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Showing posts from August, 2012

Flashback Friday - Homecoming

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I was going to use a photo of Leo's homecoming for this week's Flashback Friday but as I have used them before when I wrote my birth story I decided to use photos of MY homecoming instead!

Last year my Mum guest posted on here to share the story of my birth.you can read it by clicking here


My Nana and Granddad (Dad's side) were at our house to welcome the three of us home.






Linking up to Flashback Friday, hosted by LaurenJenny

Welcome to the world....

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On Saturday 25th August our second gorgeous baby boy made his appearance in the world!
Loukas Alexander,   born at 3.56pm weighing 4.25kg    /  9lb 4oz

Several people say he looks just like Aaron, but he certainly looks just like his brother when he was born.

It was certain to be a.....picnic'

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I wasn't planning on joining in with the Gallery this week, figuring I'd be a little busy, but last Friday just as I was preparing to go into hospital for my induction I spotted the theme for this week...... Movies.   

Well, when you get engaged at a production of the brilliant production of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and then several years later actually get to picnic at the site the film was shot it just has to be done.

Aaron and I have been Rocky fans for a long time and when I realised that the fan club held an annual picnic at Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor on August bank holiday which just happens to fall on the weekend after our wedding anniversary we couldn't resist getting ourselves some tickets.


It was a brilliant, if not slightly surreal weekend.


I'd love to go again but it's a bit far for us now!





Star Gazing

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The other week my friend Sam was due to come round for the afternoon for our usual tea / chat and for the kids to play.  As we've noticed recently that they seem to play nicely until about 4pm when all hell breaks loose this time she came prepared with distractions!

Sam is the master of kiddy crafts and not only did she arrive with a plan, she brought everything needed to create not one but three masterpieces. As it was the day that was supposed to be the best to see the Perseid Meteor shower the plan was to make telescopes, binoculars and rockets.

Armed with paints, toilet rolls, stickers and card she explained to two very excited children what they had to do.... and they actually listened!


We ended up with extendible telescopes - two kitchen rolls painted black, one inside the other and decorated with silver stars.

Binoculars - two toilet roll tubes painted and decorated, then stuck together and string attached.

Rocket ships - more toilet rolls this time painted blue, with red …

K is for Kids

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Growing up, unlike many children with aspirations to be a nurse/ teacher or similar the only thing I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother, although whether that was down to a lack of imagination or an actual calling is debatable!  Maybe because looking back I don't remember knowing any 'career women' the only women I knew were Mum's, some with jobs, some who stayed at home but with their main focus on the children. 
I've had many jobs in my life, mostly ones I hated and I could never come up with anything I actually really wanted to do, always feeling like I was just killing time and doing something because I HAD to. I was 31 years old when I had Leo which is the same age my Mum was when she had me.  I had always wanted to be a younger Mum but I'm now glad I wasn't as looking back I really value the years I had which were firstly all mine, and then mine and Aaron's. 
I grew up as an only child and from a very early age was determined I would have two…

Silent Sunday

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Me and my boy

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I feel very lucky to have been able to be a 'Stay at home Mum' since Leo was born,  it's not always been a bundle of laughs admittedly especially as for most of his first year I was also getting used to living in a new country and being on my own with a baby for the first time.      There's been many times where I've been tearing my hair out and desperate for a break, and the times which came as a surprise to me - those ones where I've been bored to tears, I really didn't expect those before I became a Mum.

But for every bad moment there have been a hundred more fantastic ones and I as I was feeling a little nostalgic I thought I'd have a rummage through the photos of us taken over the last few years.


He knows that his baby brother will be arriving soon, but I can't help but wonder what he will make of the new situation.  I know in time he will be unlikely to remember the time when he had his Mummy all to himself and I also know he will be a great …

The Gallery - Skies

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This week's Gallery theme is Sky - well, when all the doors in your home (we have no windows!) open to this view you tend to amass quite a collection of photos of the sky.

During the summer the skies are usually cloud free which doesn't make for the most interesting photographs, as lovely as wall to wall blue sky can be it's the differences in the sky at different times of the year that make the most stunning shots.  We've taken so many since living here it's impossible to choose just one.
There is sunrise...


We've had clouds....

Stormy....

Amazing rainbows...

and stunning sunsets...


I don't think I'll ever get bored of our balcony view!

Something to remember forever....

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Today Aaron and I celebrate our 8th Wedding anniversary!

