Friday, 31 August 2012

Flashback Friday - Homecoming

I was going to use a photo of Leo's homecoming for this week's Flashback Friday but as I have used them before when I wrote my birth story I decided to use photos of MY homecoming instead!

Last year my Mum guest posted on here to share the story of my birth.you can read it by clicking here


My Nana and Granddad (Dad's side) were at our house to welcome the three of us home.







Linking up to Flashback Friday, hosted by LaurenJenny
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Welcome to the world....


On Saturday 25th August our second gorgeous baby boy made his appearance in the world!

Loukas Alexander,  
born at 3.56pm weighing 4.25kg    /  9lb 4oz


Several people say he looks just like Aaron, but he certainly looks just like his brother when he was born.

It was certain to be a.....picnic'

I wasn't planning on joining in with the Gallery this week, figuring I'd be a little busy, but last Friday just as I was preparing to go into hospital for my induction I spotted the theme for this week...... Movies.   

Well, when you get engaged at a production of the brilliant production of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and then several years later actually get to picnic at the site the film was shot it just has to be done.

Aaron and I have been Rocky fans for a long time and when I realised that the fan club held an annual picnic at Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor on August bank holiday which just happens to fall on the weekend after our wedding anniversary we couldn't resist getting ourselves some tickets.

"Over at the Frankenstein Place"

It was a brilliant, if not slightly surreal weekend.

"If only we were amongst friends... or sane people"

I'd love to go again but it's a bit far for us now!

The card my friend made us on our engagement, film stills mixed with pictures of us!



Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Star Gazing

The other week my friend Sam was due to come round for the afternoon for our usual tea / chat and for the kids to play.  As we've noticed recently that they seem to play nicely until about 4pm when all hell breaks loose this time she came prepared with distractions!

Sam is the master of kiddy crafts and not only did she arrive with a plan, she brought everything needed to create not one but three masterpieces. As it was the day that was supposed to be the best to see the Perseid Meteor shower the plan was to make telescopes, binoculars and rockets.

Armed with paints, toilet rolls, stickers and card she explained to two very excited children what they had to do.... and they actually listened!


We ended up with extendible telescopes - two kitchen rolls painted black, one inside the other and decorated with silver stars.

Binoculars - two toilet roll tubes painted and decorated, then stuck together and string attached.

Rocket ships - more toilet rolls this time painted blue, with red painted cardboard for the finishing touches.

Leo and I didn't actually get to see any of the meteor shower as he was in bed by that time.   I figured I'd probably not see any anyway and after looking for about 10 minutes I gave up and went to bed too!    Sam went home did manage to see some though, as did my Dad, although I don't think they were using the cardboard tubes!


Thanks Sam for keeping the kids happy, such a great afternoon and to top it all off the very yummy dinner you cooked us all afterwards!

Monday, 27 August 2012

K is for Kids

Growing up, unlike many children with aspirations to be a nurse/ teacher or similar the only thing I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother, although whether that was down to a lack of imagination or an actual calling is debatable!  Maybe because looking back I don't remember knowing any 'career women' the only women I knew were Mum's, some with jobs, some who stayed at home but with their main focus on the children. 

I've had many jobs in my life, mostly ones I hated and I could never come up with anything I actually really wanted to do, always feeling like I was just killing time and doing something because I HAD to. I was 31 years old when I had Leo which is the same age my Mum was when she had me.  I had always wanted to be a younger Mum but I'm now glad I wasn't as looking back I really value the years I had which were firstly all mine, and then mine and Aaron's. 

I grew up as an only child and from a very early age was determined I would have two children, when Aaron and I got married he wanted three and I smiled and nodded but thought to myself 'well lets have two and then see what happens'  figuring that I wasn't really convinced about having three but as long as I had two we'd worry about that later! 
(He is one of three and therefore thought it was a good number - he's since changed his mind!) 

