I survived the school holidays

I survived the school holidays

Can I say the Summer is over now? I checked the weather for the next week and it looks pants so to me I’m getting prepared for Autumn; boxsets, duvet days and homemade soup. This summer was my first summer where I’ve had to come up with a whole different routine to get through the summer as our nursery is term time only. At the beginning 6 weeks seemed like a long time and I thought it would be pretty hard going sorting out childcare for when we were at work and organising activities for the girls with none of our regular favourites running and other places being so busy. Anyway I’ve been pleasantly surprised and I’m feeling quite smug with just how awesome it has been for the girls. We’ve had a trip to LEGOLAND where it had monsoon type downpours on several seperate occasions. Kids absolutely loved it and didn’t seem bothered- me and the chief bridesmaid could’ve told you a different story as we aquaplaned in our flip flops. There’s been swimming trips, walks in the forest, lunches with friends and even a trip to IKEA which as you can see the kids just loved as much as their mummies. We also totalled 19 guests staying with us during that time; visitors from the North and Holland as well as one unplanned guest who was too drunk to make it home!  So extremely busy and lots of fun but now I’m counting down until we go on holiday…4 little weeks!

4 more weeks at work holiday countdown where it’s pretty tame in comparison to pre-pregnancy as i’m now non-operational so fitting smoke alarms, working on community projects, lots and lots of admin and making tea but I’ve had a couple of my own home rescues to deal with. The first being G with her leg stuck through the baby gate. I would’ve got a picture of this if it wasn’t for her being so upset. Then the chaotic one got stuck between the wardrobe and the wall. “Mummy stuck! Mummy stuck!” I heard with her no-volume-control voice. I had to laugh and take a picture before I released her. So at least I am getting my rescue fix at home and good to see i’m keeping my skills up!!

I’m now over 4 months pregnant and look about 6 months. That’s all thanks to it being the third child and everything being nicely stretched by those two tiny human big sisters. Great thing is the sickness has now gone and apart from this giant bump I dont feel pregnant at all. I have started to feel the little one moving around and we’ve now had 3 experiences of being told that the baby is very active from the sonographer who struggled with our last scan; the acupuncturist who said it is very yang and full of energy; and the midwife who tried to listen in to their heartbeat last week. L and I just gave an eye roll to each other and both said it was going to be another chaotic one!! 

My nesting hormones are kicking in early so this extension is feeling like it’s taking forever. The builders have knocked a wall through and now we have a massive porch and hallway (no front door) but no idea what to do with it. We are going on holiday in a few weeks and I’m staying hopeful we will have it all finished by then but L reckons it will be nearer Christmas. I always watch those home redesign shows and wonder how people cope as they are almost always pregnant halfway through the construction. Well now that’s me and I’m currently trying to tame the hormones before they drive me nuts and make me feel like I’m going to explode!!!
I’ve been on a mission to get my exercise back up to an acceptable standard now that I have a bit more energy and have tried out spinning classes. Oh my word my bottom area (front and back) took one hell of a beating. Supposedly your body gets used to but I have no idea how!! Thankfully due to timings I can only commit to one session a week which gives me plenty of recovery time. I’ve also learnt not to go running with a certain friend – baby loved it sleeping all the way in it’s comfy little bubble but me on the other hand barely made it up the last hill. I think I’ll keep my extra curricular goals to myself from now on!!

Whilst on the subjects of looking after myself L has started back at Slimming World which is fantastic for her as it keeps her focused and really motivated. I’ve been prepping some of her meals trying to make sure they are all on the plan and we are not eating junk. So now I’m secret eating chocolate and fatty foods through the day so not to send her off track. Probably why my bump is so big really when I’m having cake for breakfast!! L cracks me up with her slimming world stories from the group. She saw one of the members in Starbucks stuffing their face with a croissant and latte and L was frantically looking through the book to see where it said that many syns were acceptable. She has me giggling with her tales from the class and I’m even get tense when we reach the weigh in day on Thursdays as I’m just wishing her to do well. So proud of her she lost 2lbs this week. I’ll send her to spinning she will lose a stone in a week!


