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Clara Cecilia

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The newest addition to our growing family, Clara Cecilia, was born on Saturday 9th December at 6.15am weighing a healthy 8lb 6oz! She is absolutely incredible and we are all loving her so much.

I was very lucky to have my sister staying with us for a month before Clara was born.  I can’t express enough what a help it was to have her around during that time; doing the school run, baking bread, cooking homemade soups, preparing our meals, but also just being able to have lunch together and to watch a bit of cheeky daytime tv while Rose was napping! It was a really blessed time and I’m so thankful for her.

Clara ended up coming two days late and it was the curry that finally got things moving! We celebrated the Immaculate Conception with a hot curry and two hours later all the action started!

Benedict and Rose are madly in love with her. Every time Benedict comes home from school he goes straight to Clara to give her the most gentle hug and kiss, its really beautiful to watch. And every so often Benedict will burst out with “We’ve got our new baby sister, hooray!” Rose is also very enthusiastic with her hugs and kisses too, we’ve had to teach her a safe way of going to kiss her rather than just pouncing on her with her enthusiasm!

In the hospital:

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Benedict and Rose first meeting Clara at home:

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Clara at 5 weeks old:

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From a house to a home

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Our house is finally our home! The finale of the major works being done was the carpet being fitted upstairs just before Christmas. The night it was finished we were saying prayers with Benedict and Rose before bed and giving thanks for the carpet, and Benedict exclaimed, “We can call the house our home now!”

There’s still a lot of final touches to do but the bulk of the work is finished and we’re really (really) enjoying the space now.

The dining room:

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A ‘before’ pic:

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The Bathroom:

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A ‘before‘ pic:

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B and R’s new bedroom:

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The kitchen:

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(We were without water downstairs for a good couple of weeks so at the end of each day Eoin and I would take the washing up from the day upstairs and wash it in the bath…! I’ve never been so thankful for running water and a kitchen that works!)

The ‘before‘ pics:

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The sitting room:

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Some ‘before’ pics:

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The house has really been a labour of love and endurance. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished, especially the amount of hard work Eoin has put into it. There is no way we could have taken on this project if Eoin didn’t care for DIY! He’s taught himself so many different things in the process, including ‘how to fit a kitchen’.

I think finding out we were expecting baby number 3 a week after moving in was a bit daunting (to say the least) with the amount of work ahead of us. But the timing of everything could not have been better (so thankful to God) I was joking with people before Clara was born (post to follow about little Clara!) about which would come first: Clara or the new carpets! We were really cutting it fine, but we just about managed to do it, just in time for the new baby.

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Birthdays and the beginning of school

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We’ve just had that time of year again of birthdays galore! Although with the house renovations in full swing, we kept it very simple and reasonably quiet. Sadly for Rose and Eoin’s birthdays they were suffering from bad tonsillitis 😦 so we spent the time at home having lots of birthday hugs on the sofa.

For Benedict’s birthday, we were staying at Nana and Grandad’s house while our bathroom was being done. I was sad not to have made any of the birthday cakes this year, but Benedict was more than happy with a Paw Patrol birthday cake!

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We had a lovely birthday lunch at Franky and Bennie’s with Aunty Jude before heading to the Play Farm soft play in Cheltenham.

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Rose’s birthday consisted of Calpol top-ups, sleeping, opening presents and eating Colin the Caterpillar cake. Despite that, we surprisingly had a lovely family day as Eoin was off work being ill too!

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And Eoin’s 30th birthday… we’re waiting to celebrate properly!

Finally, we’ve got Benedict all set to start school in two weeks. He’s very excited about looking like Daddy going to work with his shirt and tie!

(Hmm… which boy will he be at school; angelically good or mischievously naughty…?!)

 

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The Lakes

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A couple of weeks ago, a group of us were lucky enough to spend a few days in the Lake District in a house with the most incredible view imaginable! It was like waking up to a real live painting every morning.

It was an awesome few days spending time with other young families similar to us. It was also a great opportunity for the children to have fun and play together. We were a pretty big group – in total there were 15 adults and 10 children all staying under one roof – and somehow it actually worked! At around 7.30pm each night the parents would gradually disappear with their children for their baths and bedtime, and then by 8.30pm the adults were enjoying the evening together with great food and company!

