Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Aged 8, Leo loves...

Over the years its become traditional for me to write a set of birthday posts for the boys,   starting on their actual birthday (I have been late once or twice, but they didn't realise)  with the 'Now you are....' letter style post,   and soon after their birthday with the 'Interview with' post.   Somewhere along the line I started the 'Leo / Louka loves' as well. 

So,  here you go with our Leo loves now he is 8.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Now you are 8.

Dear Leo,

Happy 8th Birthday!   I know it's a couple a days early but as it's party day today I decided that the celebrations start here!

Every year when I write your birthday letter I can't believe how fast your birthday has come round again.  I know for you it seems a long time since your 7th birthday and I remember how far apart my birthdays seemed when I was a kid,  but it seems to go quicker each year for me now.  I remember each of your birthdays so well, and it doesn't feel like it could be 7 years ago that you had your very first party!

I hope you have enjoyed being 7,  and that you will have many good memories from the year. You have now nearly finished your 2nd year at school and I'm so pleased that you enjoy school and being with your friends.  I know that you're not a fan of the homework, but most people aren't, its just one of those things you have to get on with.

You probably can't even remember many of the things we've done this year, it's so hard to remember all the little things,  which is why I love that you always enjoy me taking photos! Beach trips,

We've had many days out,  the Lego Exhibition, and first cinema trip, the aquarium, mini golf, Salamis and Famagusta Beach, Waterworld, Zaferios (many many times!) Wow, and Larnaca Fort and Fun Factory with Sam and the kids.   Carnival, Green Monday on the beach, and Easter egg hunting are just a few more things we've been up to since your last birthday.

There are more days at home than going out, but I hope you still have lots of fun,  spending loads of time at our pool,  or playing board games or video games together and BBQ's  ( of course with 'Daddy's Yummy Chicken'  and Pringles!)  film nights, reading are all things that we love.

And of course,  the day you say you'll never forget - when the ice cream man came back as we left the beach to let you and Louka both get an ice cream!

You've been going to Taekwondo for just over a year now and I'm so proud of you,  not just because you have got your yellow belt but also because you persevered with it and gave it all another chance when you felt like giving it all up. We wanted you to make the decision yourself and I hope you learnt something from it.

You are very understanding about our work now,  and you even have been able to come to work with us a couple of times now,  helping out at Daxifest and with the Limo Booth.

Photo Booth Cyprus

You are growing up fast now, and I hope you continue to be the lovely caring and thoughtful boy you are.  Of course you have your moments and can drive us all completely crazy - saying 'Αγγουρι' constantly and for no apparent reason for example!

To my clever, crazy, kind, handsome, caring boy, I wish you the best birthday ever, and hope you enjoy your party. 

And remember,  every life is a pile of good things and bad things, the good things don't always soften the bad things but vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant. 

(and yes, I realise that is a Doctor quote, but it's a good one!) 

Love Mum, xx

Friday, 26 May 2017

The last few days, and the first. (Flashback Friday)

This time 8 years ago, I was still in England,  very heavily pregnant in fact I was almost 2 weeks past my due date.  I was impatient although I tried to appreciate the last few days before the baby's arrival like everyone kept telling me to.  It was a strange in-between time,  not yet dealing with a newborn, but not able to do much else in the meantime, too uncomfortable to drive, to sit still for long,  or to stand for too long.   Very tired  (or so I thought at the time!)  but unable to sleep well.

At 35 weeks
We were living with my parents in between selling our own house and moving to Cyprus,  so I was enjoying not having to do much around the house other than arrange myself between tons of cushions with snacks and a DVD box set,  yet also wanting to not live out of boxes and to settle in our own place.    It was a really strange, wanting to get on with so many things but also unable to quite imagine how everything would soon be changing so dramatically.

This came up in my facebook memories at the end of 2009,  it was quite a year!

Maybe I'm remembering it differently now but it was quite a nice time, relaxing and quiet, but I guess that is because I can now compare it to the sleepless nights and the never ending stuff that comes after.  Maybe its because I can compare the last few weeks of my first pregnancy with my second which were quite different.

I wrote about the lead up to the birth  and the birth itself but not for several years afterwards, what I didn't mention is much about the day before. I think I was due to be induced on the 29th May (I'm not 100% sure now!) and on the 28th I'd woken up early in the morning with what I assume were mild contractions.   I called the maternity department and they advised me to keep an eye on them but if nothing much else happened to call them at 9pm to see if they had a bed free to take me in to be induced.

It seemed a bit odd to me, and I kind of hoped that it would all kick off during the day so we could get on with it, but nothing much happened and in fact I think it had all stopped by dinner time.  I called as requested and they asked if anything was happening,  when I said no, they asked me to call again just before 11pm.