The Whiskey Fitz wedding

The Whiskey Fitz wedding

Child free for a whole 24 hours. 24 hours of not answering constant “mummy mummy mummy” or checking a million times what is going on when they are playing/fighting or daydreaming about a little bit less volume but it also meant 24 hours without cuddles from the tiny humans. I think I can cope with that to attend our good friend Whiskey Fitz’s wedding!!!

Whiskey fitz is so called from the sheer amount of whiskey she consumed at our hen do. She had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and if you’d cut her in half she would’ve oozed whiskey goo. So I shouldn’t have really been surprised when I jumped on her for a piggy back and she brought us both crashing to the floor!!

Well it turns out she decided to get married and we made it on the guest list. The venue was on loch lomond which is one of our most favourite places and we were going to be childfree so it didn’t take much persuasion.

We flew up there on the morning of the wedding which was a bit risky since we were on standby and the flight was chocka. Thankfully we made it albeit sitting separately but we are used to that. Quick turn around at the hotel as we only had an hour before the ceremony but we managed to scrub up ok I would say. L was determined to wear a tartan bow tie and handkerchief for some reason and in our 12 years together I’ve finally realised it’s easier to go with it than fight it. We will never match at any formal event with our clothes but our big cheesy grins do. And she did look really cute.

The ceremony was in the church where Take the High Road was filmed. I was a bag of emotions throughout the service even before the beautiful bride arrived. I’m going to blame the hormones but actually i’m just really soft and love these special moments. It was a beautiful ceremony, nice and relaxed, and I absolutely loved their choice of hymns. All some of my favourites including ‘Amazing Grace’. It didn’t take long for them to be married and for them to be leaving the church grinning as Mr and Mrs.

They had a piper walk the newlyweds along the shore of the loch which brought tears to my eyes. I was bursting with happiness for them and their smiles were shining to their ears. Totally magical moment and so honoured to have been part of it.
They are such a lovely couple. You just want to give Nigel a massive hug and Nicci is nuts but good nuts. The kind of nuts you even trust your kids with. Well actually the chaotic one vomited all over Nicci once and it didn’t put her off looking after them again so really she is part of the family if she can deal with that!!

There was free flowing alcohol all afternoon and evening which I couldn’t indulge in but it was fun watching the others getting merry and the conversations becoming less and less serious and more abusive to each other. There were a few occasions where we mingled with guests and we’ve said “I don’t know you but I know you from Facebook” so although we had never met we were all familiar with each other. So much so at one point a load of us made it out on the loch on a banana boat just for the craic. This is me sober so probably best I was off the booze or I might have had another go on Nicci’s back which we know doesn’t end well.

We shared a great meal in the afternoon  and to top it off her mum had made tablet favours – its a Scottish sweet which is delicious. Totally melts your teeth but tastes so good. I had two helpings and would’ve taken more if i wasn’t being polite. I love making it back to my home country and indulging in all of the culinary delights I miss. This day was no different with a pizza supper (Google it!) and a can of Irn Bru to end the night. Honestly I’m so easily pleased.

Thanks to the new Mr and Mrs for having us at your very special day. We will treasure it forever and wish you a lifetime of happiness. But you’ll always be our Whiskey Fitz.

When the Chaotic one turned 2!

When the Chaotic one turned 2!

And right on cue the terrible 2’s have begun. Well actually this was 4 days premature as she wasn’t quite 2 when she threw this hissy fit in the queue at m and s cafe. I couldn’t do anything to stop it. None of my tools were working so I had to just leave her. I could feel myself getting hot. I could feel the people looking and I was trying to manoeuvre a 3 year old, carry the lunch tray, order a coffee and make sure the chaotic one didn’t hurt herself while she was making shapes on the floor. I knew that if anyone had said anything derogatory in that moment I would’ve completely lost my cool and the pregnancy rage would’ve set in and potentially I would’ve been quite rude. Thankfully the only comment I had was from a young girl who worked in m and s and she said “I feel like that when I come in here too”. That made me smile so thank you for lifting the mood.