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The first day we enjoyed a boat trip on Lake Windermere and ended up in a beautiful English restaurant for lunch over looking the lakes. Above are some of the children on the boat.

Most of the week it rained so we were on the look out for day trips indoors. We found Beatrix Potter World which I would really recommend. It was a long queue to get in but the amount of detail that had been put into creating the characters and scenes from the stories was truly astounding. And the children absolutely loved it, it was like the books had been brought to life.

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Above – story time before bed. And below, some playing first thing in the morning

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Below – the adults’ very serious play time with scrabble

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Below – the whole crew on our last morning together:

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A Safe Haven

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While the house is looking like a building site; with dust everywhere and no bathroom to use, we have taken refuge at my parents’ home. We have been so thankful for it. It’s also been a great opportunity for Benedict and Rose to spend more time with Nana and Grandad.

We’ve been at my parents for 2 weeks now. Last week was very special because everyone was home (apart from Eoin!) which never happens. However, we’d had some distressing news that my mum might have cancer. It’s looking very positive now though, she’s had surgery to remove it and now we’re just waiting for the biopsy results, but the consultant seemed very positive about it.

Our family has always been very close, but last week when everyone was around I felt that we had come even closer together and were really looking out for each other. I’m incredibly thankful for my family! I’m honestly not sure what I’d do without them.

We made the most of being together and went on some nostalgic day trips from our childhood. Hannah took us to Puzzle Wood which played beautifully to Benedict’s imagination and Rose’s enthusiasm to run and explore! It was a lot of fun…

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We also had an awesome day out at Goodrich Castle

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And Prinknash Abbey with Granny and Grandfather…

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Although we’re making the most of it and I am so so thankful for my parent’s generosity, the kids and I are missing Eoin like crazy. It’s like our family has been put on hold while our house is sorted. I keep telling myself it’ll be worth it in the end, but it doesn’t make it any easier being apart from Eoin for long periods of time. Benedict keeps asking if daddy will be here for his birthday next week and I’m so glad to say that he will be! Eoin, we miss you!!

 

 

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Moving house update

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(Our dining room and sitting…)

We have been in our new home for three and a half months now and what a rollercoaster it has been! I knew it was going to be hard but I don’t think I was prepared for how hard it has actually been; renovating a house while living in it with two little ones is not too fun… at all!

But it’s been character building (!) and probably very good for me – I’m being taught to let go of things; to stop having to be in control all the time. But I’m still battling with that!

We’re getting there though. We’ve accomplished a lot in the last few months and now  things are really starting to take shape. Most electrical, plumbing and building work has been completed, our new bathroom is about to be put in and Eoin will be fitting our new kitchen at the beginning of August which is really very exciting.

What’s also very exciting is that we found out a week after we moved into our new house that we were expecting baby number 3! Another girl due on 6th December, so we still have time to get things ready!

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(Eoin hard at work removing the “rockery” around the fireplace)

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(But it all got too much for Rose)

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(The bath panelling had been removed when we first arrived and these nails were just sticking out of it)

(Taking down the ivy and doing some weeding in the back garden)

(We had a horrible accident with Rose on the patio, she fell over and split her head a few weeks ago. Such a horrible experience, but it didn’t stop Rose from having fun in A&E though)

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Moving home

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We’re finally moving house this Wednesday! It’s been a long time coming but we’re nearly there. We’re moving just a five minute drive away to a house… with a garden! The new house will be a labour of love – it needs A LOT of TLC, but I’m excited to start this new adventure with our little family.

I’ll be sad to leave our flat; it will always be our first proper family home together. I remember the first day we moved in and placing a 4-month old sleeping Benedict on the lovely new empty carpet in our bedroom. Now, three and a half years later he is as full of life as ever (while writing this he’s pretending to be a bee and buzzing around the room… now he’s being a tree…)

And Rose! The most precious memory I have is bringing Rose home from hospital on the night she was born and having her sleep beside us in her cot – so beautiful and so so tiny.

Rose having a tea party with her dollies on the balcony:

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Benedict and Rose aboard the ‘London Express’:

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Some more memories: