Monday, 30 March 2009

Clay's bath

Ok, so this isn't Clay's first bath, he had that the day we came home from the hospital because here they don't clean the babies off before they give them to you, so I got handed a yucky and bloody and gross baby in the hospital and had to dress him that way, ick! Anyway, during his first bath, I decided he needed to go in the baby tub because he was 24 hours old and still hadn't had his first pee so my instincts told me to put him in the bath to see if that would help. As soon as I was finished and wrapped him in the towel and he calmed down, he peed all over the towel and SOAKED it. I was home by myself with him and Robbie so I wasn't able to document the occassion. Don't pay too much attention to me in the pictures, I had just woken up and my hair is a mess and I'm still in my jammies, but alas, they are the only pictures that I have thus far with the two of us together.

Here he is at 8 days old getting a sponge bath. As you can see, he does NOT like this...
Trying out the fancy gDiapers for the first time. This didn't last long as his little legs are too skinny and when he pooped, it nearly came out of the legs.
All dressed and warm.
Ahhh, a happy and warm baby.
Soaking in some sun so he can look a little less pumpkin like.

Another cute picture of Clay

Thanks Abi for the outfit. I have been so blessed by some of the friendships I have made here. When word got out of our little surprise in having a boy, I had several people come over with blue clothes so he would have something other than pink to wear.

Through Robbie's Eyes

Somehow, Robbie found my camera that had been telling me for 3 days that I had dead batteries and he managed to get it to turn on. When I took the memory card out to download the pictures, here are some of what I found. It really is interesting to see what is important to a 3 1/2 year old little monster!

The tray to the chalkboard
DVD players
His shoe on the floor of MY bedroom (where it does NOT belong)
My dresser
The playroom (I am assuming he was running while taking this picture)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Pictures and birth story...

Well, I have a few quiet minutes so I'll share the birth story with you.

I mentioned in a previous post that my contractions started on Monday, 16 March just after I picked the kids up from school. I had walked 3 miles to and from the school that day and as you read on that day, I tackled a very large to-do list. It was my intention to help the labor start and it worked. Throughout the evening, the contractions continued but were tolerable and irregular, about 20 minutes apart and I still managed to do all that I need to get done. About 1:30 in the morning, the contractions woke me up and they were getting stronger and about 11-12 minutes apart so I called the midwife and as expected, was told I had to wait a bit longer before they would assess me. So I had a miserable night sleep and took little cat naps between contractions and called back in the morning at around 6:00 am as the contractions were still 11-12 minutes apart. Again I was told to wait a bit longer.

Meanwhile, Shawn is getting ready for work as usual and I asked the midwife if she thought that was a good idea and she said she thought it best that he stay close by me. So Shawn called and started his baby leave.

We then got Natalie and Robbie ready for the day and we walked to the school as a family to drop Natalie off. We had to stop a few times on the way and back to let a contraction pass, but I felt like I needed to "do" something and not just lay around. I continued to keep busy when we got home and gave myself a pedicure (yes I was able to reach my feet), vacuumed the living room and dining room and cleaned up the kitchen.

My friend Abi came over and kept me from going crazy and her son Sam and Robbie happily played while Shawn supervised them. My contractions were getting very irregular and spaced out funny. I would go an hour where they completely stopped and then they would be like 6 minutes apart and then a half hour. Then at about 1:30 - 2:00 pm they started getting stronger and more frequent so Abi told me I should perhaps call the midwife again and she finally said I could go in an be assessed at the hospital. At that point they were 8 minutes apart.

We got in the car and they started coming at 5 minutes and by the time we got to the hospital (half hour drive) they were 3-4 minutes apart. I had 2 contractions on the way from the car into the hospital and one while I was waiting for a room. Once I was settled into a room and got all the exam stuff done, it was about 4:15 pm and my dilation was checked and I was still only 3-4 cm, but fully effaced so the contractions were doing their job. I got aquainted with the Entonox (laughing gas) and was told how to use it and it was taking the edge off the pain. An hour later I was dilated to 6 cm and was extremely uncomfortable and was told I couldn't have an epidural because I was progressing too quickly. That made me grumpy, however, my epidural with Robbie didn't work so I don't know why I was surprised.