As a little treat for G we took her to her first ever cinema experience. Aww bless her heart you should’ve seen her little excited pea head face. She was beaming. I’m not sure if it was just the cinema experience or the fact she had a rare few hours with her mummies on her own which never happens. She sat there with her ice cream all happy and giggling. Totally lovely but definitely not time for the chaotic one yet to go to the movies. We would get thrown out for sure.

As for toddler pants we took her to gravity tots for her birthday with some friends. It’s where under 5s can go play on the giant trampolines etc. Such a shame I cant go on the trampolines as I’m pregnant (plus my bladder is not really up to it post kids). L’s face was a picture when I told her but she actually had a really good time. It was hard to work out who enjoyed it the most!!
Back to our house for a tea party and cake with a few of her little friends. We decided the thing that makes chaotic one happiest is food so we made sure that was a focal point of the day with all the things she loved.

But 2???! 2 years since she was born. How on earth did that happen. It really does fly over and I think if I wasn’t expecting a new little baby to arrive next year I would’ve been really upset about our baby growing up. I still remember her newborn smell and snuzzling into her neck when she was just a few hours old. Aww newborn bliss.

She makes us laugh every single day with her crazy personality but I really do wish she came with volume control! And as for cuddles you can’t really get those now for more than a second as she is like a firework about to explode. We wouldn’t change her for the world. Happy birthday little lady.

Daddy? Doggy?

Daddy? Doggy?

Ah man the moment came we were probably both subconsciously worrying about – G cried because she didn’t have a daddy. It was heartbreaking. It was literally a few minutes after I’d opened my eyes and I thought my word I’m not ready for this conversation right now. Anyway I went about explaining that her bestfriend does have a daddy but he also only has one mummy where G has two mummies and that’s ok too. I don’t think she understood it but she was ok. By the time I got her to nursery she was upset again and I told them why. They offered to go through the ‘our story’ book we have which is all about how families are different and how her family is made that morning so I could follow it up in the evening (That is why the girls nursery is awesome because they genuinely care and work with you as parents to support your children’s development including the emotional side). When I picked her up from nursery she wasn’t interested in family stuff she just wanted her toast with ham. Ah right so that quick she was over it?? She has the attention of her Mammy(L)!!!

But she has brought it up loads since just questioning about a daddy and who has daddies and she has started saying she has two mummies and also naming everyone in our family (including the new baby which tipped my hormone level right over to tear level).

So it’s been a big discussion point in our house and with my friends but I’ve rationalised it and taken the adult element away from it. She doesn’t actually know what a daddy is. To her it’s just a word her friends use and she knows it’s something she doesn’t have so it could just as easy be a brother or a dog. She has no emotional tie to a daddy it’s just us worrying too much and overthinking it. Her nursery teacher said exactly the same so it made me feel heaps better. She knows her stuff.

Now all G is bothered about is watermelon and taking her minions lunch bag to nursery. Today when she brought up a daddy I said you don’t have one just like a doggy and her little eyes lit up and said “doggy doggy”! Erm no you’re not getting one of those either they’d both make way too much mess. Mind after today and all the questions G has been asking “Mummy” about all of her surroundings, and when I say all I literally mean from the gear box in my car to the nipples on my body, I’ve decided to change my name – to Daddy! Then I might get some peace.

Last week we had our 9 week scan at the clinic which was also our last appointment at the clinic EVER! That’s our 3 babies made and that’s definitely it.

We got to see little Bryo who is now a whopping 2.7 cm long. So super tiny. But so relieved to see something which now resembles a baby. And it was so active. Which concurs what the acupuncturist said to me when they said the baby is very yang. Supposedly that means warm and full of energy so I think we have got ourselves another ducklips. Basically it’s all or nothing with her. There is no in between, no downtime and no reasoning. But it’s great to have girls like this with loads of energy.

