him the other day. His cooing is just gorgeous and I am now only getting up once in the night to feed him which is soooo much better for my sanity. 

So we pick up the giant ham tomorrow (boxing day tradition that G Kisby and Al prepare a ham that gets bigger and more extravagant every year) and I have a couple of final wee things to do (like think of my 'song of 2012' and 'guilty pleasure', another tradition where we all choose songs for the Xmas dinner playlist) but the presents are wrapped and the bags are being packed for our trip to stay with Granny. Too exciting.

Ho Ho Ho... 

Monday, 10 December 2012

You think I'd have learnt...

Second time around you really wouldn't expect such errors of judgement when it comes to nappy changes.

But yet poo disasters continue to haunt me...

I had been having some tough nights (I can see why sleep deprivation is a form of torture). With Mabel currently getting up between 5.30 and 6.00 it can sometimes mean I don't get back to sleep after Wilf's third night feed about 4 ish. Hard going man.

Anyway as a result I have been lazily changing his nappy on my knee in bed after feeding him. This has been fine, I am speedy and adept at such a manoeuvre since I tend to do it this way through the day also.
But yes with a boy I am playing wee roulette.

One night last week as changing him about 2am he did some huge trumps. So I held back a moment, cautious about taking the old nappy off. A minute or so later I ploughed on and somehow, no idea how, just at the moment that I did said switch a huge trump came out accompanied by a a stream of poster paint poo. Onto the bed. Onto the bed which OCD G Kisby was also in. Onto the bed right about the area of the duvet nearest my head. Oh no. Oh big fat no.

I acted fast and put the new nappy on anyway to catch the now river of poo that was coming but unfortunately that just spread the offending poo patch out underneath. There was nothing for it, I had to wake G Kisby up and confess. We had a tired and irritable conversation along the lines of,
"I've got a bit of an issue...there is poo on the bed"
"Right" pauses and sits up with slight look of despair
"What do u want me to do to help?" 
"Don't know. What do u think?"
"How bad is it? Want me to lift up Wilf?"
"Well you could but then the nappy underneath is covered..."
"So what then?" sigh now audible
"Er don't know, we are in a bit of a mess"
"Oh my god, pass me the baby..."
"Just watch out for the wipe..." I tried as he scooped Wilf up holding him at arms length and whisked out the room. Luckily he didn't notice the wipe I had used to try and clean the spillage then fly off and land on another part of the bed (his side) in the process.

Then, on a separate occasion, I took a call from someone very senior in work who was wanting to congratulate me on having a baby. Wilf was on my shoulder at the time and decided he would push a poo out using his normal ridiculously loud levels of strain. I felt wet on my hand so couldn't move him as I squirmed at how this must sound down the other end of the phone. The noises reached a crescendo with me ending up leaning my body and the phone as far away as possible and in the in the end having to actually say (because it was becoming embarrassing),
"Ooh I think he needs a nappy change".

However, on a nicer note our gorgeous boy turned a month old last week. We have decided to do a photo on the same day every month, with the same toy, tracking him changing both in size (please no) but also how he plays with his toy - Pierre the duck.

I think he likes it!

Monday, 26 November 2012

What I learnt last week...

- It is never too early to put a lock on your phone / iPad. Aside from helping herself to Peppa Pig episodes Mabel has also become partial to emailing / texting people randomly. A password to unlock it is currently beyond her which is good to avoid the inevitable strop with accompanying soundtrack of "Mabel's phone" (you can try and explain that it isn't hers but she continues with the mantra and drowns you out...good technique). And she has yet to develop the ability to say, "how the hell do I unlock this phone?" Unlucky. For now. 

- A quick snip with a large pair of scissors (I couldn't look but apparently it doesn't hurt them and he did stop crying very quickly) makes ones nipples much much happier - hoorah!

- We have a noisy baby. Not a snuffly baby, no no, a grunting little piggy. He is so loud. When eating he gulps, when pooing he strains so loud that it is almost embarrassing in public (I had to do an awkward smile recently as about 3 people glanced over at what was clearly the sound of a toilet visit) and when sleeping he snores. 

- Babies can smile earlier than 6 weeks, Mabel obviously just chose not to. I have been claiming to get the odd smile for a week or so now (G Kisby refutes this) and Granny finally confirmed my assertions when she got one too this week. There is nothing better and it makes everything worth while. It's just you G Kisby, he is obviously not partial to your David Bowie style singing. He is a boy of good taste.

- My lack of common sense gets worse with a lack of sleep (which is indeed a big worry). Mabel is currently obsessed with drawing. She spots a pen from a mile away and it is all she wants to do. Anyway, I do have a penchant for the 'anything for an easy life' way of parenting. First I let her draw on a small pad with a biro in the sitting room which resulted in a couple of, er, scribbles on the sofa. Then she wanted to take said pad and pen to the car which I eventually agreed to. What was the worst that could happen I thought? What aside from the fact she drew all over her hands and face? Or the fact that she kept dropping the flaming pen and getting ridiculously frustrated. Or the obvious choking hazard as I turned to find she was chewing the top of it as I went over a speed bump. Then came the final straw. Somehow, 'someone' let her roam free with a biro in the kitchen. G Kisby wasn't convinced that the large scale circular scribble all over one of the cream kitchen cabinets was indeed modern art.
Like butter wouldn't melt...

And finally, I may be biased but how gorgeous are these blocks made by my sister as part of her Chipper Nelly giveaway? Click here to see more and take part...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Quite the whirlwind...