It finally got to the point where I wanted to push and my water broke and I was ready, and he came out quite quickly after my water broke, only 2 or 3 pushes. After Clay was born, I was still sucking on the Entonox and feeling a little drunk and I remember looking at him wondering what didn't seem quite right and it wasn't until the midwife told me it was a boy that I realized that what we'd been calling Penelope for the last 21 weeks had a penis! So Clayton Ezra Spain was born and I had packed nothing neutral for him to wear. I had a couple of onesies and a white blanket, but everything else had pink on it. Finally in the middle of the night, one of the nurses told me I had to just put him in pink because he was going to get too cold! I felt so bad.

Shawn was given instructed to bring back something suitable for him to wear home so he came home in a yellow sleep gown with little frogs on it. Shawn and Robbie came to pick us up and bring us home and that is where we are now, just settling in and learing how to be a family with 3 kids.

Here are some pictures of the last couple of days...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

BOY! Was that a surprise!

Clayton Ezra Spain came to join our family on Tuesday 17 March 2009 at 6:26 PM, he was delivered at Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske. He's a big boy and weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces. We're home and recovering and hoping to get more sleep than we did last night. I'll update more when I have more energy.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

I got it all done!

I did finish my to do list yesterday and feel quite proud of myself too. It seems that my plan is working, however much more slowly than I'd like...

I started having contractions last night just after I brought the kids home from school and they started out to be about 20 minutes apart. I managed to get some sleep for about 3 hours and the contractions woke me up at about midnight. They increased to about 12 minutes and I called the midwife that told me I needed to wait until they were more frequent so I am continuing to wait. They are getting more painful but haven't gotten "regular" in frequency so we are just waiting. I've not gotten much sleep because as I would start to fall back asleep, another one would start. It's been about 14 hours now and I can definitely tell things are happening.

I'll wait for the kids to wake up and call the midwife again and let her know the contractions haven't stopped and they are getting more painful, but not more frequent. Shawn seems to think he should go to work and leave me to get the kids to school and all this on my own.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Still no baby!!!

Well, my due date (13 March) has come and gone and little Penelope is being stubborn. However, with what we've had going through our house over the past few weeks, maybe she is being wise. Natalie had complained of a tummy ache, then Robbie had a tummy bug, Natalie had strep throat and I had a tummy bug over the weekend. I guess I can take another day or two to get things reorganized and disinfected again.

Believe it or not, I am actually caught up on laundry. I think I may even get away with only doing one load today. The kitchen and dining room are spotless as I cleaned those pretty well after dinner last night. I didn't have much choice as Shawn made tacos and Robbie with shredded cheese leaves quite the mess that I didn't want to leave until today. I just need to do a quick tidy up of the other rooms, sweep and vacuum. I would like to tackle my craft room, I admit that I've been closing the door and pretending it doesn't exist and there are a few clutter hot spots that could use some attention that if I don't attack before baby day will likely never get done.

So, instead of laying around all day feeling sorry for myself, here is what I plan to accomplish today. (I'll come back throughout the day and check things off, stuff that's done is Green)
  • Make beds & get everyone dressed
  • Get breakfast ready for the kids and clean up after
  • My 1 load of laundry put in the washer
  • Walk Natalie to school (1/2 mile each way)
  • Take a little rest
  • Play with Robbie
  • Tidy up and vacuum of living room
  • De-clutter bench in entry way and sweep
  • Move laundry to dryer and fold what's in dryer & put away
  • Robbie's lunch and clean up after
  • Walk Robbie to school (1/2 mile each way)
  • Take a little rest
  • Vacuum bedrooms and playroom
  • Clean toilets and sinks
  • Fold laundry and put away
  • Start to organize craft room
  • Take a little rest
  • Pick kids up from school (1/2 mile each way)
  • Start dinner (beef stew)
  • Natalie's homework
  • Play with kids
  • Dinner and clean up after
  • Family Home Evening
  • Bedtime routines
  • Crash

Maybe keeping busy will help little Miss Penelope come a little quicker!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Meet our house guest...