Not long after Leo was born, I was sorting through maternity clothes to give to my friend and mad e a comment about keeping some bits in case I needed them again.  Aaron said he was quite happy with one and not sure he wanted another.  I was stunned and slightly panicked - although it was far too early to be thinking about, as I hadn't even recovered from the shock of having one, I was alarmed to think that was it.

In the end we did get rid of all the baby stuff as we were shipping our things to Cyprus at this time and had very limited storage in the apartment anyway so I just got on with it.  After living here a year or so, although I often thought it would be nice to have another child, I came to the conclusion that I just couldn't do it all again - I loved Leo to bits but could not face the difficult bits all over again. I also realised it was not a sensible choice to make, we didn't have the money or the space.   

Sometimes I would be sad that I wouldn't get to do the pregnancy thing again, or the newborn stage but mainly I was sad that Leo wouldn't get to have a sibling, by this stage Aaron was not against having another in theory but sensibly realised we couldn't choose to do so due to our situation - that made me even sadder as it seemed that we wanted one but couldn't due to our previous choices (not having saved money in the past, moving abroad etc) 

But, it seemed that fate was going to step in anyway when we found out I was pregnant at the end of last year,still living in our small 2 bedroom apartment, having just sold the rest of Leo's baby stuff and neither of us having work, so actually in a worse situation than when we decided a second child was a bad idea!



It's funny how I've stopped thinking about how much I thought I wouldn't be able to do it - how I've conveniently forgotten the bad bits, I guess that's a survival technique  to stop me panicking about the imminent arrival!   Despite the non-ideal timing I'm so glad it happened as I very much doubt we would have ever felt like we could plan to have another and now very soon we will be a family of four..... its going to be very strange talking about the 'kids' - 'the boys'.   It's an alien concept to me to have more than three people in the family so it will be very interesting!



This post was written last week and scheduled so I'm guessing we are already now a family of four!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Me and my boy

I feel very lucky to have been able to be a 'Stay at home Mum' since Leo was born,  it's not always been a bundle of laughs admittedly especially as for most of his first year I was also getting used to living in a new country and being on my own with a baby for the first time.      There's been many times where I've been tearing my hair out and desperate for a break, and the times which came as a surprise to me - those ones where I've been bored to tears, I really didn't expect those before I became a Mum.

But for every bad moment there have been a hundred more fantastic ones and I as I was feeling a little nostalgic I thought I'd have a rummage through the photos of us taken over the last few years.


He knows that his baby brother will be arriving soon, but I can't help but wonder what he will make of the new situation.  I know in time he will be unlikely to remember the time when he had his Mummy all to himself and I also know he will be a great big brother.   As I grew up an only child I can't really imagine what its like to suddenly have a sibling join the family, Aaron is one of three but he is the youngest so never dealt with a new arrival.

Over the last couple of days Leo has been increasingly 'lovey', I'm not sure if this is just to do with school (he's never been that happy about going, and since his week off while it was closed he's been even more upset about it)   or if he knows things are about to change.    He's been very cuddly and has spent a lot of time saying 'I just want to be with you'  and sitting cuddled up to me on the sofa.

In less than a week he will no longer be my baby ( not that I've thought of him as one for a long time - it actually really bugs me when people refer to kids as 'the baby') and he will definitely be my 'big boy'

Baby brother now has a final eviction date as induction is booked for tomorrow but even though we know when he will be here by I STILL can't imagine being Mum to two boys and I can't believe it will no longer be just 'Me and my boy'


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Gallery - Skies


This week's Gallery theme is Sky - well, when all the doors in your home (we have no windows!) open to this view you tend to amass quite a collection of photos of the sky.

During the summer the skies are usually cloud free which doesn't make for the most interesting photographs, as lovely as wall to wall blue sky can be it's the differences in the sky at different times of the year that make the most stunning shots.  We've taken so many since living here it's impossible to choose just one.

There is sunrise...



We've had clouds....


Stormy....