I'm not sure where the past 2 weeks have just gone. Felt a bit teary last Wednesday watching the clock around tea time and thinking about what was going on at the same time the week before, yep hormones well and truly all over the place. Luckily this week is much better. Wilf has just slotted right into our lives and I am less concerned about how on earth we are going to manage with 2.  

It helps that he is just ace, still getting his head round night and day (surely they should come out programmed to know this?) but we are already enjoying the fact he opens his eyes for more than ten seconds and like nothing more than him snuggled in after a feed when he is all milk drunk and content.

Mabel seems to be getting used to the change, though I realise we have more to come, especially when G Kisby goes back to work and she realises that my attention has to be divided. But currently she asks where he is regularly (though perhaps this is with the hope we might reply, "back to where he came from"?) kisses him and does her hand clench, "excited" when holding his hand and showing him various toys. We had one day of nursery where she started saying, "no go today" whilst getting dressed but since then she has run in every day as normal. 

Clearly the change has been tiring for us all, however!

The only really hard part has been with feeding. Wilf has pretty bad tongue tie meaning he can't latch on properly. We had an urgent referral to get it snipped (urgent meaning appointment a week away) but in the meantime I have had to persist with extremely painful feeding sessions. In fact so much so that I think labour was less painful. Aside from traumatised nipples he is also not draining my massive boobs properly leading to mastitis which I now have antibiotics for. I was literally crying with pain each feed until last Monday when I visited a 'feeding clinic' and they showed me some techniques to help in the meantime.

Could be worse though, the little troffer is still getting plenty of milk meaning we are not having to deal with a crying, hungry baby at the same time which I think may have sent me over the edge. In fact, the midwife gave me a little speech to prepare me for his 'inevitable' weight loss, telling me how this is to be expected for larger babies and the fact he is tongue tied may mean he has lost more than the usual 10% of his birth weight. Had he? No. In fact, after just a week he weighed in at 11.4lbs. G Kisby asked the question,
"Er when is going to slow down then? Are we going to end up with some sort of giant toddler"
Apparently they think I probably had undetected gestational diabetes which would account for his birth weight since neither of us are big and my BMI was normal. If we have another this will be monitored so no more whopping babies for me. On the positive he really does seem more settled than Mabel at this age (I am touching wood), you do wonder whether their size makes a difference?

I tell you where it does make a difference - his eating habits. Off to feed our little porker his breakfast...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

When is a braxton hick not a braxton hick?


When it is very much the real thing! Here is your birth story baby BK...

I made a bit of an error of judgement on Wednesday, but in my defense I don't know how you are supposed to know. Although perhaps false labour is a little less likely when you are 3 days overdue? Maybe I do just like a story a little bit too much...

So after my swim on Wednesday I felt absolutely fine. I did have a few strong braxton hicks late morning but I have been getting those for the past few weeks and nothing different to usual. I had a nap late morning, walked to the post office and got some lunch. Afternoon likewise. 

Now I do remember thinking that whilst watching 'Escape to the Country' 2-3pm (nice houses, never really like the people viewing them) that the pesky braxtons were back and again a bit uncomfortable but nothing out of the ordinary. At about 3 I decided I might make a note of how often they were coming and spent 3-4pm on Google asking, "how do you know if  you are having real contractions" etc. I kind of thought I would from last time but with Mabel my waters had broken. Things like, 'they should go if you have a cold drink and move around', and 'will remain the same strength and not get any more regular' came up. They were about every 12/15 mins but not getting any stronger or more regular and I also read that they could last up to an hour anyway. I discounted them as braxtons and got set up for an episode of 'America's Next Top Model'.

Unable to concentrate on Tyra Banks I rang G Kisby at 4.20pm to check he was on his way home. I wasn't panicked at this stage, I just kind of felt I didn't want to be on my own. We agreed that when he got home we would make a decision on whether to call Granny over 'just in case'. I rang him back 20 minutes later since they were now getting a little more painful to say that I would indeed ring Granny.

4.50pm I rang Granny and asked her to come over, "just in case" explaining that it was probably false labour but we could get a takeaway and at least she would be here in case anything happened. We chatted for a bit then suddenly a huge pop and my waters broke. Luckily I was on the toilet at the time. Granny set off to come and look after Mabel.

I then rang G Kisby in tears. I had a sudden realisation that I was in real labour and on my own which felt a little scary. He was about half an hour a way and kept me calm telling me to ring the hospital and explain the situation, which I did. They basically told me to pop along, they would check that it was my waters then we could come back home again for a while until 'labour was established'. This led me to think there was no rush.

Downstairs I tried to work out how to attach my tens machine (G Kisby had done it last time) and checked I had everything in my hospital bag. But the contractions started to get worse and by the time G Kisby got home at 5.30pm they were getting much stronger. I have recollections of our gorgeous girl getting in from nursery and running over to see me but really struggling not to look in pain. She was looking at me wide eyed as I tried to reassure her through gritted teeth lent over the side of the sofa. G Kisby again was brilliant and logically asked me what needed doing and attached my tens machine. Realising Granny wasn't going to get here in time I called our NCT friend Michelle who was amazing and despite having a toddler herself dropped everything to dash round in about 10 minutes.

He told me to ring the hospital again to explain that with traffic at rush hour it was going to take us too long to get to there,
"But they will ask me about how regular the contractions are and we haven't even timed one yet" I replied
"O.k lets do one now then" he suggested
 We did. It was just 2 minutes apart. I kind of realised then that this was not good.