I've written about the day many times before here on my blog,  from my story of the day,  to the moment where I realised 'today was the day' so this year I'm celebrating here with some of my favourite photos along with the verse my Dad read out during the ceremony...


SOMETHING  TO  REMEMBER  ON  YOURWEDDING  DAY  AND  FOREVER WE ARE NOT MEANT TO GO THROUGH LIFE ALONE. WE NEED A PARTNER WHO WILLFOREVER REMAIN BY OUR SIDE – SOMEONE TO LEAN ON AT TIMES, REMEMBERING, AS WELL, THAT WE WILL BE LEANED ON, TOO; SOMEONE TO SHARE OUR JOY AND HOLD US IN SORROW.

UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WILL BE DIFFICULT TIMES AND DOUBT MAY CLOUD YOUR LIVES. IT IS THEN THAT YOU MUST TRUST EACH OTHER THE MOST AND BELIEVE THAT LOVE WILL SUSTAIN YOU. DO NOT GIVE UP EASILY; FIGHT FOR WHAT IS MOST PRECIOUS – YOUR MARRIAGE. HELP IT SURVIVE BY NURTURING IT EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Silent Sunday

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Almost there!

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I honestly didn't think I'd be writing a 39 week bump update but I'm still here so here we go!

I would have put good money on the fact they had got my dates wrong and I'd worked out my due date to be 8th August. I suppose I could still be right and be overdue like I was with Leo who only came after my waters were broken in hospital.   I'm still hoping this is the case as they only let you go a week over here and I'd rather avoid induction if possible. 
I swore when pregnant the first time that if it ever happened again I'd pretend my due date was actually later than it was as I spent the last few weeks expecting him to show up any moment, I can't believe I've gone and done the opposite this time and brought it forward!   
Although I'm trying (and sometimes succeeding!) to make the most of the last few days, it does seem to be turning into the longest pregnancy in the world!

Even Leo agrees......

I've had so many on and off pains / contracti…

J is for Jobs

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Here I am in 1995 off to start my very first day at work.  It was not long before Christmas and in fact was the same day that the very first National Lottery was drawn in the UK.   The job was a temporary Saturday job, just for a few weeks with the last day being before Christmas day, working in the restaurant in Alders department store. I remember coming home and checking the lottery ticket I'd brought at lunchtime and hoping I would win and not have to do that 'work' thing again!

I was quite late in getting a Saturday job compared to some of my friends, due to the fact I was very lucky and managed often sweet talk my parents into giving me the odd fiver here and there and I didn't want to miss out on the fun I had each Saturday playing lacrosse *ahem*.

On the first day, within a few hours of starting I managed to crash a whole trolley full of dirty plates and cutlery as I took them back to the kitchen, smashing everything dramatically over the floor right in front o…

Birth in Cyprus - Larnaca General Hospital

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Today I am sharing Lisa's story with you,   Lisa had her first baby here in Cyprus in the General hospital in Larnaca after being told it was very unlikely that she would be able to have a baby.

I'll hand you over....


I wanted to share my experience with you as it was excellent and a wonderful experience.
I am British and have lived in Cyprus for 6 years. Firstly I want to tell you that in UK they told me it was very unlikely that I would ever have a child due to having poly cystic ovarian syndrome, and they never offered any help or advice. Here I went to Larnaca general hospital and my first appointment was with a specialist and was within a month of making the appointment. They were never negative like in the UK and for the first time in years I had hope.
So here are my comments for you. Did you have your baby in a private clinic or in the general hospital? – Larnaca general
How much did it cost? – Nothing as I have a medical card
Would you do the same again? – Definitely yes w…

Project 52

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The first thing Leo has ever brought home from school.

The time of my life!

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Flashback Friday is now in the capable hands of Jenny and Lauren and for their first week they have given 'Sport'  as a theme.   Sport!!!  I must say I laughed when I saw it as I wondered for a while if I would have to skip their very first week.   Sport is not a word that has figured highly in my life, at school I would have done anything to skip PE lessons and I often felt sick just at the thought of them.

I was flicking though my old photos looking for some inspiration and when I found it I can hardly believe it hadn't come to me straight away.   My life changed a lot due to sport and I nearly forgot!!!
At secondary school when we were about 15 we had a term of Lacrosse lessons, taught to us by a very handsome and young American Lacrosse coach who was working in England for a year.  He was working for a local lacrosse club 'The Beckenham Beetles' and we were all invited to play for their junior team on a Saturday morning.  Of course we all fell in love with the…

Applying for the Maternity Grant in Cyprus

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As a resident of Cyprus I recently discovered that we are entitled to claim a Maternity Grant.   To be eligible the mother or father must have worked in Cyprus and they may contact your previous EU country of residence for details of social insurance payments made there.