Amazing rainbows...


and stunning sunsets...



I don't think I'll ever get bored of our balcony view!


Monday, 20 August 2012

Something to remember forever....

Today Aaron and I celebrate our 8th Wedding anniversary!  

I've written about the day many times before here on my blog,  from my story of the day,  to the moment where I realised 'today was the day' so this year I'm celebrating here with some of my favourite photos along with the verse my Dad read out during the ceremony...


SOMETHING  TO  REMEMBER  ON  YOUR

WEDDING  DAY  AND  FOREVER

 WE ARE NOT MEANT TO GO
THROUGH LIFE ALONE.

WE NEED A PARTNER WHO WILL

FOREVER REMAIN BY OUR SIDE –
SOMEONE TO LEAN ON AT TIMES,
REMEMBERING, AS WELL,
THAT WE WILL BE LEANED ON, TOO;
SOMEONE TO SHARE OUR JOY
AND HOLD US IN SORROW.


UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WILL BE DIFFICULT TIMES
AND DOUBT MAY CLOUD YOUR LIVES.
IT IS THEN THAT YOU MUST
TRUST EACH OTHER THE MOST
AND BELIEVE THAT LOVE WILL SUSTAIN YOU.
DO NOT GIVE UP EASILY;
FIGHT FOR WHAT IS MOST PRECIOUS –
YOUR MARRIAGE.
HELP IT SURVIVE
BY NURTURING IT EVERY SINGLE DAY.
 NEVER HESITATE TO SAY “I LOVE YOU”

OR TO BE THE FIRST ONE TO SAY “I’M SORRY.”
GIVE A LOT,
OVERLOOK EVEN MORE,
AND ALWAYS EXPECT AS MUCH IN RETURN.
NEVER LOOK BACK
OR LOSE YOURSELF,
BUT CELEBRATE THE SPECIAL PRIVILEGE
OF BEING A COUPLE.



NEVER LOSE SIGHT
OF WHAT BROUGHT YOU TOGETHER
IN THE FIRST PLACE;
YOUR SPECIAL LOVE FOR EACH OTHER.
CHERISH THAT ALWAYS
YOU HAVE OUR BEST WISHES
AS YOU TAKE THIS GIANT STEP FORWARD.
WE WISH YOU NOTHING BUT HAPPINESS
AS YOU ENTER THIS WONDERFUL NEW WORLD
OF MARRIAGE.




And of course, our wedding day would not have been complete after the way Aaron had proposed if we had not done the Timewarp....


Friday, 17 August 2012

Almost there!

I honestly didn't think I'd be writing a 39 week bump update but I'm still here so here we go!

I would have put good money on the fact they had got my dates wrong and I'd worked out my due date to be 8th August. I suppose I could still be right and be overdue like I was with Leo who only came after my waters were broken in hospital.   I'm still hoping this is the case as they only let you go a week over here and I'd rather avoid induction if possible. 

I swore when pregnant the first time that if it ever happened again I'd pretend my due date was actually later than it was as I spent the last few weeks expecting him to show up any moment, I can't believe I've gone and done the opposite this time and brought it forward!   

Although I'm trying (and sometimes succeeding!) to make the most of the last few days, it does seem to be turning into the longest pregnancy in the world!

Even Leo agrees......



I've had so many on and off pains / contractions / braxton hicks or whatever they are, ad several times now I've been poised over the phone to call Claire (my Doula)  only for them all to stop again.  I've eaten pineapple and I'm now on the raspberry leaf tea,   all the other methods of natural induction are not so appealing to me though which obviously means I'm not THAT bothered.

At the end with Leo I walked a fair bit, but in high 30 / low 40 degree heat that is just not going to happen now!  I can't even face walking up the stairs to our apartment as it just kills me!

I figure he will be here soon regardless of what I do now anyway, I have my next appointment on Tuesday (my due date) and they will discuss induction then so worst way round it will be a week after that I guess....
watch this space for the next update!