In the meantime a flaming Asda shopping delivery arrived so I went upstairs to get out of the way. 
"Sorry mate you're just going to have to dump it there, my wife's in labour," G Kisby explained.

By the time he got upstairs I had rang the hospital who, despite me saying they were 2 mins apart, suggested I still tried to get to Huddersfield birth centre instead. I know that they must have people arrive far too early in labour all the time but surely an error of judgement? I was all set to get in the car and was just looking for a jumper to put on when my contractions changed and I realised with complete panic that I was at pushing stage.  

5.50pm and I am sat in our spare room,
"Oh my God babe it is too late, I think I am at the pushing stage" I shouted to G Kisby who promptly decided we were ringing an ambulance.
At this stage I was very much still expecting to get into said ambulance and go to the hospital. G Kisby phoned 999 and was talking to a lovely calm operator who reassured him she would talk him through the entire process.

"You need to lie down on the floor" he told me
"I can't babe, I need to sit here" I replied
"No you need to lie down, they are telling me you need to lie on the floor on your back"
I did as I was told (a first there I thought, credit to me)
"Right clean towels" he repeated and grabbed the pile of white (yes white) sheets from the top of the wash bin. They had just been taken off our bed that morning (G Kisby informs me afterwards that he didn't actually think a baby was going to be delivered on them, they were just to keep me comfy). The lady at the end of the phone must have smiled as I chirped up with,
"Er babe I think we need to use clean towels, get some out of the cupboard".
Somehow we still ended up with white ones, not ideal but we hadn't really planned for a home birth.
She also asked him to find a safety pin (?) and get me to undress from waist downwards
"Any ideas?"
"Er no" I replied
"Don't think we are at that stage yet..." I heard him respond to a question she must have asked. All I was thinking was,
"Oh no, this is not good. And I was thinking my yoga poses weren't attractive. I really do not want G Kisby having to go down that end during labour"
But at the same time,
"Not really sure I have much choice here. This is bad. This is really bad. This is taking my lateness to a whole new level"

"How long until they get here?" was all I remember saying repeatedly, sensing that every contraction was getting scarily close.

G Kisby, still in his work clothes, started to roll up his sleeves (oh my God) and replied to the question,
"Er no I can't see the head"
He was stood at my knees and glanced down.

"How long? Are they close?"

6.05pm. I hear 2 paramedics coming up the stairs,
"Oh o.k are we delivering? Get the mat pack Ian..." I heard one shout
I think it was only then I realised that we were definitely not getting to hospital.

6.15pm a gorgeous (if a little larger than normal) baby boy is placed on my tummy. G Kisby was TEN minutes off delivering our second child. Still in a white vest top with a non maternity bra, lay on our bedroom floor. One of the most surreal and amazing experiences of our lives. He was a little blue so they did some nose sucking and a few cries were soon then replaced with contented little noises (is there any sound more gorgeous or unique than a newborn's little murmerings?) The shock / shaking of labour first time around was replaced in this one with a massive sense of relief and complete adoration. I had worried it wouldn't be as special and it was different but not in a bad way. I enjoyed those first moments more because I could, first time you have the shell shock and 'first timeness' which is so unique, second time you can properly relish the moment and strangely I was less scared. I remember G Kisby beside me saying,
"We have a baby boy. Babe we have a baby boy" in complete amazement.  

The room was dimly lit, the floor may have been uncomfy but it was our floor (I have no idea how but there wasn't a mark - G Kisby's towel laying OCD came good) and the paramedics were absolutely brilliant. The midwife since told us that they were probably panicking inside since this is not something that happens as often as you'd think but outwardly they were so calm, so reassuring and just brilliant. I remember apologising as they walked in and then asking if they had every delivered a baby before,
"Oh yeah, you are absolutely fine" they replied whether true or not. 

We had to wait for an hour or so for the midwife to then arrive so we all sat around, drinking tea, they were like some sort of double act. Certain things make me smile about it all now, like G Kisby asking after one went to grab something from the ambulance,
"Is everything o.k downstairs?"
To which one replied,
" I don't know I haven't really checked. It seemed o.k though"
He clarified,
"Oh no I meant downstairs, you know in the lounge, we have a toddler down there"
Ha ha. And yes, in answer to the question, everything miraculously is o.k downstairs. I have no idea how because our baby was a huge 11lbs.

I gave birth to a flaming toddler. 

And afterwards I had a bath. Mabel was able to come in and meet her baby brother, give him a bedtime kiss and have her Daddy do her bedtime as normal. We got pizza takeaway (Granny arrived after a ridiculous 4 hour journey on the M62 so it was lovely that she was there) and spent our first night together as a little family rather than stuck in a hospital.

Yes I realise there are a lot of 'what ifs' (not least the fact that most 11lb babies don't come out so easily so it could have been really bad) but I would now definitely recommend a home birth. Which, lets be fair, is pretty much gonna happen again if we have any more since I clearly labour quickly. 

I'd go so far as to say that being late and unprepared was yet again not a problem...(I joke Mum, obviously)

And everyone loves a good story.

Welcome to the world baby Wilf...we are so glad you are here and love being a family of 4!
(More pictures and apparently G Kisby's version of events to follow...)

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Another child defies me...

So apparently one strong minded child isn't enough and Baby B-K, despite my whispering instructions, decided not to come out today on my sweep-stake guess. No, no, he or she fancies staying put for a while longer and putting on a few extra pounds (wince).

