Friday, 26 December 2008

Podling No.3 ~ 12 weeks pregnant

12 weeks and 1 day pregnant
As you've no doubt gathered by now, we are very excited to be expecting our third child and I'm now 12 weeks pregnant. So now you know why I haven't been blogging very much lately! I've been pretty wiped out with the usual first trimester tiredness and sickness, so I haven't been doing anything worth blogging about! I've had very little energy for anything other than the bare basics, so my home currently looks like a worthy candidate for 'How Clean is Your House?' Mark has been wonderfully supportive and has been looking after the Podlings so I can rest, doing laundry and helping round the house. I really couldn't have got through these last couple of months without him! I'm looking forward to feeling better as I head towards the second trimester and getting my housekeeping back on track.

As you can tell from the photo, I'm already looking very pregnant. I assure you that 12 weeks ago I was looking rather more svelte! I guess a combination of being 5'2" and pregnant for the third time in five years means I show early! I'm having severe wardrobe issues at the moment as hardly any of my regular clothes fit me any more, but maternity clothes are still rather loose. I have about two jumpers and one pair of trousers to get me through these awkward few weeks.

Believe it or not, I still haven't registered with a midwife. It's funny how you get more relaxed about these things after you've had a couple of children! I plan to sort this out as soon as we get home after Christmas as we should be able to hear the heartbeat by now. I never fully relax about the pregnancy until I've heard that little heart racing away inside me. I've probably missed out on the early scan now (usually carried out at 12 weeks), so I'll have to wait until I'm 20 weeks along to see our new baby. We don't find out the sex of our babies, so you'll have to wait a few more months to find out whether I'll be washing the pink or the blue baby clothes from the attic. I'm praying that all will go well with the pregnancy and we will have a beautiful, healthy baby in our arms sometime in July next year.

Boxing day barbecue

Greg, Ryan and Mark braving the elements for the sake of barbecued meat!

When Mark's brother Ryan heard that Mark and I hadn't had a barbecue this year, he decided to throw one for the whole family on Boxing Day. Yes, I married into a crazy family! After the children went to bed, Ryan and Greg (Mark's other brother) fired up the barbecue and stood out in the 2 degree winter cold and cooked vast quantities of meat for us all. Mark is a real meat lover, so he was rather happy! It was a fabulous meal, but, just to reassure you that we are not completely nuts, we did eat it indoors!

A very happy Mark with his plate of meat.

Enjoying the fruits of Ryan and Greg's labours
(apologies to anyone in mid-chew when I took the photo!)

A boxing day walk

It was a beautiful sunny day in Derbyshire today, so after lunch we all bundled up in our warm winter coats and went for a walk to blow the cobwebs away. Mark's mum and dad are lucky enough to live right next to a country park, so we had a lovely stroll and the Podlings were able to run as much as they wanted to. They haven't been out in the fresh air for a while, so they loved being able to get out and burn off some energy. They should sleep well tonight!

Do you think I'm cute?

Thursday, 25 December 2008

A few Christmas photos for my mum and dad...

Opening their stockings

Due to unavoidable circumstances, we are spending Christmas with Mark's family instead of in Devon. For the benefit of my parents, who are missing their Grandpodlings, I'm posting some pictures of what Tom and Lily got up to on Christmas day.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.

Tom trying out his new watercolours with Grandad

Tom and Lily playing with Tom's new wooden castle. Yes, Tom still prefers to go about with no trousers on. I'm getting quite good at taking photos that hide his modesty!

Lily cooking some dinner with her new wooden kitchen.

Tom and Lily playing with Lily's new styling head doll, a gift from Uncle Greg.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Special delivery

Although we'll have to wait until July for this very special little parcel to arrive.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Meeting Father Christmas

The Podlings had a lovely time at their Christmas party this afternoon and were in high spirits when Mark and I went to meet them. There was a 'surprise guest' arriving at two o'clock and the parents and their cameras were invited up for the visit. Lily's face was a picture when she saw Father Christmas walking through the door, but would you believe I was having camera trouble at the time so was unable to record it. Tom was hilarious as he kept trying to get up on stage to see Father Christmas before his turn. He certainly wasn't shy! All the children received a book and a small selection box in their parcels and came home very happy. Father Christmas had also put in an appearance at our toddler group Christmas party a couple of weeks ago, and Tom was excitedly telling me at bedtime how he has now seen Father Christmas twice. I'm really enjoying the pleasant fiction and wonder how many years we will get out of it. I was rather a hard convert to the truth as a child, choosing to believe for as long as I could!
I should point out that Lily looked a lot more 'put together' when I sent her to the party, but she had a nappy related incident involving a pair of pristine white tights. They only had a spare pair of boy's socks to put on her, so just imagine white tights on those legs please!