J is for Jobs

 
Here I am in 1995 off to start my very first day at work.  It was not long before Christmas and in fact was the same day that the very first National Lottery was drawn in the UK.   The job was a temporary Saturday job, just for a few weeks with the last day being before Christmas day, working in the restaurant in Alders department store. I remember coming home and checking the lottery ticket I'd brought at lunchtime and hoping I would win and not have to do that 'work' thing again!

I was quite late in getting a Saturday job compared to some of my friends, due to the fact I was very lucky and managed often sweet talk my parents into giving me the odd fiver here and there and I didn't want to miss out on the fun I had each Saturday playing lacrosse *ahem*.

On the first day, within a few hours of starting I managed to crash a whole trolley full of dirty plates and cutlery as I took them back to the kitchen, smashing everything dramatically over the floor right in front of the boss - whoops!  I hated the job, and came home each week covered in the remains of people's lunch and also made myself very unpopular with my Mum for ruining several black skirts by getting bleach on them - sorry Mum!

Thankfully I was only in the job 3 weeks as I then got offered a job as a cashier in Safeway which was a permanent position. I then worked for them in for several years, moving branches three times. I can't say I enjoyed that either, certainly not at the time, although looking back it doesn't seem so bad!  There were a large crowd of us youngsters working across a range of departments and we did have a laugh at times - there was always someone to go to the pub with after work too, and my best friend Sarah worked at the same shop.

Over the years I had several jobs,  changing for various reasons, more money, moving house and also just because some were SO rubbish!  It was a bit of a standing joke in the end if I hadn't seen someone for a few weeks where they would ask where I was working now.

I never knew what I wanted to do so I drifted, I enjoyed working in Supasnaps photo shop for a few years but then the familiar itchy feet would start to drive me mad. I felt that my ideal job was in travel and eventually I got a job in a travel agency, it turned out that it was me who wanted to travel and after almost 3 years I moved on from this too.

My last job was where I was most settled and had I not have moved to Cyprus before the end of my maternity leave I would possibly still be there.  It was a small company selling paving to builders merchants and DIY stores and I was one of only two people in the sales office.  I was there just over 6 years - my personal best!

I liked it as I felt I could actually make a difference there, all the companies I'd previously worked for were big and I always felt like a little fish in a really big pond.  I liked having some control and the fact that I could be 'heard'.

Since living in Cyprus I've been a stay at home Mum, which is what I always wanted to be and that's lucky as there would have been no other option when we first arrived having no-one to look after Leo!  The plan was for me to find work this year but fate had other ideas and baby no. 2 is due to soon make an appearance.   I hope to be able to find a way that I can work around the children towards the later part of this year, and then have the best of both worlds.


Written as part of my A to Z posts and linked up to Flashback Friday 
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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Birth in Cyprus - Larnaca General Hospital

Today I am sharing Lisa's story with you,   Lisa had her first baby here in Cyprus in the General hospital in Larnaca after being told it was very unlikely that she would be able to have a baby.

I'll hand you over....


I wanted to share my experience with you as it was excellent and a wonderful experience.

I am British and have lived in Cyprus for 6 years. Firstly I want to tell you that in UK they told me it was very unlikely that I would ever have a child due to having poly cystic ovarian syndrome, and they never offered any help or advice. Here I went to Larnaca general hospital and my first appointment was with a specialist and was within a month of making the appointment. They were never negative like in the UK and for the first time in years I had hope.

So here are my comments for you.
  
Did you have your baby in a private clinic or in the general hospital? – Larnaca general

How much did it cost? – Nothing as I have a medical card

Would you do the same again? – Definitely yes would never go to a private clinic.

