Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Due Date!

So, today, December 8th, was the date I focused on all year. The Big Countdown. And somehow it feels like Bryony's been here forever already. It feels even longer since I was last at work. Maternity leave is such a time warp.

Where do I start with the last two and a half weeks? It's been ... challenging. What is that saying? Out of the frying pan, into the fire! You definitely trade one set of aches & pains in for another. Bryony is thriving and already a pound more than her birth weight which is WONDERFUL. And not surprising because all we do is FEED. But the commitment to breastfeeding has been very challenging for me. In fact, 'recovery' in general - much more difficult than the first time. Nobody talks about the first two weeks at home and how hard they really are!

There have been two things that have really helped get me through. Firstly, I've read some silly light humour while I breastfeed and, while these two books won't count as intelligent reading for the year, they have really helped with perspective and comfort:

I could pull quotes out of both books for hours!

And, secondly, the support of my mother this time. I wouldn't have stuck with the breastfeeding if she weren't here with her words of encouragement too. And her home-cooked meals, ha ha. It makes it particularly fitting that Bryony has her middle name.


Saturday, December 4, 2010


Jake took Abby to the zoo on his day off:

And, every now and again he sets up a 'tent' in her bedroom. It is a bed-sheet stretched across the room to enclose them about a foot off the floor. Then they prop a laptop up under there and watch a movie together. I have been told I'm not invited:

End of Pregnancy

Work threw me a surprise baby shower - it was really nice for Bryony to get some things that weren't already Abigail's once.

diaper cake

Abby with all the gifts

And, one of our last days out to the park as a family of only three:

2 days before Bryony was born


Fall School Pictures

So, I'm going to have to work backwards here and post all the stuff that happened before Bryony was born. I wasn't really expecting her three weeks early so I hadn't posted Halloween, or school pictures or anything yet.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bryony's Birth

Here are the first few pictures:

And here's a little help with her name:

1. pronounced 'Bry-uh-knee'
2. it's a turn-of-the-century botanical name - the Bryony plant is a vine
3. it's a literature name - read the book or see the movie 'Atonement' by Ian McEwan
4. it's more common in the UK than in the U.S.
5. check out these 2pgs:
6. The Royal Navy have used it for 2 battleships:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Introducing: Mini-Madonna #2

Bryony Ann Madonna

born Saturday November 20th 2010 at 2:53pm weighing 6lbs 12oz

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Moonlit Cage

I didn't expect this book to slow down my path of reading as many books as I can this year. But I finished this one today after starting it in ... June! And, actually, I can only partly blame the book itself - I mostly blame my work; which has consumed my summer, and September, and October.

Anyway, this was a long old read for me, and my interest sort of died along the way. I didn't like it nearly as much as The Linnet Bird, which I think most critics agree is Linda Holeman's best. It wasn't bad - just sort of dragged out, maybe? I'm moving on to a totally different genre next. Assuming I'll have time to read AT ALL once Mini-Madonna #2 comes home :)

Abigail's Two Stories

At school, they have started asking the children to stand up and tell the rest of the class a quick story. Here are Abigail's two stories:

1. The monster will scare away the pumpkins. And then all the other kids run away. They just run away to there. My friends run away too. The monster follows them. They run even faster. The monster gets them and eats them all up. The monster is happy. The End.

2. Leaves grow on trees and then they started to fall down. Then it was Halloween so the leaves got on their costumes. They had lots of fun. When they got back home, they ate all their candy and then they got tired from eating all the candy. The End.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pregnancy Progress

Mini-Madonna #2 is threatening to come early. Too early. But I am not panicking too much because Mini-Madonna #1 did the same thing and still ended up being three days late. In fact, I spent the last month of my pregnancy with Abigail anxious because I kept being told 'any minute now' and I over-analysed every movement. I am not going to spend this November the same way!

Having said that, I am 3cm dilated, I am cramping/contracting and OB does have me on modified bed-rest to make sure that Mini-Madonna #2 makes it at least another two weeks. I think it's pretty safe to say we'll be having a Thanksgiving-Turkey-Ball instead of a Merry-Christmas-Miracle. Either way, I can't WAIT to meet you my new Darling. xxxxx

Monday, October 25, 2010

Product Rave

My beauty regime has been transformed by this stuff:

I was sceptical because any Veet-type product I've ever tried in the past has been awful. But it's not the easiest thing to bend & shave your legs in the shower with a 28lb watermelon in front. So, I gave it a shot. SOLD! And while I am definitely nervous of whatever chemical they use here to literally kill your leg hair right before your eyes, it is so worth it! Spray it on, wait five minutes and shower it off. DONE. I am converted for life. I'll just try not to ever breathe it in, ha ha.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I spent the morning today doing a three-hour test for gestational diabetes after I failed the one-hour test last week. Honestly, it was nothing more than a chance to read my book in peace for three hours, only interrupted by an hourly blood draw. Quite relaxing apart from not being able to eat or drink anything all morning. 

I wanted to post some pretty pictures & fun things concerning 'Motherhood'. I love to look at fun things to buy for babies, new things they come out with for babies, pretty pictures of babies. I can chat about sippy cups & naptimes for hours (what happened to me?!!?) I love this stuff so I wanted to share some recent finds:

Firstly, here are pictures of Mini-Madonna #2's new nursery:

I  kid, I kid! I WISH it was! This is another incredible design by, check out their website for more, like this one I also love:

Next, some great photographs of some celebrity mothers, not trashy celebrity, real celebrity:

Audrey Hepburn


Grace Kelly

and the most lovely Royal ever

Next up - this Blog, it has me laughing daily: You'll love it, kids or no kids. Also check out and

Something for dads: what do you think of this tee-shirt design for Jake?

And, lastly, the ultimate way to end a Blog post about Motherhood, some newborn photography:

there's nothing more beautiful in this world, I can't wait to snuggle my own newborn again

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mini-Madonna #2

I am 28 weeks pregnant which means two things. Firstly, that I'm up twenty-one pounds and baby is about so big:

And, secondly, that I have only 12 weeks to go. Or less, if baby continues to measure two weeks ahead as she has been. So, even though I've been working crazy hours and 100% focused on getting 1500 pallets of toys from one warehouse to the next, it's now time to focus on the fact that BABY IS COMING. SOON. It was all too easy to walk away from that ultrasound telling myself "OK, another girl, we have it covered". Because, as mentioned before, we have boxes & boxes of girl clothes in the garage. And toys. And bottles. And a crib. And pretty much all the essential stuff.

Except now I'm not talking about stuff. I'm referring to the fact that this little girl is her OWN person, coming on her own schedule, that won't care much about mine! I need to focus on her having a name, and a personality, and day-dream about who she'll look like, and give the pregnancy as much attention and excitement as my first. She is much more active & kicks far harder than Abigail ever did so she might be trying to do this to me herself. She's already determined not to be just 'Abby's little sister'. She is Mini-Madonna #2, equally as important as Mini-Madonna #1. And I don't ever want to feel like I swam through this pregnancy and forgot to stop & treasure it.

So, what better thing than retail to kick me into gear? I went shopping to help picture this little girl in her own right. So, now she has these:

and Grandma bought these for our little 'winter delivery'
and this shirt really moved me - doesn't it just scream 'I am COMING!!!'?