Though to be fair, perhaps we actually just have a very considerate baby since the last 2 days haven't been the easiest. I had to go and get Mabel from nursery on Monday poorly. I think she has her last molars coming through since keeps saying, "sore cheek" but also just has the virus that I think has been going round everyone (high temp, not eating etc). We spent Monday afternoon tucked up under a blanket watching t.v and she stayed at home again yesterday. Luckily she got a much better night sleep last night so hoping the worst is past. 

Granny and I took her for a walk and some fresh air at the park yesterday afternoon (labour inducing mechanism no. 1 - tick). It wasn't our finest moment since we didn't take the pram and she very quickly decided walking wasn't for her. Granny ended up carrying her (it was a toss up of who was the more incapable) but we unfortunately passed a very wet slide which did not go unnoticed. Poor Granny ended up climbing up very muddy steps to find she then didn't really slide down on account of the wet. Made worse by the tantrum which followed when we dashed away, in what was the start of rain, before a second go.

But she has started eating again and has been much better. More smiles, more constant climbing and lots of resistance to basic requests...
In fact this morning the word 'no' was in full force and I had to literally wrestle her doll's pram from her at the door to the car so she was definitely going back to nursery. I did wonder what the hell I looked like, battling with wind and rain, 9 months+ pregnant, carrying a toddler who was in turn carrying a pram / rabbit / doll. I swear she senses my weakness because I would normally resort to raisin bribery but she isn't quite 100% on food so wasn't interested,
"Er not hungry thanks, I will take the pram option".
"We can't take the pram in the car, how about a book?" I tried (actually thinking, maybe the pram could come in the car?)
"Pram, pram, pram" (I hear what you are saying but I am going to repeatedly shout the word pram in the hope you get the message that the only thing I am interested in is this pram. And yes I realise it might be tricky to use in the car but come on, lets give it a go).

After dropping her off I decided I was bored of all the sitting around waiting so went for a swim. Even the 16 year old on reception at the pool asked if I was planning to give birth today (rude). He followed it up with,
"Innit dead weird that there is a human in there...."
"Hmmm yeah" I responded (note to self: must get better at talking to youths)

I have since followed it up with a hill walk and I do actually feel loads better for getting moving. Did I mention that at my last midwife appointment my slightly nuts Chinese midwife gave me a live demonstration of how to ensure I sat with my pelvis low to encourage the baby to engage and then talked for some time about having a 'polite word' with my husband since all they use to induce you is a prosthetic version of semen (unsure if that is spelt right, can't say I have ever written it before).

A polite word. Love it. It was more than a little awkward.

Anyhow G Kisby has been, "working late" in the evenings ever since, sending me up to bed alone saying he 'won't be long'. And I don't think I helped last night by reading up on yoga positions that could help and spending the entire episode of 'Grand Designs' in a highly unattractive position on the front room floor.   

On a much more pleasant note, Granny brought round the new babies blanket she has been knitting yesterday and we love it. I chose the colours (o.k so they are more suited to a boy) and it is a little big for a pram but chunky, soft and will be used for years to come I'm sure. 

She is so unconvinced of the colours that another is being knitted as we speak!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Due date came...and passed!

So to celebrate the passing of our due date (did no-one tell baby BK) we spent Saturday morning clearing out the garage to find a washing machine (stored at the back) for Mark Bryce. I say ‘we’, G Kisby did most of the work whilst Mark and I stayed inside in the warmth with Mabel. It was the first properly icy day which was unfortunate since he couldn’t find his gloves. He ended up wearing a colourful pair of crotcheted hand warmers of mine. Very funny.

I designed a great activity for Mabel this week for which she had absolutely no interest. I added more pipe cleaners, I upped my own enthusiasm…nothing. She pretty much laughed in the face of my planning, threw them on the floor and walked of asking for Peppa Pig (for a change). I tried another this weekend literally involving some cleaned out egg shells, a spoon and tupperwear. About 25 mins later she was still loving the texture, crushing them between her fingers and pouring them in and out of her tub. Turns out simple wins yet again. I won't learn (obviously).

We then drove over to Manchester and went out for a gorgeous meal with Fee and Al. None of us could remember the last time we went out (though we see each other all the time it tends to be to eat in) so it was a proper treat and potentially the last one for a short while. The food was great, the wine ditto (apparently) and we laughed a lot (as always). The only downside were the very tight trousers I squeezed myself into which became very uncomfortable after a chocolate soufflé. Oh and the lack of sleep that followed.

Mabel has caught my cold (or vice versa?) and was really unsettled. It doesn’t take much to disturb me currently so I lay awake wondering just how many times I could go for a wee when I didn’t actually need one. She then woke up at 4.30 and refused to go back to sleep. We had her in our bed but the, “That is Daddy’s back….Mabel cough…Mummy’s sleeping…” commentary soon became, “Mabel big jump…” at which G Kisby drew the line. Mum’s paranoia about my being tired resulted in her whipping her out for a cuddle with her Granny (all went quiet and dark as Mabel apparently then went back to sleep for a few hours…what the hell).

Anyhow today we all felt slightly worse for wear. Mabel managed to keep smiling through swimming but was a bit shivery and then went for her second nap of the day. I went for a huge 2.5hr sleep this afternoon after which I felt loads better. I get a bit nervous when I don’t feel great since I know labour could start any time now (yes the probability rises every day now, I get it Fee).