What was the antenatal care like? Were you happy with it? The care was wonderful offering a scan every visit (my first at 5 weeks) which I found reassuring as I had had a miscarriage prior and every appointment was with the doctor, I know this service is not offered in UK as my aunt is a midwife. Sometimes the wait was long for appointment but you wait everywhere is Cyprus don’t you, I just took a book. And I was never rushed by the doctor he had all the time in the world for me and sat and answered all my questions. My mom came to all of my appointments after 10 weeks and the doctor was even happy to answer her questions and showed her what the scans was a I remember the first time she came she was so excited and the doctor put the heart beat on the monitor and she was overjoyed. Oh and monthly appointments are standard up until about 7ish months and they get to every 2 weeks then down to weekly.

What do you wish you had known about having a baby here beforehand? That they do not believe in gas and air here or epidural unless it for a C section.

Did you have a c-section or natural birth? Was that your choice? Was planning on having a natural birth but ended up having a C sections baby was breach but it was fine.

Did you have any pain relief? What was available to you? I was upset at first as thought I would be put to sleep but turned out that I was offered a epidural as a preferred method as I was over weight and with high blood pressure. I never felt a thing and the staff were all lovely. Had 2 senior doctors with me who talked to me and sang to me the whole way through. All the staff was great and keep me informed in English the whole way through.

Did you have a birth partner? My partner was going to be there if natural but they do not allow it if a C Section, but he came to hospital at 7am as I was going down at 7.30am and was allowed to wait.

How long did you stay in hospital after birth? What was it like? 1 week it was ok has had a room to my self but it was holiday week in August so not that busy as not many scheduled ops that week.

Were you spoken to in English or Greek? English, I have to say that I was always polite to the staff and they treated me the same back. Courteous and manners goes a long way with them. (I have witnessed non Cypriots with little or no manners towards the staff be treated a bit harsh but they deserved it)

If you have had a baby here and abroad how did the experiences differ? What were the positive and negative aspects of each country? And where would you choose if you were to do it again? Never had a baby in UK but I ever did it again it would be here as I have compared my experience with my aunt and I’m sure I was better off here.

Anything else you’d like to add? I had no idea what I was supposed to do with this little baby but the midwives helped me all the way and no questions was considered wrong or silly. They are happy to leave you to look after the baby and be there to help when needed and they never moaned or groaned when I pressed my buzzer.

If you work here as well you are entitled to your maternity leave, a birth grant and family allowance. I even found my experience with the social security office Ok and easy but I never went to the main office so maybe that why it was better.

Overall it was a wonderful experience.

BirthInCyprus

To see all the other stories so far.....visit my Pregnancy and Birth in Cyprus page

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Friday, 10 August 2012

The time of my life!

Flashback Friday is now in the capable hands of Jenny & Lauren and for their first week they have given 'Sport'  as a theme.   Sport!!!  I must say I laughed when I saw it as I wondered for a while if I would have to skip their very first week.   Sport is not a word that has figured highly in my life, at school I would have done anything to skip PE lessons and I often felt sick just at the thought of them.

I was flicking though my old photos looking for some inspiration and when I found it I can hardly believe it hadn't come to me straight away.   My life changed a lot due to sport and I nearly forgot!!!

I'm not actually in this photo and not just because I was the one taking it!
At secondary school when we were about 15 we had a term of Lacrosse lessons, taught to us by a very handsome and young American Lacrosse coach who was working in England for a year.  He was working for a local lacrosse club 'The Beckenham Beetles' and we were all invited to play for their junior team on a Saturday morning.  Of course we all fell in love with the coach and duly trotted off each week to stand in drizzle and pretend to be enjoying ourselves. 

I believe the others may have actually enjoyed the game but I hated every bloody second!

What I loved though was the social aspect of the sports club they played from, we gradually spent more and more time down there each week after training on a Saturday morning, eventually leaving as the bar shut at 11pm!    It was the reason I didn't try and get a Saturday job for so many years!