Nativity play

Lily spent a good deal of time waving at us from the back row. This picture was taken after the concert was finished and the children had 'broken ranks'
The Podlings are at their playgoup Christmas party this afternoon, so I have a few moments to post about the Christmas play they were in last Thursday. Tesco came up trumps with the costumes and I was able to get a little angel costume for Lily and a sheep costume for Tom for very little cost. Lily had to have a short angel dress as the the longer dresses were only available for ages three and up, but she looked adorable and was quite happy to dress up. As you can see from the pictures, though, her halo kept slipping...should I be worried?
I really didn't think Tom would dress up at all, but he started out in full sheep regalia, complete with head. He soon got too hot though, so one of the group leaders took his hat off and he was a headless sheep for the duration of the nativity play! I was completely amazed that Tom sat on stage and didn't even attempt to run off for the whole concert. If you know Tom, you know what an amazing achievement this is for him. I think he was so fascinated with watching the audience he was too mesmerised to move! I have to say that I stand in awe of the playgroup leaders, who were able to get fifty or so 2-4 year olds to perform a Nativity play. Incredible!

After the concert was finished and the children were allowed to mill around on stage, Lily went straight up to Tom and gave him a hug.
Although there were a few tears from both Podlings before the concert began (they were kept waiting for a very long time), they soon cheered up. Tom didn't sing a note (he doesn't like to sing!), but Lily joined in with gusto and appeared to be having a great time. I was so proud of them both! The appalling thing is that I barely glanced at the other children, I only had eyes for my two! Isn't that shocking! Mark's parents were able to come and watch the play with me and a good time was had by all. I was able to get some video footage, which I will always treasure. No matter how old they get, I'll always have a record of their first nativity play. Isn't technology wonderful!
NB. You may notice that I have blanked out the faces of other children in the background. Whilst I am happy to put pictures of my children on the Internet, I know a lot of parents would be uncomfortable doing so. I didn't feel comfortable putting pictures of other people's children 'out there' without permission.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Economic downturn

It would seem I've been absent from the blogging world without leave again. Unfortunately, we have a lot on our minds at the moment as we received some rather bad news last week. It would seem that Mark is being made redundant just before Christmas, which was rather unexpected and very unwelcome news. The company Mark works for is planning for a downturn in profits next year and is making several people redundant, including two of the ten senior managers, of which Mark is one. It is obviously rather a worrying time for us and the timing couldn't have been worse. To paraphrase Mister Micawber, we are hoping that something will turn up soon. In the meantime, we are planning a simple Christmas in Devon with my family and I know that we will be able to forget our troubles and have a lovely time. Besides, there's always a silver lining...the children and I will love seeing more of Mark whilst he is at home with us.

Monday, 1 December 2008

It's huge!!

Mark surprised us by picking up a Christmas tree on his way home from work this evening. He drove home with about a foot of Christmas tree sticking out of one of the back windows! He picked out this rather attractive Nordman Fir, which is a much nicer shade of green than the picture shows. It is rather large though! Mark is six foot tall, so I got him to stand next to the tree for reference. I have no idea how we are going to get round the back of the tree to decorate it!


Well, the advent calendars are up and the countdown to Christmas has begun. My mum made these fantastic advent calendars for the children last year. Each one is nearly three feet long and they are both beautifully quilted. The numbers are pockets and we fill each pocket with a foil-wrapped chocolate coin. They're really impressive (the pictures don't do them justice) and I do think my mum is very talented.
The Podlings were very excited when they wandered into the dining room this morning to discover their calendars hanging ready for them. Tom remembered from last year that each number hides a chocolate coin, so he was especially excited when he knew he was going to get chocolate before breakfast! He's also old enough to realise that you only get one number a day. Lily, on the other hand, was trying to get me to give her more coins. What two year old wouldn't want to breakfast solely on chocolate!