***Update*** The links now work!

It's not often that we get visitors from the United States here in England. Actually, during the 7 years we've lived in Europe, we've only had my Mom, sister Janie and cousin Melanie come to visit us, so to our surprise, on the 6th of March 2009, we had a guest come nearly 4500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean and all the way from St. Clairsville Ohio. His name is Flat Stanley and he was encouraged to visit us from my little cousin Ben. Ben is in Mrs. Wallace's 2nd grade class at St. Clairsville Elementary School and he wanted Flat Stanley to come and visit us in St. Columb Major, Cornwall, England so he could learn all about where we live. Flat Stanley chose to visit us at the perfect time of year too!

See, we live in Cornwall which is the county which is in the most South West part of England. On 5 March 2009, we celebrated St. Piran's Day. St. Piran is the Parton Saint of Cornwall and according to legend, he was a Celtic monk who sailed from Ireland on a millstone in the 7th century. The town we live in is St. Columb Major and our town is famous for Hurling. Hurling takes place twice a year, first on Shrove Tuesday and then again on the Saturday the following week (10 days later). It is between the Town People and the Country People, where the teams try to keep or take possession of a small silver ball and it is really exciting to watch. Our house is in the perfect place to watch as we live in the town center and we can watch all the action from our upstairs windows. It can also be dangerous and all the homes and businesses in town protect their windows to prevent the silver ball or team members from being thrown into and breaking them. Today 7 March 2009 is the Saturday match for Hurling and were were very excited that Flat Stanley came to visit us for this event.

Here are some pictures of some of the things we've done with Flat Stanley while he was here visiting.

Just arriving to our home.
That long trip made Flat Stanley hungry so we went and had a Cornish Pasty for lunch. A pasty is a pastry filled with beef, potato, onion and swede. It was so yummy.
Now that we had our yummy lunch, we have the energy to visit around the town. Here we are in front of the bell tower at the parish church. This church has been here since the 15th century and the bell tower is 80 feet high.
If you look closely, you can see Flat Stanley at the war memorial. This is a Celtic cross to honor the memories of those that gave their lives in various wars. Every year in November we place Poppy Wreaths in front of the memorial. The church is in the background.
Flat wanted to make a phone call, so we took him to the phone box.

You can't come and visit England without having a traditional take away dinner of Fish N Chips!
He can hardly wait to take a bite!
Here we are getting ready to watch the hurling.
Isn't it exciting!?
Now it's time for Flat Stanley to return back to St. Clairsville and back to Ben so he can finish his school project. It's a good thing he's flat or he might not fit in the post box. Oh, did we mention that we live IN the Post Office? The house is made of 2 foot thick stone and has been here for 200 years and during WWII it was the telephone exchange. It is listed on the historical registry. Oh, and Ben, the next time Flat Stanley comes to visit us in England, please make sure you pack his wooley jumper (sweater) and a rain jacket as it can be quite chilly and rainy here.

Here is a video of the hurling so you can see for yourself.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

No baby yet

Still no baby and not really feeling anything worth writing about. But this may be a blessing in disguise.

Robbie has been home from school with a tummy bug. Today he's feeling MUCH better but school requires 48 hour sick free before they can return so we are having a "stay home and play day".

Natalie had complained of a tummy ache the weekend before last and went 2 days without eating, but nothing really came of it. Today she said her tummy hurt again, but then I gave her toast for breakfast and she inhaled it and asked for more so she went to school. I figure if she really is sick, the school will call and let me know.

I had a midwife appointment yesterday and it looks like I may have a UTI, yuck! I've been feeling weird for a couple of days but just thought it was stress from a sick kid (those who know me well, know that I don't do well with anything to do with vomit!), being 38+ weeks pregnant, and just plain old tiredness.

So I guess I'm glad that we can get all these sicky bugs out of the house before we bring a new baby home.

Oh, and because I am way too organized, I will probably go overdue. The hospital bags are in the car along with the baby seat and the kid's bag and sleeping bags are packed and ready to go, so of course all the early preparation will be in vain and I will either go overdue, or will likely be home while Shawn is at work with the car and will have to get to the hospital some other way and won't have my stuff anyway.

I've been through this twice before and this time is weirdly surreal to me for some reason. I have everything ready but it still hasn't really hit me that in just a short time, we will be bringing a new and tiny newborn home to join our family.