We were not always welcome at first, which is more than understandable looking back - we were 15 and 16, hanging around being more annoying than we would have realised at the time and even turning up on week nights and doing our homework in the bar whilst wearing school uniform still! But over the years we became part of the furniture, we spent hours and hours sitting, talking, drinking and drinking some more.  It was a place where SO many of my 'firsts' happened that I couldn't even count them all!

This was REALLY why we went!
When I was 18 I finally gave up all pretence of even trying to look like I enjoyed playing the game - in fact on a weekend tournament away I was so hungover on the 2nd day I point blank refused to come out of our tent and they had to play without me.  To be fair I was so rubbish and used to hiding at the back I don't think anyone noticed!

It's the place I used to drive to in my first car, listening to 'that' song,  the place where we used to smuggle in bottles of Diamond White and Super Tennants in the days before they used to serve us (oh dear - do they even still make Super T's?  I hope not!)   It's the place where I had my 16th birthday party, and also my 18th -at which I proudly tried to show the long suffering barman my ID after he had already been serving me for 2 years!

It was the place I laughed at, cried at, drank much more than was sensible at, perfected the art of drinking a whole bottle of Budwieser in one mouthful after someone bangs the top with a pint glass, was often very unwell (due to the aforementioned perfected art!)  and generally had the time of my life!

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Thursday, 9 August 2012

Applying for the Maternity Grant in Cyprus

As a resident of Cyprus I recently discovered that we are entitled to claim a Maternity Grant.   To be eligible the mother or father must have worked in Cyprus and they may contact your previous EU country of residence for details of social insurance payments made there.

In addition to this one off payment, women may be able to claim Maternity allowance if they have worked in Cyprus and fulfil the criteria for the payments, they may take into account payments made into social (national) insurance in a previous EU country of residence.   As I haven't worked in Cyprus, obviously I am not entitled to Maternity pay, in the same way I wouldn't if I was still in England  having not restarted employment after having Leo.  Maternity payments are made for 18 weeks here and you can claim a further four months unpaid leave.

It was very straight forward to apply for the grant, which to be honest was slightly surprising having dealt with official paperwork and government offices out here before!  Last year we had a new Citizens Service Centre open up for this area, which is handy as before we probably would have had to drive 30 minutes to Larnca,  I collected the application form from there.   Unfortunately the form is only in Greek but the man apologised which was nice and carefully went through it with me explaining what I needed to fill in. 

I had to take it to the hospital to get my doctor to complete a section with my due date and the rest of the form was simple details like address, passport and registration number, dependants details and my work details if applicable.

I took the completed form back and he went through it, checked it was ok and gave me a letter of reciept. This then gets sent to Nicosia and they may check with UK to see if we paid our national insurance contributions there, then at some point  (who knows when, this is Cyprus after all!)  we should receive the payment!

For more information on the maternity grant and other benefits visit Angloinfo.com  and Mums in Cyprus which is where I found most of my information. 

pregnancy and birth in Cyprus

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

38 week update and Cyprus vs UK differences

Officially 38 weeks now, and giving up on the fact I thought I had my dates wrong as it doesn't really matter any more, it just means I'm more likely to get this baby out whilst avoiding induction as they only let you go 7 days over here.  (Leo was 15 days overdue when they took me in).

Yesterday was my latest hospital appointment, it was surprisingly one of the quickest so far. They did the usual wee sample test and blood pressure and a (very quick!) ultrasound, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't see the screen as the nurse was standing in the way but it was over in just a few seconds anyway, just long enough for them to hear the heartbeat I think.

Only once here have they used a doppler to check the heartbeat, unlike in the UK I've had I think 5 or 6 scans in total. That seems to be the way they check for the heartbeat. In the UK the midwife used a doppler each time but I would see her in the local health centre rather than the hospital where the ultrasound machine was.

In the UK, I'm sure the appointments got a bit more in depth by this stage,  I seem to remember them measuring my bump, giving me an estimate of the size of the baby, and feeling to see how he was lying.  (I guess they do that here via the ultrasound but they didn't say anything to me about it, although I know he is head down!)   I'm sure they also told me how 'engaged' he was. 

