Draw up a chair and sit yourself down. Did you bring a coffee? Mine's a decaf these days; I'm still breastfeeding, you see...
I've finally decided to try out this blogging lark. After all, every man and his dog seems to have a blog these days, so why not a frazzled mum?
Posting may be rather sporadic because of the baby but all things worthwhile take effort, don't you agree?
So much to talk about and so little time!
The Story So Far...
Once upon a time there was a Rena and a Jase.
We lived in Scotland after meeting at Uni in Edinburgh. We were married in Edinburgh in 1998 after finishing our degrees. We lived and worked in Edinburgh until 2002.
We moved to Australia and lived in Sydney for a year. It was an amazing experience and we look forward to going back one day.
Now we live in London. It is busy, noisy, dirty and crowded but we have done our best to make it home.
Last year, we discovered that we were going to have a baby. Initially we found it exciting but also pretty frightening. After all, it had just been the two of us for 14 years.
However, on the day we first saw the baby on the scan we felt nothing but joy and excitement.
I felt really nauseous in the first 18 weeks and survived on dry biscuits and bread. After the 20th week my appetite returned but I felt terribly tired all the time. I had planned to work until week 38 to maximise my maternity leave with the baby.
In week 34, we had just finished painting the nursery at the weekend when my waters broke. At antenatal classes, we had been told about the nesting instinct where mothers feel the urge to tidy and clean the home.
Jase had found me doing just that on the previous weekend at 3am!
We went into hospital and because baby was in breech position and pressing on the umbilical cord, I was delivered by caesarian section.
So, on 16th August 2005 our little daughter was born. We named her Lauren. My parents helped us choose a Chinese name for her. Her name "Ting" means harmony and balance.
She was small but strong and healthy. Although she went to the Special Care Baby Unit initially she did not need much intervention and was soon back with me in the general ward.
We stayed 16 days in hospital because she needed time to learn to breastfeed but eventually she and I got better at it.
If only I had known how difficult it would be I would not have been so disheartened when she would not latch on in the first few weeks.
However, I did not give up and 8 months' later I am still breastfeeding.
When we got home, life was initially tough as I was tired after the caesarian and Lauren seemed to need feeding constantly.
As the weather in September was fine, we took the opportunity to go out and about with Lauren. We went to the local park and to Chiswick on many occasions.
I loved this cute outfit!! She wore it on our first lunch date in Chiswick with Charlotte.
However, building work started on our house so in Lauren's first months we moved to Edinburgh to stay with my parents.
It would have been impossible to stay due to the amount of work being done and it gave Grandma and Grandpa a chance to fuss over the new addition to the family!
Here's Lauren with the Ng family. We can't wait until she is a bit older and we can take her to Hong Kong and Canada to meet the extended family.
Thank goodness for the Internet!
We also made frequent trips to York to stay with Lauren's paternal grandparents.
Jase's family live in a small village just outside York. It's lovely and peaceful there and they have a beautiful house which they have spent a lot of time renovating over the years.
This is Lauren with Jase's mum. They too adore Lauren and love coming to London to see her.
Sadly, Jase's grandma is too frail to travel these days but we are planning to make trips to York to see her and the rest of the Ayers family.
Our next trip is planned for Easter. It takes about 4 hours to drive there from London but Lauren loves the car, so we usually get there without any problems.
I think the motion of the car and the hum of the motor are soothing.
Of course, we get to sing along to our CDs all the way up as well!
At Christmas time, we moved back to our house in London after the building work finished.
This is our first Christmas with Lauren. We are in our new kitchen in this photo, taken on Christmas Day.
We had a fabulous time and a house full of family as my parents came to stay.
We had roast goose with all the trimmings. Maybe next year Lauren will have some too!
Maybe next Christmas, we can think about a second addition to the family...
In the new year, I realised that going back to work was imminent. Lauren and I visited many of the nearby nurseries in preparation. Truthfully though, I did not want the time to end. I loved being a mummy.
Before long, she was beginning to laugh, sit up, turn over and babble half words to us. How quickly they grow up in the first year!
It was lovely to be settled at last with Lauren in our new home. All too soon, maternity leave was really over and I had to go back to work.
This opened a whole new world of juggling home life and working life.
This is the online diary of a tired, hardworking mum!