I did, they had a bed and they told me to come in!

It was the strangest thing,  not knowing until that point whether I should be about to leave for the hospital or go to bed.

It still seems a bit odd to me to go in at that time of night, but we left for the hospital and I remember phoning my friend on the way,  telling her that I was about to go and have a baby!

As I was induced with both boys I do wonder what it is like to go into labour unexpectedly,  it's a really strange feeling just getting in the car to go out knowing that you will have a baby in the next few hours.

Waiting for the induction is just as strange, laying on the bed perfectly comfortable thinking any minute now its all going to start, and actually, I'm not sure I'm up for this!  I could hear another woman in full labour screaming her head off and it suddenly dawned on me that I  it wasn't going to be a good few hours.

Luckily at the time I had no idea it would be almost 12 hours as I think I might have tried to do a runner!

After Leo was born and Aaron went home to get washed and changed I think I was in a state of shock, I held him and looked at him, not really sure what to say or do,  I rung another friend who hadn't known I'd gone to be induced yet and she was at the shop buying milk, I'll never forget her asking me how I was for me to reply, well I've just had a baby!   She was obviously very excited and but quite surprised when she asked what time he was born for me to reply, about an hour ago!

The very first photo

I hated being in hospital,  of course I was in pain, and but I just didn't know what to do with myself.  I would pick Leo up and sit for ages looking at him, thinking what shall I do now! I chatted to him about god knows what and felt a bit daft especially as he hardly opened his eyes at all.  (I'd had pethidine late in labour and I think it made him sleepy, he slept for pretty much 2 whole days)

I went home almost 24 hours after Leo was born, and the first few days home are a bit of a blur.  I know we had visitors the day I got home and the next two days,  which I kind of regretted afterwards as Leo slept the whole time but I felt I had to be up and talking to them when really I'd have been much better catching up on sleep - I think I've only just caught up now 8 years later!

It all seems like such a long time ago now,  but I guess it is,  8 years already!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Reasons to be cheerful - summers coming!

It's my favourite time of year here in Cyprus,  (well, it's one of them!)  the weather is warming up nicely, nearly everything is open again and summer is very nearly here.  Time seems to speed up as we hit this point every year, once Easter has been and gone, there is more going on, more places to go,  the beach becomes more fun (I'm never really a fan of wearing coats and welly boots to take the boys to play) and we start to spend most of the time outside.

So far I've only paddled in the sea but the boys have both been in.  I have braved the pool though, only once so far - it was really cold and the boys were laughing the heads of at me as I screamed and shouted my way through my first few lengths.   It got better though and I happily stayed in for almost half an hour.  It's great now that Louka doesn't need me to be in right next to him as long as he has his armbands on he is ok with me sat on the sunbed watching. 

Plans are underway for Leo's birthday at the end of the month,  and once that has gone its usually only a couple of weeks until the schools break up for summer!

This year, like this time last year we have the added excitement of looking forward to a visit my my oldest friend and Leo's Godmother Nic,  she's coming for a week and of course once she's here it seems to pass in the blink of an eye.  In fact Leo even said he felt sad about her going home already, and she's not even here yet,  I understand what he means though!

Our favourite restaurant is open again, and we've already been several times.  Usually just for a drink and a chance for the kids to play, and sometimes for dinner as well. We've been to the park a lot more, and met with friends which is much better than in the winter now the cafe is open again, giving us the chance for a drink or snack - always a bonus as its in walking distance from our house so I can sometimes have a cheeky beer! 

We've had the big switch over at home, rearranging the balcony furniture as we tend to do each year, and changed over the jumpers, boots and coats for shorts and summer clothes.  The winter duvet is off the bed, and it won't be long before the thin one is also packed away and its replaced by just a sheet.

We are also back to work, as wedding season is well underway so we're back out with the photo booths which I love, and the boys are always pleased when we say we are working as they look forward to spending time with their Nana and Grandad. 

It's not been a bad winter, although it's been a busy one with Aaron spending most of his time working on our new photo booth, converting a Mercedes limousine into the new Klik Photo CY Limo Booth. (More on that coming up soon!)  and I'm happy that its now fully completed and we are starting to promote it and get the word out there.  (on that note, please keep a look out for our facebook posts and give them a share when you can, it would be most appreciated!) 

Following on from my last blog post - Slimming Sunday  that's been a big fat fail.   Apparently not even the promise of writing a blog post update was enough to keep me on track, but the first half of the week was spot on and I can only offer a ton of random excuses for the rest of it,  but whatever,  its nearly summer time and if my bikinis and shorts don't motivate me into it then I've no idea what will!

But that aside,  its all good!

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