I did leave feeling a bit deflated as nothing interesting had been said! My next appointment is in one week, then the week after and they will let me go 7 days after August 21st. 

I guess I could be wrong as I was with Leo but I'm SURE I won't still be waiting by then!  I quite fancy Sunday as it will give a nice birth date of 12.08.12   :)

Today has been a hard day and although its all calmed down now, I was getting a little nervous earlier - lots of pains (contractions?  I have no idea!) and I've felt sick and very tired all day, bending is so painful.  I'm not actually worried about getting to the hospital in time as I can see it from my apartment, I'm more concerned about my Doula getting here in time but without false alarms!

Now, I'm currently suffering from what feels like bad period pain, which does come and go,  along with backache and a few random contractions thrown in for good measure!  They are over in just a few seconds though with no real pattern to them.  I guess it's my body getting prepared - I do like to be organised after all!

pregnancy and birth in Cyprus

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Preparing for nappy time again!

There are so many choices you can make when it comes to looking after a new baby, and it's very easy to become overwhelmed by them all.   Everywhere you turn there is conflicting advice or suggestions from well meaning friends and family, or parenting books, midwives and the media.   Bottle or breast,  cot or co-sleep, spoon fed or baby led weaning and 'real or disposable nappies'  to name just a few.

When I was pregnant with Leo using cloth nappies never entered my head as an option, I did consider it but dismissed it almost as quickly.  The cost of buying them was an initial minus point for me although I didn't really give a thought to how much I'd have to spend over the next couple of years on disposables at that point!

I knew we would be moving around a lot due to the fact we were emigrating to Cyprus when he was just 5 months old and I couldn't cope with the idea of using cloth in all the different places we would be in the process (we stayed with several different friends before leaving to say goodbye, and a couple of hotels too!)

This time round I started looking into the possibility of using cloth,  I've read several interesting blog posts on them with positive reviews and another good friend of mine used cloth 99% of the time and was very happy with them.  I realise now that although there is an initial outlay to start off,  that it still works out cheaper in the end - especially here in Cyprus where the cost of disposable nappies is appalling and you never see the money saving offers or coupons that you do in the UK.

I'm actually quite excited about this new adventure now!  I will probably still  use disposables when out and about but I've got the starter kit of the award winning two-piece nappy from Bambino Mio all set and ready to go..... and look at just how cute they are.....


All we need now is a baby to put them on!   I'll let you know how we get on.

I have received the starter set of nappies for review but the thoughts and opinions are all my own. 

Monday, 6 August 2012

At 37 weeks pregnant, Emma loves....

After my 'Leo loves' post  which was inspired by 'Real Housewife' Lauren  I decided to create another one for me,  however it seemed that most of the things that came to mind were things I couldn't do / have at the moment!  I was finding it hard to get past rare steak / blue cheese and cold beer so then I thought I'd do a more topical one and remember the things I am loving about being pregnant.... yes there actually are a few things! 



Friday, 3 August 2012

Sleeping like a baby!

I like to be as organised as possible in everything I do and waiting to bring a baby home is no exception.  Before Leo arrived my hospital bag was packed weeks in advance and his room was all ready and waiting.  We were living with my parents at the time as it was just prior to our move to Cyprus.  We took over 2 bedrooms of their 3 bedroom house, one for us and the spare bedroom had a cot squeezed in among the boxes waiting to be shipped to our new home.

We had a large wicker style moses basket for him on loan from my Mother in law, the same one in fact that his Aunt, Uncle and Daddy slept in. We stood it in the cot (it just about fitted!) as we had no stand for it.  We also had a 'normal' moses basket which stayed downstairs for the daytime. 

As we couldn't fit either into our bedroom,  to begin with I slept in the spare bed in the same room as his cot. Leo was so big that the he used to wake himself up by hitting the side of the wicker moses basket so we put him in his cot at just a week old, he immediately slept much better. 