We’ve totally splashed out and invested in a new high chair so at least the 3rd born won’t be completely hand me downs. We won’t be buying them much else probably just some clothes once we know what colour it is. Only 29 weeks until we find out.

A lad at work told me I looked like shit. If you ever want someone’s honest opinion and you don’t want to sugarcoat it or fluff it then ask a firefighter. No messing around there. So I’ve taken some more time to rest and gone for an almighty chop on the hair to at least make me feel a bit better and more human. So far it seems to have done the trick. None of the lads at work noticed the haircut though!!!

The glitz and glamour of early pregnancy and the first scan.

The glitz and glamour of early pregnancy and the first scan.

I was hoping things would calm down a bit now the constant appointments were finished but since we are about halfway through the extension and L has landed herself a new job it’s unlikely that’s going to happen.

The extension has got to the point where it looks like very little is happening now the actual structure is in place. I’ve lost interest in picking out flooring and paint as I don’t have the headspace for it and I’m feeling like there’s too much left to do. Really hope it can be finished by August as we have visitors but it’s looking unlikely.

So happy for L – this new job is awesome for her and so well deserved as she totally rocks it at work but with big jobs comes big responsibility and that means long shifts and lots of stress for her. Here’s hoping things settle a little soon at least for her sake before she burns herself out and I need my partner in crime back, I miss her. When I’m at work she is with the kids and when she’s at work I’m with the kids. We are like passing ships until the weekends. We didn’t eat together for 4 nights and for us that’s pretty much unheard of.

Last week I was being a complete idiot and stressing about not feeling pregnant. Apart from being really zapped of energy I felt fine. I was worried I wasn’t pregnant anymore so I tested again. It said I was pregnant. L saw the test and asked why have I been testing. I told her I didn’t feel pregnant. Her response was “I know you are pregnant simply because you did that, you moron”. Ah ok. That’s that settled then.

And before I needed further clarification – BOOM – The sickness came over me like I was on a rubber dinghy in the middle of the Atlantic during a storm. Total urksville. Thank goodness now I feel like utter crap and so happy about it.

I was in charge of the mess at work (basically making the meals for the watch that week) and as I was walking round the supermarket I had watery mouth and wanted to puke. I didn’t fancy anything to eat at all. They’re lucky they ended up with a meal as I was tempted to just shout them takeout. One shift I had to lie down for a few minutes as I was really queasy and one of the lads brought me a white chocolate magnum. It was amazing and just what I needed. I felt better when I ate. That’s a modern day hero!

To add to my moaning my bum is causing me problems. I’m still having to shove those bum bullets up there twice a day as part of the treatment and to make it worse I’ve only got a ridiculous amount of piles. Pregnancy is far from glamourous. My body is breaking on me! Just when I thought I was feeling pretty crappy as I was I went a stubbed my toe and heard the unmistaking cracking sound of it breaking. There was a lot of swearing, then tears, as the warmth and the pain set in. This was on the afternoon I promised to take the kids to the park. So I strapped it up, popped a couple of paracetamol and soldiered on. Made it to the park and was just about getting by until G wanted me to join her on the see-saw. My cheeks were sore from the fake smile I had on my face. As I pushed up my toe throbbed and as I bounced down I literally had a pain in the bum. I was laughing on the inside really! L found it all quite amusing and so did my friend who I texted at the park. She thought I was so funny. Does she realise I wasn’t trying to be humorous and crack a joke – this is my actual life!

We’ve had our first scan. That was a nearly a 7 week scan. Apart from being sickly I haven’t given the pregnancy much thought (too busy) but everytime I get a quiet few minutes I have a little smile to myself. The night before the scan I woke up all worried about it and nervous that everything was ok for the recipient too.