I have repainted my toe nails (as well as possible), shaved my legs again (surely the last time I have to do such random moves to reach my legs) and promised to stay close to home now. I must look huge since pretty much everyone I meet in public comments. In some ways this is quite pleasant and a good conversation starter. However, I am slightly perturbed by how risky people are with their comments; “Gosh you look you are about to have that baby…you can’t have long to go….wow that is a big bump”. Really tempted to reply with, “no I am only 6 months” or even, “what this? Leftover baby weight from my first unfortunately”.

Come on baby BK we are all desperate to meet you (Tuesday 30th, girl, 8.2oz is my guess for the record. G Kisby has gone for Friday 2nd, boy, 8.4oz).

Monday, 22 October 2012

Wedding gamble paid off...

Last weekend, at the late stage of 38 weeks pregnant, we travelled down to Hastings to attend the wedding of 2 of our best friends, Ben and Jen. 

Now said friends had said for a long time that they didn't expect us to come but we really didn't want to miss it.  They have been really good friends for a long time (G Kisby started infant school with Ben), G Kisby was to be best man and I was asked to do a reading. 
And aside from all that 2 years ago they changed their flights to return from India where they were travelling to come to our wedding and surprised us by turning up the night before, which was just fab.

We pretty much couldn't find anyone (bar our immediate friends who were somewhat biased) who thought it was a good idea for us to travel so far from home. So much so that I almost doubted the decision myself at times. 

But last Friday armed with hospital bag, local hospital details, car seat, midwife notes and a pillow to try and get comfy for the 5.5 hour journey we head off on our trip. Mabel was happily packed up for a weekend at one of her favourite places. Remembering that she was off to Granny's she awoke on Friday morning with the word, "Kenkie" followed shortly thereafter by a run down of all those she would be seeing. So lovely and so much easier to know how much she loves being there (as always, huge thanks family).

We stayed with a group of friends in a lodge not far from the church and split up on the Friday night with the boys heading into Brighton (where they live) for drinks and a curry with Ben. Us girls stayed closer to 'home', and notably had a slightly lower key evening.

The day of the wedding started with a fairly stressful phone call to say that Jen (the bride) had been in a car crash. It was actually a pretty bad head on collision involving 5 cars but thank goodness she walked away with bruising and whip lash. It could have been much worse. The wedding was put back an hour but still went ahead. And luckily Jen's gorgeous dress covered most of the horrendous bruising that was starting. 

JB074And it was just ace, we are so so glad we didn't miss it. The church was lit by candles which made the rainy / dark day really romantic. Jen arrived with 6 little bridesmaids dressed in white crotchet dresses and gold pumps. There were splashes of colour in an otherwise neutral scheme (every bridesmaid and Jen herself held different bunches of wild flowers grown at her parent's farm) and Jen looked stunning in a slinky satin dress with a low back, pearls and red lipstick. A kind of combination of Hollywood glamour with 1950's vintage. Ben has always been keen to portray an image of the 'non committal' guy and to be fair for a long time Jen likewise so it was so fab to watch them finally tie the knot and look so in love. 

Afterwards we went back to Jen's parent's farm where they had a huge marquee. The wedding was all about them (which is exactly how it should be) including curry for dinner (yum), a huge homemade cake table, tons of wine flowing and dancing well into the early hours. Their first dance was from Pulp Fiction, I have never seen a dance floor fill so quickly.

JB110G Kisby pulled off a brilliant best man's speech. I think I was more nervous than him and had to shut myself up asking if he was o.k prior. I just think there is a lot of pressure on doing a funny speech, not something I would relish I have to say. However, Ben had (unfortunately for him) provided some excellent pictorial content and a cleverly constructed PowerPoint presentation alongside some great timing on the delivery made for lots of laughs (reaction below)...


The only slight panic on the night came from my body giving me a reminder that this baby is getting ready to come out. At 9ish I suddenly felt a bit of a mini 'gush' and absolutely panicked. After discretely checking the cushion on the seat I was sitting on for damage I dashed to the toilet. I stood there looking down in fear, my tights were definitely wet and I am pretty sure it wasn't wee. I didn't genuinely think we were going to have a Southern baby, nor had I any way of getting G Kisby to help me if it was my waters and they continued to flow down my leg. Luckily nothing else happened but it did give me a jolt and we left shortly afterwards in order to get an early night for a 6am start to drive home. Felt we were on borrowed time.

Nothing else has happened since. I did put the experience down to bladder failure (unfortunate) since I thought a 'show' had to include blood. However, looking on the Internet I do wonder if that is what it was and actually that it doesn't mean that labour is immediately imminent, though obviously it is pretty much on the cards anytime. 

I am now taking it 'slightly' easier (no more swimming for me). Can't believe that we are now due in 5 days, though we both think that I might be overdue. 
The hypnobirthing books are back out and I am trying to keep focusing on natural, positive thoughts so I don't scare myself. 

We are all ready and waiting (much more prepared than with Mabel). I can't imagine it happening but I know that it will anytime...too too exciting!

Will update the blog as and when there are any developments...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Wouldn't want to appear rude....

Last week I went into Leeds for my hair cut. I headed for the most central car park I knew only to remember that in the days when I parked there I used to claim expenses and that £12 for 4 hours was no longer acceptable. However, 30 minutes, two bad decisions involving one way roads and a couple of bus only lanes later, I panicked realising I was about to hit the Leeds ring road AGAIN (horrible city to drive round) and drove into another car park slightly further away. For the privilege I paid £14 to walk further, curses.

