Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Family Photos

I've finally had a moment to upload the photos from the weekend that Jase's parents and Aunty Madge came to stay.  I was on call for the hospital last week and it was really horrendous; I got home late every night and was shattered by the Sunday night so didn't have an opportunity to blog.

Here's Granddad Peter reading to Lauren and Jocey.

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This is Lauren singing and clapping.

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Jocey eats "first breakfast" with Granddad.

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Here's Jocey "investigating" Granddad's glasses.

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I was really disappointed when I realised that there were no photos of Suzanne from the weekend as these are now memories that the girls won't have for the future.  I know that part of the problem is that Jase's family aren't as used to taking photos to record family events, whereas for my family it's almost second nature.

Clearly I need to be more insistent about everyone appearing in photos at family gatherings!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fun at the weekend

We've had Jase's parents and Aunty Madge down to stay this last weekend.  They all seemed to be in good spirits and the girls were really excited to see them.

We managed to have a pretty relaxing weekend, with a family day on Saturday and a leisurely breakfast at Balans on Sunday being the highlight of the weekend.  We also managed to have some good food and nice wine, which everyone clearly enjoyed.

Lauren had a bit of a haircut, because recently her fringe has been getting a bit long.  Her hair is now almost long enough for a pony tail.

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My Lauren is always so full of fun.  She is loving and affectionate.  "Mummy, I love you!" are the best words in the world!  I love it when she comes up to me for cuddles and kisses.

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Jocey is growing up so fast; every month there's a change in her.  She has such a sunny personality; very little seems to upset her.  Her laughter and her smiles are a constant joy.

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She is also really affectionate, just like her big sister.  When I get home from work, I get lots of hugs and kisses.  I love it when Jocey reaches up to caress my face; she looks at us with such love that we cannot doubt how she feels about us, even though she can't yet talk.

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I love being a Mummy!

Restored

We've finally seen an end to the stream of workmen at the house. They have been doing various jobs which, for one reason or another, did not get done when we had our original house renovation. However, like a constant itch which needs to be scratched, these little jobs have been bothering me somewhat.

So now I'm proud to say that the place in my hall which was missing the dado rail has been sorted, as well as our roof issues and leaking windows.

As well as doing our garden, we've had the front of our house painted and the front path restored. This is how our path appeared before we had the work done.

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As you can see, the path (the original Edwardian one) was in quite a sorry state. It had this strange hump in the middle, the curvature of which had caused many of the tiles to become loose. Many of the tiles were also broken.

Luckily, I managed to find someone willing to restore the path to its former glory. After two weeks, this is the finished result.

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I love it. I think that the new path is actually better than the original; that odd kink in the border is gone, as well as the "speed bump" halfway up our path.

I think that the finished front is just wonderful. Money well spent; we now have definite "kerb appeal"!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Beating the bugs

I think we are all gradually beating those bugs!  Poor Jocey caught my nasty cold and ran quite a high fever on Thursday night so couldn't go to nursery on Friday.  I had to take the day off work to look after her.

I had lost my voice on Thursday and was feeling pretty rough (if I am honest) so slept most of Friday with Jocey.  We both felt better for it.  Today, Jocey seemed much better and hasn't had a fever.

We all went swimming today as everyone was keen to get out of the house.  When we came home in the afternoon, we were all completely exhausted so I suspect that none of us is 100% better yet.  Jase and Lauren fell asleep watching TV on the sofa and Jocey and I went to bed for a nap.

I think it did all of us the world of good.  I am hoping this next week will be a bit easier now that we are all on the mend.

Less stress?

After my last post, I had to laugh at this news story here.

If the story is really true, I should be the least stressed person ever.  Honest!

Well you've got to laugh!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Some days

I seem to have caught a nasty cold from either Jase or Jocey. It's nasty because no matter what I do, my nose drips and my face aches.

Today has been hard work because I have been very tired. Poor Lauren had a toilet training accident whilst we were out shopping (I foolishly thought we would be fine as we were only popping round the corner to our local Chinese supermarket and I had made her go before we left) which led to a fair amount of stress; I had to put her in the bath when we got home and completely change her clothes, including socks. I suppose I should be grateful that the shoes were unscathed.