On scan day I had to wait what felt like forever until the afternoon. I wanted to know there is a viable pregnancy going on and see the heart beat. That’s all you can see in these early scans. The heartbeat is a little flicker on the screen. There’s nothing that looks like an actually baby just a splodge. And after that is all ok (I hope) I’m thinking please let there just be one. Chances of twins are slim as only one embryo was put back in but you do still wonder. Not that it’s the end of the world or anything I just don’t know how we would cope. L might actually have to get up in the night. Imagine that?!

Once again I was grateful that we had the distraction of the girls at the scan. I’d packed them loads of snacks. Not the healthy ones. The totally rubbish ones that keep them quiet and happy. I don’t think I would cope if they told me that it wasn’t ok. But thankfully I didn’t need to worry about that. There was a little flickering heartbeat and the size was measuring well 7mm. That’s not even a cm! And it has a heartbeat. Nature is so amazing. Blows my mind. Recipient doing awesome too. I left that clinic beaming and all the crappy pregnancy associated rubbish was out of my mind (for a little while). L was so chuffed everything was ok but she said she knew it would be. How, I have no idea, but I like it when she says things like that. It makes me feel safe.


My IVF Journey: The Result.

My IVF Journey: The Result.

6 days until test day: Googled how quick people find out they are pregnant. Found some people found out early so that made me want to test then read a few that didn’t find out until late so I discarded all information. I’m feeling short tempered.

3 days until test day: I dont think i’m pregnant. L tells me I am pregnant. She says I’m showing all the signs. What does she know? I cried when I saw a 13 day old baby today. Ah you forget how small they are. I wanted to sniff it’s head but that’s just weird isn’t it. I’m not sure their parent would appreciate it.

2 day until test day: I dreamt I was at a hospital having a scan and they told me I was pregnant. Seems like the only time I can really think about things is in my dreams. I’ve also started feeling really sick. The watery mouth kind of sick. And hungry. Yes hungry too but can’t eat. Surely can’t be related. Must be coming down with some sort of illness the small people in our family like to share.

1 day until test day: Woke up feeling sick. Felt sick all day. Thought I was going to puke doing the nursery run. Held it together for the kids sake. G would say ‘yacky’ if I did that. L has read up on the testing kit. Seriously this woman. It’s the 5th time we have tested and the same type of test (testing has been her role since the very first one) all she has to do is drop the pee onto the plastic thing. It’s not rocket science. Not sure I will sleep much tonight. The tiny one wakes up at 4 usually so only 6 hours to go. In a way I don’t want to test as I want the hope to go on. It’s a nice feeling to have hope.

Test day: it’s 3:30am. The tiny ones are still asleep. It won’t be long until they wake up and ruin this rare quiet moment. I need to pee but I want to test. Wish L would wake up so we can do it. Maybe if I do a big shuffle it’ll wake her up. Yes. I can hear her stirring. She’s checking the time. Be still so she doesn’t blame me for waking her.

She checked if I was awake. Yes I’m awake and I need to pee!! So let’s do it.

L set her timer we had to wait 3 minutes. It went really quick. I don’t think we said anything to each other during those 3 minutes. Then she went into the bathroom to check the result. I was half looking, curled into a ball, half trying to protect myself against a bad result but as she popped her stupid little face round the door I knew there was no bad result. We were pregnant and she confirmed it to me when she handed me the test. Shit! Here we go again. Our world is about to grow.

Obviously we were both overjoyed to have been so lucky to get a positive but we laughed at just how nuts our life will become. As if it wasn’t crackers enough as it is!! I just kept staring at the test making sure it didn’t change. Bozo.

So I called the clinic to let them know the result but I was more nervous wondering if the recipient was pregnant but it turned out they hadn’t heard anything yet. No news is good news I hope.

About 10 minutes later my phone rang private number so must be the clinic. Please please please let it be good news.

It was. The recipient was now pregnant. That moment is like no moment I have ever felt. It is different to all of those amazing special days in my life which are the best days of my life but this moment was on par with those feelings. To be told that you’ve helped give someone the gift of life and to make their dreams come true is wonderful. I couldn’t stop crying.  I know how it feels to get the positive result, to be pregnant and to hold your baby for the very first time and now this woman was going to have this. What a fantastic feeling of pure joy for someone else’s happiness.

