Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Parenting revealed

When Thomas cries Marisca always comes over and says 'I know Thomas, I know' or 'it's alright, it's alright'.  Which are pretty much exactly the things we say to Risky when she's a bit upset herself.  It is enormously sweet to see her take care of her little brother, and a little unnerving to realise how much she's learning from us.

I've got my baby too

While the whole family got a new baby last weekend, Marisca also found some new babies of her own - a pair from next door (pink baby and green baby) and a very happy purple baby from grandma and grandpa. Marisca absolutely loves playing with her babies, and particularly taking purple baby out and about in its sling. How perfect that grandpa managed to find a baby that matches our parenting approach. Marisca even discarded the bottle yesterday, instead getting a cushion out, laying baby on it and feeding from her 'tummy'!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Baking the Christmas cake

We have acquired a tradition of making the Christmas cake as a family, ensuring that everyone gets at least a stir. Marisca is sufficiently accomplished a baker now that she was well in with the weighing and mixing, and we got Thomas to get his hand on the spoon too. Really nice afternoon spent as family.

And how is this photo for blissful family life?

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Here's a pre-Thomas photo of Marisca, doing one of the things she likes best, reading.  She's recently got much more into playing imaginatively with her "friends" (or occasionally "my children"), and it was nice to turn around the other day to see her reading a book to Jemima.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

I'm a big sister!

Marisca has been great with her new brother.  One of the questions that we were asked a lot while Elspeth was pregnant was how we thought Marisca would handle having a brother or sister, and I don't think we could have wanted a better reaction.  She takes so much care over Tom, keeping on coming over and giving him a cuddle or a stroke. Every now and again she asks for a cuddle and sits on the floor with her arms out to have Tom in her arms.  And in the mornings when she comes into our room she immediately asks "where's my baby Thomas?".

She has asked us to put Thomas down a couple of times, and it can be tricky to carry them both at once, but so far we're very happy that Marisca has taken so well to her first week of sisterhood.

Day 1

Day 1 for Thomas was relatively short. At 3:30 in the afternoon we were in the local ice cream shop when the first contraction hit. By 5:30 we were in the hospital, having got emergency cover for Marisca from the neighbours while my parents drove down to look after her overnight. Everything happened rather quickly, and by 6:45 I was in 'second stage' and allowed to push. 9 minutes later Thomas arrived, a bit squashed from his rapid journey, but absolutely fine. 

The hospital staff were all brilliant: calm, confident and friendly, and very happy to leave us alone with Thomas to give him lots of cuddles and get to know him. Eventually, at 11 pm Tim left to go home to say hello to my parents and be there for Marisca in the morning. Thomas and I headed up to the ward for the night with hopes of leaving the next morning. That didn't quite happen (paediatric checks are frustrating, but have to be done...) and we eventually got home just after 6 pm the next day.

Of course comparisons with last time are inevitable. This time round I discovered the joys of gas and air - awesome for helping me through the contractions! This time round the ward was quieter and the staff very willing to help, especially with getting feeding established. This time round the food was about the same, but I was allowed to eat at my bed with Thomas beside me, rather than leaving him behind and having to sit in the dining room. So overall a positive experience, though not one I want to repeat for a while! 

Thomas, the first week

Well, what a week we've had. We're now a family of four, and I think that we all really really love it. I'm tapping away with Thomas on one arm while Elspeth and Marisca are downstairs making a cup of tea, and then we'll be set for another trip to a cafe I think.

Tom is proving to be a lovely baby, so happy and peaceful most of the time.  Comparisons with his sister will plague his life, as I know being second child to a wonderful older sister myself, so I'll hold off on that for at least a couple of posts.

So to think about just him, he's sleeping a lot of the time but has a few spells of awake and alertness each day. One normally in the middle of the night. But after that wakefulness he normally (normally? He's only had 5 nights at home...) has a big feed and sleeps for a few hours.  He's feeding really well too, it's clearly going in and keeping him sustained.  He doesn't like having his nappy changed, although I think this is about getting his poor little legs cold. He's healthy, a little jaundiced, not losing much weight by day 3, and we're having more midwifery this afternoon so will check in again later.

Mum and dad are doing pretty well too.  We're vaguely amazed by how well we're managing so far, and hope we keep going strong. And how is his sister coping? That's a subject for the next post...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

First trip out

Thomas learned some more about the outside world today. It's not just windy and horrible as it was on the way home from the hospital on Monday, it can be rainy and horrible too!
We took a brief walk to the nearby cafe for Marisca's regular Wednesday breakfast date with Charlotte and Huw. It felt rather normal to be out as a 4, but then Tom was asleep in the sling the whole time so it was quite easy...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Thomas Michael

Welcome to the family, little boy.

Friday, 16 November 2012

A lesson in eating satsumas

This will not make sense to many people.  It may not even make sense to my brother and sister, who it is aimed at.  Who knows.

I have started teaching Marisca how to eat satsumas.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Going to visit Thomas

We had a really really lovely day yesterday.  We took Marisca out for the day to Kirkless Light Railway. a narrow gauge scenic railway relatively nearby.  It was a special Thomas event, and as Marisca is very, very heavily into Thomas, we decided it would be perfect to take her and have a day out just for her.

It was really well set up - cute little trains that are clearly ready to turn into Thomas and friends at a moments notice, with all the right colours and shapes that then turn into the characters with the addition of numnbers and faces. 

And Marisca had a whale of a time.  Let's see, she went on the big train to the other station and back, pulled by Skarloey both times.  She had a tootle down the platform and back on Toby a couple of times (and will tell you how she rang the bell, ding ding ding).  She got a Bertie tattoo and listened to a story told by the station master.  She went for a ride on a troublesome truck, and a ride on Thomas too.  And twice on the miniature round-the-duckpond railway.  And saw the fat controller.  And had a flag to wave at people.  The only things that didn't happen were face painting (really, you think I'll sit still?  I suspect not), and donkey riding, as they were having their lunch when we were there.

It wasn't a cheap day out but I think she'll remember it for some time.

Sitting on the platform waiting for her train.

With her flag...

...and showing off her Bertie tattoo!
And three trains to ride on too.  No wonder she slept well last night.

A few photos

No great narrative structure today, but here is a happy girl eating a peanut butter cupcake with chocolate icing, made with Daddy for baby Isadora visiting.
And a chilly trip to the park, which also makes Marisca happy.

And an unhappy Marisca.  She tells us sometimes 'I'm sad', and puts on a sad face, then gets up and runs around as happy as can be for the next half hour!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Two small things

Marisca just came into the room carrying a teddy and her Jemima doll, and said 'I've got my children'. And then started singing 'all things bright and beautiful'. What a lovely start to the morning.