Later, we went down to the Park Club to have lunch. Lauren had a great time playing after lunch but became quite tired by about 3pm. Unfortunately, she becomes really naughty and stubborn when she's tired these days so I had quite a job getting her back to the car and then back home.

She napped on the sofa when we got back and went to bed early after an early dinner tonight.

To add to all the stress today, our neighbours were broken into over night last night. They didn't take much and were clearly looking for cash. The Police have been round to our house but unfortunately I hadn't seen or heard anything as I was exhausted from getting up for both Jocey and Lauren in the night.

I find that since going back to work my home life seems to be dominated by chores. I spend every evening getting everything ready for girls in the morning so that we can make a quick escape. Any spare time seems to be spent doing dishes, washing clothes, folding laundry or tidying up. Sunday is spent cooking dinners (and lunches as we are trying to save a bit of money by not going to the canteen) for the next week so that we can have our meals as soon as we get home from work. We find that if the babes aren't in bed by 8pm, they are very grumpy in the morning when we have to get them up and that in itself is very stressful.

I'm sure I haven't got the work-life balance thing right and am worried that the girls aren't having a nice time either. However, I feel like a hamster in an exercise wheel at the moment; there's no getting off.

I can only hope that as time goes on and I get a bit slicker with things that it will all get a bit easier and that we will all be a bit less grumpy.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Mummy!

Take 1:

Not Quite...

Take 2:

Close enough!

Happy Birthday Mummy!

Back to Work

I've been back to work a week now.  I had my first day on the Wednesday after Easter and was even on call last weekend.

I must say that I've really enjoyed going back.  I really like the work that I do and the people that I work with, so have had a great time catching up and getting back into the swing of things.  I was never born to be idle clearly.

The girls have had to adapt to going to nursery in time for breakfast (this finishes at 8:15).  It's not been easy for them, especially Lauren who is not good in the early mornings.  She's been a bit grumpy when we've got her out of bed; we are trying hard to get her to bed earlier in the evening.

It is harder as the nursery is not close to the house like before, so we do need to set out from the house earlier to make breakfast.  This has made it the most stressful time of the day, but I am hoping that in time we will all get used to it.

Originally, we had planned to move house this year to get closer to our workplaces and to their nursery.  However, various things have happened along the way this year which have made us decide to stay put for now.  We won't make any further decisions until next year.

The last two days have been especially difficult as Jase has been away in Brighton, leaving me alone with the two girls.  Despite everything taking longer, I've been pleased that things have gone smoothly and we've had a good day today.  Lauren and I have been painting, drawing, sticking and had a run around the park before the girls got cold and wanted to come home.

Lauren and Jocey are now having naps and I am having a well deserved breather.  We are all looking forward to Jase getting home this evening.

Easter fun

We had a really nice Easter break.  Mum and Dad came down for a long weekend from Thursday to Monday (which they normally can't do due to work) which was fabulous.  Lauren and Jocelyn loved having their grandparents around and got a lot of attention.  We also had a bit of a break; it was fantastic to catch up on sleep before going back to work, as I had suffered weeks with very little sleep in the run up to Easter with the girls being unwell.

Here we are relaxing on the sofa.

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This is Mum and Dad with the girls.

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We also took Jocey to her first Dim Sum experience at the excellent Royal China in Bayswater.  I still think that it's the best place for dim sum in London and we greatly enjoy going there (see this post and this post).

Here is Lauren with her Gung-Gung and Po-Po, happily tucking into some dumplings.

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Lauren had lots to eat and really enjoyed herself.  I still remember the very first time we took her to the Royal China (when she was about 6 months old, the same age as Jocey is now); she was really terrified by the loud noise from everyone in the restaurant talking and wouldn't let me put her down!

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Here I am with Jocey, sporting my new haircut.  Jocey wasn't at all bothered by the level of noise!

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Daddy and Jocey had hugs together too.

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Jase and Charlotte enjoyed their dim sum too.

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We had a fun and relaxing weekend.  Just what was needed before returning to work!