Now to enjoy these moments before the worry and the sickness kicks in!





The Christening Day

The Christening Day

Our girls were christened last week. Now if you’d asked me a little over a year ago if this day would happen i’d say absolutely not.

See I went to my local catholic church. I plucked up the courage to meet with the priest to ask him to baptise our girls knowing I would have to come out and explain our family to him but I braved it because I wanted the girls to be baptised. A few days later he called and said he could baptise the children and both of our names would appear on the baptism certificate but I wasn’t prepared for what came next. I was told I was no longer allowed to receive communion at mass. What?! I was being excommunicated. I asked why and was told it’s because they know the relationship I am living in and it’s not accepted by the church. What a blow! I was shaking with upset and anger and I also felt humiliated that I had been scorned by the church.

After sleeping on it I knew there was no way I could accept these terms. When my girls are older and say “Mummy why aren’t you getting communion?” and I have to respond with “I’m not allowed to as the church don’t believe that your Mummies relationship is right”. I couldn’t do it. This is telling them that our lives are wrong. We are not sinners we are just a couple in love who have children they love. Nothing else.

Utterly devastated I wrote to the priest and the bishop. I didn’t expect to achieve much but I needed to get it off my chest. They were not being very good Christians. Do you think God really cares if someone is dating Arthur or Martha? No! All God wants is for people to be happy and to treat people well. Simples.  My mum even said they give communion to those convicted in prison. So they can be forgiven enough to receive communion but me, the average person who likes to help people whenever I can, who teaches my children right from wrong, who lives in a loving and committed relationship can not. L was angry. She isn’t religious but she supports me with my faith and I knew she was hurting because I was hurting.

So I’d given up hope that the girls would be baptised until I started going to a toddler group based at the local Church of England hall. I came here with a friend and really enjoyed it. People here were nice (not too nice where they were annoying and in your face) but the nice where they were friendly and kind and they also lost it with their kids from time to time; so normal folk. As a bonus they also had the best cake ever and endless amounts of tea which was needed as it was a post-nightshift-with-the-kids event.

I liked it there and the kids liked it there. The vicar would arrive with his guitar and we would all gather round and do a sing song and usually a story or prayer and the girls really enjoyed it. It left me thinking maybe this group of people were more inclusive and maybe more accepting. I did a bit of research on C of E as I was brought up in the Catholic faith. I didn’t know what they accepted and didn’t. I was over the moon to read they accept people to receive communion from other faiths as long as you are confirmed. It sounded too good to be true and I was still too hurt to explore it any further until one day I thought sod it I’ve got nothing to lose.

So I met with the vicar and spoke about what had happened, what my concerns were and how did our family fit within this church. I was blown away with the response. He was very understanding and sympathetic to what I’d been through. He gave me the opportunity to come and try a few services to see if I thought it was for my family and I. It was great. I was welcomed right from the very first day with a lovely smiley face inviting us in for drinks and pastries (as if L and I needed much more encouragement after that!).

It’s surpassed any expectations I had and has literally changed my life. I feel elated and accepted and my life is even richer than before. The benefit is now I can share all of this with my family and even L likes to come along to some of the events. I really feel that we have made good friends here already which I can see blossoming over the years to come.

So seeing my beautiful girls being christened was a dream come true. The service was beautiful with fantastic music played by a local family really personalising it all. The girls looked stunning and were so well behaved, especially when they were at the font, so I’m wondering if that was God’s magic and their Nana working on them from above or if they were just thinking what on earth is going on!!!

Who knows if they will choose to continue in their faith as they get older but we’ve given them the opportunity to do so if they wish and we will cherish the memories from this day forever. Sometimes things are just meant to be but I am I glad I chose not to compromise our family values to please a religion which wouldn’t accept me.