Anyhow, upon leaving said car park I came across a large post office branch and needing an ISA application form nipped in. Unable to find one I resorted to asking an eager looking member of staff manning a post near the door,
"Ooh it is Keith you need for financial applications, I will find him for you" came the response.
I tried explaining that I was now in a rush (due to said car parking issues) and could I not just get a form. Apparently not and I was shepherded to a table behind a small screen to wait. Overcome with politeness I sat and duly waited for Keith who bounded out like someone had just announced Christmas had arrived early.

Think 'Keith' from The Office looks wise but with all the optimistic enthusiasm of Chegwin.

Small talk over he produced his one pager of financial products.
It was a spreadsheet of small print under titles like 'product', 'withdrawals' etc. Inwardly groaning I decided to give him a minute to give me an overview then ask again for the form.
Keith had other ideas and decided he would talk me through the entire sheet. Column by flaming column.

I glanced around to check this wasn't some sort of practical joke.
He was literally reading out the sheet to me. I would have been there days.
"O.k as I mentioned I am in a bit of a rush so could I just grab the application form..." I tried.

I am not sure what training he had recently been on around keeping the potential customer in the branch but his approach to this challenge ignore me.
Seriously, he just carried on speaking without taking a breath.
Right, next line of the spreadsheet I thought and I am going in again. Still being polite, obviously.

"Unfortunately I am going to have to go so do you have any application forms?" I apologised
"Where are you going?" came the response
" Er to a hair appointment" I replied
"Why?" I heard him say

"Well it's just that I won't get the chance again for a while because I am due to have a baby..." I started to justify
"Where do you go?" he responded.
Oh my god. Was he seriously checking out the validity of my excuse. I should have told him to mind his own business, left without the form, ignored the question. 

Did I? 
No, instead I threw back my answer, almost too eager to prove it wasn't a lie (what the hell).

Small talk resumed ('must keep customer in branch' mantra now almost audible).
I was finding it ever more difficult to escape without sounding rude when he was trying so hard.
Eventually he ran dry (maybe it was the fact I was now pretty much sitting on the arm of my chair, bag on shoulder).
"O.k if you could just sign here then" he said passing me a 10 page document.
"Er, sign for what?" I questioned
"Oh just to say that you have had financial advice today and agree to our next meeting" the latter part tailing off in volume.

Losing the will to live I had to stop it getting any worse,
"Sorry (???) I am due a baby in two weeks, I shan't be coming to Leeds anytime soon and I haven't had any financial advice that I know of, please can I just have the form?" Was I actually begging?

"O.k here it is. Why don't you fill it in during your hair appointment then pop back on your way home?" a last ditch attempt to fulfill his quota.
"O.k no problem I will do that" I said standing.
"So do you have all your previous ISA details with you so you can say where the transfer is coming from?"
Of course I didn't. My shoulders slumped. "No"
"Well you will have to nip back then to bring it in, do you want to put a time in the diary?"
"Is there no way I can just post it?" I suggested.

I felt awful. I could see the look of defeat in his eyes. It was such a valiant attempt for a sale, such a desperate bid to prove that he had secured the business. The 10 page document sat unsigned on the table in front of us.

"Yes" came his response, "It has a freepost envelope at the back..." and with that I was off in a flash.

Now late I ran (walked briskly if G Kisby or Granny is reading) to my hair appointment. 

I have got to do something about this need to be polite!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Did anyone ever claim pregnancy was glamorous?

If so, they were very much mistaken.

This pregnancy has possibly been even less so than last time, due to a number of factors:

- I am bigger than last time. There is no getting away from it, whether it is less exercise (can't fit in that morning swim before work anymore), more cake (might as well, I am fat anyway) or that you stretch more easily (nice). Either way I am not nearly as neat.

- As a result my work maternity trousers only zipped up until about 6 months in rather than until the end as with Mabel. I hate buying maternity wear so decided, in my wisdom (and early morning haste) to still wear said trousers but with a long top so I could leave them completely unzipped. Throughout the day I was left to fully experience the error of my judgement as my trousers literally fell down every time I stood up. Not only that, the zip dug into the very bottom of my tummy (hard to rub that area in public to relieve the soreness) and I tripped over more than once because they were no longer the right length. Big learning there for me.

Phillips' Milk of Magnesia Liquid 200ml- Constipation is not good. During this pregnancy I went 9 days, that's right, 9 days without. During that time G Kisby fed me 2 curry takeaways (he was in his element with suggesting that solution every other day). They remained in place and just made things worse. I worried there was a blockage but a tiny pellet on day nine reassured me this wasn't the case (sorry too much?) I drank tons of Fibregel, I ate loads of fruit, I spent an unprecedented amount of time on the toilet 'trying', to no avail. In the end I went to the doctors and begged for a laxative. I got one...3 days later it still didn't work. But there was light at the end of the tunnel (wrong analogy to use there). Milk of magnesia, no carbs (in fact, I was getting such bad cramp after eating that I went to a fruit and water only diet). No medical advice led to this just the power of Fee on Google (though I did check with my midwife first that a couple of days on fruit wouldn't do any harm). I drank from the bottle and the next day - well lets just say once I started.Glad to report hasn't been as bad since. 

- Fat feet. Had to buy a whole size bigger when getting new shoes for the wedding we went to. My little trotters are just porky. 

- My belly button could seriously be used as a coat hook. It is just not nice looking and despite wearing a band and maternity top it still seems to poke its way through.