At 3 weeks I was missing my own comfy bed and I seemed to be disturbing him by being in the same room so we decided I would move back to our room.  I know the guidelines say baby should sleep in the same room as you for 6 months but we got the baby monitor set up and did what felt right.  Admittedly the first night I worried about how well the monitor would work and if I would hear him cry, that is until he actually cried and I realised the neighbours at the end of the street would probably be hearing it so I needn't worry!


This time it will be different again, as we have a 2 bed apartment the baby will sleep in our room in a moses basket (hopefully for longer than two weeks!) and then we will put the cot up in our room too in the hope that we don't disturb Leo too much during the night.   I guess they will start sharing at about 6 months but Leo was waking lots in the night way past then so I'm a little nervous as to how well that will go!  I'm sure by then though I will be glad to get my bedroom back.  


Flashback Friday will now be  hosted by Lauren at Real Housewife of Suffolk County and Jenny from Mummy Mishaps.  I hope to join in as much as possible but have passed it over to her as I fear I may be pushed for time in the coming weeks :)



Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Change is on the horizon!

August is finally upon us and this means that this month we will be welcoming a new arrival into our family! The next couple of months are going to be interesting to say the least,  baby will be here soon, Leo will be changing school and Aaron will still be working a 7 day week, (I think at the moment he is on day 76 or something like that!) and we still have to peak of the temperatures to come!

We'll survive I'm sure,  I'm not actually complaining (believe it or not!) I'm just enjoying the calm before the storm.  I'm excited, nervous, calm and apprehensive about the whole thing all at once!

I look at Leo at the moment and wonder how he will react to all the changes that are approaching....

We started Leo at nursery school back in June to get him used to going somewhere without us.  It's been a mixed success to be honest, most mornings he plays up a little and asks not to go, and every day when you pick him up he and ask him what he had done he says 'Some crying' as the first thing!   But on the other hand he walks off every morning without a fuss after I give him a kiss and hand him over to Eleni, often his little face looks a bit sad and his bottom lip will quiver but apart from the first day there's never been a tear.

I feel sorry for him still, but that's me being soft!  It's taken 6 weeks but he's just starting to talk about some of the other children and know what their names are,  I can only hope at least one of these might be going to his new school in September!  He talks about his teachers all the time but he doesn't seem to actually 'do anything' while he is there.   His main teacher seems to have adopted him as her little friend and he follows her around everywhere, in the morning's when I drop him off he seems to go wherever she is rather than to play with the others and he 'helps' her with the meals and tidying while the others I guess play outside.

I'm on tenterhooks to see if he will like the new school more, I'm hoping that it will be more stimulating for him and as the whole class will be new it might be a bit easier to settle as everyone else is.  Hopefully there might be one or two English kids for him to talk to too as that might ease the process as well.    I don't know when to tell him about his new school, I guess it' still too early at the moment. I wonder how he will react!


Every day I wonder when this baby will arrive, I'm not good with suspense so it's a pain (often literally as he's certainly busy getting into position!)   Leo knows his baby brother is coming and that Mummy will go to the 'hostible'  (hospital) to have him  but I can't picture the reality myself yet so there's no way he can!

We have a plan in as much as you can plan these things - luckily I have my doula to be with me during labour which makes it easier too when it comes to looking after Leo. Aaron will inevitably be at work, or asleep as that's pretty much all he has time to do at the moment so a lot will fall to my parents to do.  I have made lists and tried to help as much as possible but it's going to be a very strange time for Leo (and possibly exhausting for my parents! - Thanks Mum & Dad!)

Aaron will get one or two days off after the birth and we've decided it's best for him to use these once I am home so he gets to see the baby rather than looking after Leo and just being able to pop into the hospital for a short time. I've heard that the hospital are very generous with visiting hours but I can't see Leo wanting to be there that long - although I can't see him being happy leaving without me!

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