Monday, 26 January 2009

Saturday, 24 January 2009

A night out...

A night out with my little cousin. Not much to say, but here are some photos of us. We are both totally gorgeous!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

More photos for the family to see

The top photo is Annabelle showing off all the badges that she collected and earned on our trip across America. The three big kids all have a flag each on their bedroom walls now.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Baby smiles..

I noticed that I have neglected to give our new addition to the family a blog name, and even though we've been calling her by her real name for weeks, I shall now be referring to her on the blog as Grace. I hope it doesn't confuse anyone!

I just had to post this gorgeous photo of Grace smiling at her Mummy. Isn't she adorable? She started smiling at 3 weeks, but the last few days (5 weeks old) she has really been smiling big time.

Last night at 4.30am, after a feed, I lay her in her moses basket and was treated to a huge smile, followed by her first giggle. She shocked herself with the noise she made, then followed it by cooing at me, then a big belly laugh. It was adorable. Her first little noises, apart from grizzling and crying!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Tummy time

Emily and Daddy

Daddy and his little baby girl, 16th January 09.

Emily at 5 weeks old

Aged 5 weeks old. Emily now weighs 8lb 12oz. Still less than her big brother was at birth.

Emily, age 3 days old, in hospital

A short video of Emily in hospital at 3 days old. You cant tell how teeny she was until you see my hand on her head. Cute. She's grown so much already. This is her at 7lb 80z.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

One month old already

It's hard to believe that Emily is now one month old already. Why does pregnancy go so much slower than life after the birth?

This week has pretty much been the week from hell for me, and I have barely made it out of bed. Until today when I managed to make it to Mum's house for dinner. I'm not going into details about it here, so instead, here are some photos of Emily at 4 weeks old.

I must also mention that we have enjoyed Emily's first real smiles the last few days. On Thursday morning she woke up next to me, and when I leaned over and said good morning to her she beamed a great big precious smile at me! Then followed it with 2 more smiles. I almost cried. She has been looking at us more and taking in our faces and her surroundings, and really trying to communicate with her mouth. This evening we enjoyed about 5 more smiles before she drifted off to sleep. It's amazing to see her growing, changing, and learning so fast. They grow up far too quickly, but watching them is like watching a miracle unfold.

Monday, 5 January 2009

2008 - a year of adventure

I am sitting here with Emily in her sling. I've finally worked out how to get her into it without dropping her! I managed to get a bit of housework done with her in the sling, but my c-section scar started hurting after about 15 minutes, so I've had to sit down for a while. She feels so warm all snuggled up against my chest. I hope I get time to write this before she wakes up for her next feed, which is due any time now.

Well, no doubt about it - 2008 was a year packed full of adventure and good times for the M family. What a year! I'm looking forward to a restful 2009 after all last years excitement. This time last year we were busy packing suitcases and trying to plan our route across America. I remember the daunting feeling I had as we walked into our RV home for the first time. I wondered if we had gone totally insane and was sure we'd all kill each other during five months of living in one room on wheels together. But it turned out to be the trip of a lifetime. We saw the most spectacular, awe inspiring sights, spent precious family times with our children, and bonded as a couple on our 14,000 mile drive across the USA.

We closed down our business in January 2008. This has been the first year that Dan hasn't been self employed for what seems like a lifetime. It's taken him quite some getting used to, but he's finally learning how to relax. It was a big decision for us to close down our beloved CD shop, which was our little baby, but it was certainly the right thing to do.

Obviously the biggest change 2008 brought to the M family was the arrival of our fourth child, our souvenir from America. Nine months of pregnancy have flown past. I guess that's because 4 months of them were on the road. I don't relish the mornings waking up in the RV with morning sickness, having to drive sometimes 200 miles whilst feeling terribly nauseous and wanting to just be back at home in my own bed. 39 weeks and one caesarean section later, we have the most beautiful little baby girl.