We are obviously thrilled to be pregnant, we feel blessed to be able to have children in the first place, very lucky to only have such minor complaints and wouldn't change it for the world. Pregnancy is amazing, life changing and many other great things.

But is not. 3 weeks to go...too exciting!

Friday, 28 September 2012

One of the many benefits of having a sister who is so creative is that when on a family trip you don't have to worry about your taking your camera. Now I know that this frustrates said sister since she feels the responsibility of having to take all the pictures. But in my defense I did take at least 2 or 3 this weekend.

Needless to say, Chipper Nelly captures better than I ever could what a brilliant weekend we just had in Kirkby Stephen. 

G Kisby also celebrated his birthday on the Friday so after picking him up from work at lunch time we snook in a little pub lunch on the way there. The Highwayman, one of chef Nigel Haworths pubs, of which there are a few around the Lakes, was very good. Roaring fire, very child friendly and an excellent ploughmans.

It may be my hormones but I did spend at least half an hour wittering on to G Kisby on the way home about how money just can't buy happiness and there was no-where I would rather have been this weekend than sat round a campfire, watching our little girl happily chomp marshmallows with her cousins in such a gorgeous setting. O.k so money might buy more of this, or more importantly more time to do this and I do appreciate that a trip away at all is something not available to everyone. But I guess what I was trying to say was that I do feel so incredibly incredibly lucky. And you might have also read on Fee's blog that one of Mabel's favourite people in the world, Kenzie, was signed off from oncology last week. Celebrating good health with our wonderful Scottish rellies that we don't see nearly enough....that is what it is all about for me.

Anyway, as I was having said conversation G Kisby decided he might need a nap after all, so if I was boring him then I might need to shut up now!

This has also been a good week because I finished work yesterday for 9 whole months. It does feel a little unnerving (especially since I do go to work for a rest which is a worry) but very exciting at the same time.

It means that it is only 4 weeks now until Baby BK is due. I did feel ready to stop, walking across Leeds in the pouring rain, normally carrying a few bags, in a pair of heels was tough going by the end. Now I will be doing drop off in my jammies and trainers (sorry I ever judged you for that Fee).

I have a list of fairly nice jobs I want to get done (so stay put for a little longer baby). Things like sorting out all our photos on the laptop, getting down the mass of baby stuff from the loft and hopefully getting back to some crafting (baby blanket being first on the list). 

I am also keen to fit in all the things that won't be possible short term with two. Today I got myself stuck trying to climb in a children's play centre. Then, once finally at the top, a fellow Mum (notably not pregnant but stood at the bottom) questioned, "You are not seriously coming down that slide are you?" as I wedged myself in and held on for the ride (the answer was 'yes' naturally. How else was I going to get back down).

And I am definitely going to try and blog more. Especially about the birth since I know the 3 days of all quiet wasn't great last time. 

A gorgeous little pair of fleecy boots given as a gift from a friend at work (thanks Lucy) keep making me gush - can't quite believe that we will have someone small enough to wear them soon...

Sunday, 16 September 2012

We spent this weekend in leafy Guildford at the wedding of our friends Cat and Steve.
Leaving Mabel in the hugely capable hands of Auntie Fee and Uncle Al (she did the hand clench 'yesssss' when I told her she would be staying with the boys) we had our first ever full weekend without her. She seemingly loved it and none of my fears at her feeling abandoned came through (just my own guilt there then?)

The new baby also kicked like crazy all day yesterday, think he/she might have been enjoying a break from having to shield its head from a big clumsy toddler foot. 

We were nearly late, obviously. I can't actually think of a wedding where this hasn't been the case. Not as bad this time but after waking up and deciding we had ages, a good 2.5 hours until we needed to leave, we got too comfy watching Saturday Kitchen and enjoying our freedom. Suddenly we had an hour so I didn't get to curl my hair, my nails were painted on the way out the door (so not very well) and I wrote the card and tag for the present on the way. What the hell. G Kisby questioned, "seriously, can you not walk any faster than that?" as I made my way at a snails pace to the car. Turns out the size of my heels made me feel like I might constantly topple over with the whole centre of gravity shift. From then on he held onto my arm more than I think he would have normally and in a way that you might support the elderly. 

The wedding was gorgeous. Who would have thought that it would be so hot (not me, I baked in black tights). After a lovely ceremony in a quaint village church we sat outside a beautiful art deco building drinking Champagne and Pimms in the sunshine whilst listening to a quirky jazz quartet. G Kisby was in heaven and apparently felt it rude to say no to the never ending top ups of drinks and canopies (at one point the young waitress said she kept coming back since she knew he never said no, embarrassing). 
Dinner was equally good and despite knowing very few other people there, we were sat with some lovely couples, all either with children or pregnant, and conversation was easy (sometimes I find myself socially lazy and don't enjoy making small talk. It is a bad trait I know and luckily G Kisby is much better at it than me). The table plan was obviously carefully constructed and we looked on longingly as the 'drinking table' got merrier by the minute. Then we watched as our own neighbours left to walk their baby up and down outside, smiled and enjoyed every second of being able to actually talk to each other and eat with two hands (thanks Fee/Al/Mum). Think these opportunities may be few and far between in future. 
The only downside was that the two others who were pregnant didn't eat the smoked salmon starter and said no to any wine. Curses, made me feel slightly self conscious about our slightly lax rules as I said yes quietly to a small glass and secretly shared G Kisby's starter. 

