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!