So 2008 has brought so much to our family but here's a brief summary and reminder...

adventure - travelling for 5 months, what an awesome adventure!
surprises - a new baby girl
sadness - the death of Dan's uncle was a very sad time for him and his family
sickness - plenty of morning sickness, plus suffering from high blood pressure complications during pregnancy for me. And a bad spell of asthma for young Barney.
laughter - plenty of that! I still wake up laughing when I remember Dan walking into the fly screen at Tammy's house in California (twice!)
friendship - we made some lovely new friends on our way round America, as well as strengthening some existing friendships this year. I also lost a friendship that was becoming unhappy, which was a sad time.
music - I finally got to see Metallica in concert! (Emily's first gig too!)
schools - Barney started his first year at primary school, whilst Annabelle started her first at secondary school.

Emily's crying for a feed again so I will have to leave it there. But here are some memories of our year in photo form...

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Emily pics

Some pics of our little bundle of joy... now aged 3 weeks...

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Christmas 2008

I am way behind with my blog posting. I am missing the Christmas post, my birthday post, and a post about 2008. I guess that happens with a newborn and three older kids in the house. So heres a brief account of the most amazing Christmas ever!

So Christmas Eve was our first with 4 stockings. Annabelle helped Emily hang up her stocking (not that Emily really knew anything about it) and Barney enthusiastically left out the mince pie, and carrot for Santa and Rudolf. It took Barney hours to get to sleep. He kept getting up to look out of the window, peeping for Santa. But the plus side of this was that he didn't wake up until 9am, so we had a nice lazy start to Christmas day.

Christmas Day itself was quite relaxing as we didn't have to make a dinner this year. Mum had invited the entire family round to hers, so we spent the morning lounging around in our PJ's whilst the kids opened their presents. (I spent much of the morning nursing Emiy too!)

The bigger kids both received a new mobile phone for Christmas along with various new clothes, hair accessories, sweets, chocolate and general teenage stuff. Annabelle enhanced her Nightwish collection with DVD of their music, patches to sew onto her jeans, and Nightwish stickers to decorate her room with. Jimmie received Lost series 2 and 3, and hasn't come out of his bedroom for days since as he is glued to the telly. Emily got a few little stocking fillers which Barney eagerly opened for her. Barneys most exciting present was a Gameboy, which has hardly left his hands since.

Christmas Dinner at Mums was divine! She cooked for 14 of us! The turkey was not just a turkey... it was a duck inside a turkey inside a goose... and it was mouth wateringly good. She spent something like 12 hours cooking it and was up to tend to it during the night, much like a newborn!

Dishing up time was a mammoth task and involved help from almost everybody. The adults all sat at the main table, the big kids sat up at the breakfast bar, and the little kids had a wee table of their own. Emily kindly slept through dinner time, just long enough for me to horse down my food before she needed nursing again. The food was just delicious (Thanks Mum!) and the company was the best.

Mum had a Christmas tree in her huge living room that was actually bigger than my house. It was massive. It doesn't look all that big in this photo because it's such a huge room. But it was a sight to behold. And underneath it were the most amazing hampers for each family that Mum must have spent weeks putting together. Our hamper was filled to overflowing with lots of different types of home made fudge, a huge box of home made truffles, home made spicy nuts and lots of other delights too. Dan was extremely taken with the big new saucepan that was included, and he hasn't come out of our kitchen since.

After every Christmas comes my birthday, and I am now another year older. This year we planned a quiet day, as I'm not yet recovered from my C-section, and am feeding Emily what seems every 5 minutes anyway.

Barney woke me up in the morning by bringing all my presents up to the bedroom. Traditionally we always open birthday presents on my big bed. Barney was even more excited than me and handed me each present, watching with enjoyment at every one I opened. They gave me a new HIM t-shirt, the new Dawn French book 'Dear Fatty', enough bath stuff to keep me clean for an eternity, and lots of other things too.

In the afternoon the midwife made her final visit to our house to discharge us from her care. At the end of her visit people started turning up at the house and I realised Dan had invited people round for my birthday, as a little surprise. He's so cute like that. So we had a nice lunch with family and friends and I got more prezzies! Barney helped me blow out the candles on my cake. Not quite sure why I had a big '2' candle on my cake though!

On that note, I must go, as Emily is awakening for yet another feed.