A great band set against rows of lanterns lighting up the fairly warm evening, huge smiles all round, aren't weddings just ace. 

To top it all off we left, with a cone of chips to nibble on the way home, circa 10pm to get back to the hotel for a good nights sleep. Yep that is how we roll. But I bet we feel better than the drinking table now this morning. That's what I am trying to cling to anyway. 

Now can't wait to get home to our little girl who apparently slept in till 7.45 for Granny this morning, course she did...

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Lovely Northern Friends...

Over the last few weeks we have had some lovely times with some lovely Northern friends. 

First cousin Caroline and Craig came down from Scotland to visit with their little girls Daisy and Poppy.

When we were younger we thought the definition of the word 'holiday' was a trip to Scotland to stay with our Scottish rellies. We would pile in the car to sleep through the journey with the back seats down wrapped in duvets (how wrong is that now?) So it is nice that we are keeping this tradition going as adults of the next generation. 

It is an odd but happy thought that one day Alfie or Sonny might visit Mabel for a holiday, with their children in tow.

Daisy, being a year or so older, was a big hit with Mabel. We had a gorgeous day of sunshine playing in the paddling pool (until Mabel did a poo and since her nappy was already sodden and hanging round her ankles Granny rightly suggested a water change).

Then over the bank holiday weekend we visited 2 of our best friends' new holiday home in the lakes (for the record they were already best friends prior to this recent purchase, though a boat and house in picturesque Ambleside has only served to cement our love for them - ha). 

Ceri and Paul recently had baby Monty so this was good practice on being 'gentle' for Mabel. She did pretty well and aside from a book on the head and nearly being kicked with a welly boot, Monty came out unscathed. 

It helped that Ceri and Paul were pretty laid back parents and didn't jump every time she patted his head a little vigorously.

The weather wasn't particularly kind but we ploughed on with outdoor activities anyway, including visiting a very surreal 'Grasmere show'. 

Hound racing, a brass band and childrens wrestling anyone? Yep, as weird as it sounds.

Add in a tent of 'crafts' (you know the type of craft; home made cards from the 1980s, home made soap - mainly lavender, scarves from dodgy coloured & textured wool and always a glasswear stand) and some fairground rides (Mabel went on her first one. A 'first' I was keen to delegate to G Kisby. She got cocky and kept pushing his hand away as he tried to hold her still on the plastic truck she was sat on, only to slide all over the show. I took pictures smug in my decision that this one wasn't for me. I didn't, however, hang around to take pictures as she then refused to get off and was carried away screaming).

We managed to just about get away with a BBQ, ate lots of lovely food and enjoyed the company of our friends. 

Mabel even became slightly more o.k with their huge dog who is friendly but giddy. Only once did she get a major face licking (to be fair, even I wouldn't be that keen on an animal, bigger than me, slobbering all over my face and nearly knocking me over in the process). 

The stream running through the garden was also a particular success.

It felt like a proper break and I was slightly perturbed that we had to return to work on the Tuesday.

Can't complain though, only 4 more weeks to go now, 8 weeks 'till we meet our baby!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Where has our baby gone?

I know this happens all the time but since France we have really noticed the changes in our baby toddler. 

Her language has gone crazy. It seems like yesterday that she was saying individual words but now she is mostly using 2, if not 3 or 4 at a time. It is just ace, I love hearing her say, 'red shoes', ' Daddy where are you?' and 'oooooh look' when she is excited. She even called me 'big fat Mummy' tonight. Not sure about the last one. 

Her understanding also seems to have moved on so much (or perhaps we just realise this more now that she can communicate better). She is genuinely useful (hmm that sounds wrong, helpful) now when emptying the dishwasher and getting things done, like finding and putting on her own bib (albeit it does take so much longer and patience is not my thing). There are some downsides to this, like the fact we have had some 'bottom lip' moments when dropping off at nursery and if we are doing something that she doesn't fancy (or probably doesn't care either way but apparently the game of asserting your authority doesn't seem to get boring) she just makes a run for it (I swear she knows I am not as fast at the moment, she is playing on my weaknesses). I feel like my whole life is either a negotiation or an attempt at asserting control. 

She has started to love role playing, so much fun. A tea party with her doll and teddy keeps her interested for at least 10 minutes and tonight she pretended to put 'special cream' (copying me with my desperate attempts to avoid stretch marks) all over her body, talking to herself along the way ('arms', 'legs' etc) and pretending to tip the toothpaste tube onto her hand each time. Too cute. 

We are creating a photobook all about my tummy to help her prepare for the move from having 100% of our attention (uh oh). She will stroke and kiss my tummy now and is slightly obsessed with pulling my top up (not always appropriate) but at the same time also enjoys giving it a good shove now and then and trying to sit on it about once an hour. We are encouraging her to look after her doll gently, kind of hope she didn't notice that the other night when tidying round I threw the doll from one side of the room head first into the toy box, all about setting the right example I find. Her brother or sister is definitely going to know who she is when they come out.

Talking of which, just 8 weeks to go. My cravings for mince have gone but I am still no doubt eating way too many eggs and cold drinks are just amazing. I think I am bigger already than by the end with Mabel and a slightly different shape but I don't buy into any of the theories of knowing boy or girl. G Kisby thinks boy, I think girl (for the record). Although I have had moments of complete panic about how I will cope with 2 on my own in the week, we are both too excited about having a new baby. And besides which, I already lack control so its not like I will be going from one extreme to the other?!