In addition to this one off payment, women may be able to claim Maternity allowance if they have worked in Cyprus and fulfil the criteria for the payments, they may take into account payments made into social (national) insurance in a previous EU country of residence.   As I haven't worked in Cyprus, obviously I am not entitled to Maternity pay, in the same way I wouldn't if I was still in England  having not restarted employment after having Leo.  Maternity payments are made for 18 weeks here and you can claim a further four months unpaid leave.
It was very straight forward to apply for the grant, which to be honest was slightly surprising having dealt with official paperwork and government offices out here …

38 week update and Cyprus vs UK differences

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Officially 38 weeks now, and giving up on the fact I thought I had my dates wrong as it doesn't really matter any more, it just means I'm more likely to get this baby out whilst avoiding induction as they only let you go 7 days over here.  (Leo was 15 days overdue when they took me in).

Yesterday was my latest hospital appointment, it was surprisingly one of the quickest so far. They did the usual wee sample test and blood pressure and a (very quick!) ultrasound, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't see the screen as the nurse was standing in the way but it was over in just a few seconds anyway, just long enough for them to hear the heartbeat I think.
Only once here have they used a doppler to check the heartbeat, unlike in the UK I've had I think 5 or 6 scans in total. That seems to be the way they check for the heartbeat. In the UK the midwife used a doppler each time but I would see her in the local health centre rather than the hospital where the ultrasound…

Preparing for nappy time again!

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There are so many choices you can make when it comes to looking after a new baby, and it's very easy to become overwhelmed by them all.   Everywhere you turn there is conflicting advice or suggestions from well meaning friends and family, or parenting books, midwives and the media.   Bottle or breast,  cot or co-sleep, spoon fed or baby led weaning and 'real or disposable nappies'  to name just a few.

When I was pregnant with Leo using cloth nappies never entered my head as an option, I did consider it but dismissed it almost as quickly.  The cost of buying them was an initial minus point for me although I didn't really give a thought to how much I'd have to spend over the next couple of years on disposables at that point!

I knew we would be moving around a lot due to the fact we were emigrating to Cyprus when he was just 5 months old and I couldn't cope with the idea of using cloth in all the different places we would be in the process (we stayed with several…

At 37 weeks pregnant, Emma loves....

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After my 'Leo loves' post  which was inspired by 'Real Housewife' Lauren  I decided to create another one for me,  however it seemed that most of the things that came to mind were things I couldn't do / have at the moment!  I was finding it hard to get past rare steak / blue cheese and cold beer so then I thought I'd do a more topical one and remember the things I am loving about being pregnant.... yes there actually are a few things! 


Silent Sunday

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Sleeping like a baby!

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I like to be as organised as possible in everything I do and waiting to bring a baby home is no exception.  Before Leo arrived my hospital bag was packed weeks in advance and his room was all ready and waiting.  We were living with my parents at the time as it was just prior to our move to Cyprus.  We took over 2 bedrooms of their 3 bedroom house, one for us and the spare bedroom had a cot squeezed in among the boxes waiting to be shipped to our new home.

We had a large wicker style moses basket for him on loan from my Mother in law, the same one in fact that his Aunt, Uncle and Daddy slept in. We stood it in the cot (it just about fitted!) as we had no stand for it.  We also had a 'normal' moses basket which stayed downstairs for the daytime. 
As we couldn't fit either into our bedroom,  to begin with I slept in the spare bed in the same room as his cot. Leo was so big that the he used to wake himself up by hitting the side of the wicker moses basket so we put him in his…

Change is on the horizon!

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August is finally upon us and this means that this month we will be welcoming a new arrival into our family! The next couple of months are going to be interesting to say the least,  baby will be here soon, Leo will be changing school and Aaron will still be working a 7 day week, (I think at the moment he is on day 76 or something like that!) and we still have to peak of the temperatures to come!

We'll survive I'm sure,  I'm not actually complaining (believe it or not!) I'm just enjoying the calm before the storm.  I'm excited, nervous, calm and apprehensive about the whole thing all at once!

I look at Leo at the moment and wonder how he will react to all the changes that are approaching....

We started Leo at nursery school back in June to get him used to going somewhere without us.  It's been a mixed success to be honest, most mornings he plays up a little and asks not to go, and every day when you pick him up he and ask him what he had done he says 'Some …