Welcome to the World Baby R!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

On Thursday 12th May at 2.08am we welcomed a baby boy into the world.


I'm still in a bit of shock that it's a boy as we didn't want to find out at the scan but I was really convinced it would be another girl as my pregnancy just felt very similar.

We were originally planning a home birth. Then when they kept saying we were having a small baby so needed extra scans and monitoring, it looked like we were going to have to be induced on our due date - 7th May.

At the last scan on Thursday 5th May the consultant actually said they were happy to sign us off so that we could continue with our plans. Hurrah! Back on for a home birth. Or so we thought! Baby had other ideas!

My waters broke on Tuesday morning whilst Mr MoaB took Little Miss A to nursery. Perfect we thought! Quick birth and Little Miss A can come home after nursery to meet her new baby brother or sister! Haha! If only!

Despite my best efforts of sitting on my birthing ball all day, going for a walk etc. baby was not showing any signs of coming. We had 2 visits from the midwives during the day to check up on us, but nothing happening.

We knew from Little Miss A's birth that we only had a window of 24 hours from waters breaking before we'd need to go to the hospital to have antibiotics. I was still hopeful that baby might make an appearance overnight but it wasn't to be.

My Mum & Dad arrived on Wednesday morning to look after Little Miss A and off Mr MoaB and I trotted to the hospital. Little did we know that we were still in for a very long wait.

The day passed very slowly and uneventfully. Baby was not wanting to come anytime soon. We kept going for walks around the hospital, doing cryptic crosswords, reading, chatting and generally getting bored waiting.

Finally around tea time things started happening. I quickly asked for the antibiotics as they needed to be in my system for 2 hours before delivery. We actually had to have top ups.

I used breathing techniques to get me through all the contractions. Mr MoaB was put in charge of rubbing my lower back as that was where I could feel it all the most. Again we wandered the corridors and spent a lot of time at the end of a corridor where there was an open window as the ward was just so hot.

The contractions started intensifying as we approached about 1am so we asked to go downstairs to the delivery room. Just as well we asked when we did as we weren't there that long before I started to push.

18 minutes after I started pushing, our baby boy was born. Mr MoaB had to double check the sex before he told me as he was so surprised it was a boy.



As with Little Miss A's birth, I'd managed to get through the whole process without any pain relief. Just relying on my breathing. I'm so glad I did some yoga pregnancy classes again to help with breathing techniques. Mr MoaB helped me to stay focused on my breath by counting to 4 for my in-breath and 8 for my out-breath and gently tapping on my hand with the count. It worked! The midwife said what a great team we made! Pretty proud of myself really!

I couldn't wait for Little Miss A to meet her new brother (who didn't have a name at that point!). I was a bit nervous too as we had no idea how she'd react to him. We couldn't have hoped for a better reaction though as she was immediately besotted with him and just kept asking for a cuddle. She was so gentle with him. It was so lovely.

Mr MoaB and I had narrowed our name choice down to two but we still weren't sure so we decided to give the final vote to Little Miss A. We gave her the name suggestions and she very strongly chose one name over the other, so that's what he'll be known by. At least in the future, if he doesn't like his name, he will have to blame her!

Unfortunately we had to stay in hospital overnight as they had to monitor Baby R because of the antibiotics which was a bit disappointing as would love to have got home sooner. The night passed quite uneventfully but I couldn't wait for Mr MoaB to return the next day and to get home.



Thankfully we were discharged on Friday morning after having all the necessary checks and tests. I was all packed up and ready to go straight away when Mr MoaB arrived. Little Miss A was really keen to help carry Baby R home and had her hand on the car seat the whole way to the car!

The staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital were all fantastic. A massive thankyou goes to them for making the whole process as easy as possible and taking such good care of Baby R and me. I definitely felt like I was in control of the decisions this time around so the birth was how I wanted it to be. I'm so thankful that we have the NHS with such amazing staff.

We're now settling into life as a family of 4. It's been so nice to have Mr MoaB home on paternity leave. His support has been fantastic and he loves having another man in the house to even things out!

Little Miss A has continued to be absolutely amazing with her new brother. She gets so concerned when she hears him cry and doesn't like it. Every morning she asks for a cuddle and kiss and throughout the day she just gives him lots of kisses. I really hope they grow to have a close, loving relationship.

I'm in awe of how we can create such perfect little human beings within our bodies and they're born with everything from hair to finger nails. It really is a amazing.

We are so fortunate to be blessed with our two children and our family is now complete. I feel very privileged to be their Mummy and love them both so very much.



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My Sunday Photo 22-05-2016

Sunday, 22 May 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


It was taken yesterday at a playground we visited in Milton Keynes. I love the cheeky smile on Little Miss A's face. She loved going higher and higher on this swing. We're trying to get out and about as much as possible with Little Miss A so that she has fun as at home it's mostly about the demands of her new baby brother at the moment.

OneDad3Girls

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My Sunday Photo 15-05-2016

Sunday, 15 May 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


We welcomed a baby boy into the world in the early hours of Thursday morning! This picture captures the moment that Little Miss A met her brother for the first time. The photo might be a bit out of focus but it will be a moment I'll never forget to see her reaction and how gentle she was. All she kept asking was to give him a cuddle.

OneDad3Girls

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May Half Term Family Activities & Events in and around Aylesbury 2016

Monday, 9 May 2016

I have compiled a list of the activities and events going on in and around Aylesbury during the May half term school holidays.



History & Nature Rides on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway
Saturday 28th May
A unique opportunity to see, listen and learn something about the history of the line and the local area it traverses and to also see some of our Chilterns area flora and fauna. The hour long trip in the vintage diesel bubblecar includes an informative but light-hearted commentary from the Railway volunteers.
Place: Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, Station Approach, Station Road, Chinnor OX39 4ER
Trains: 10.30am, 12.00pm, 1.45pm, 3.15pm
Cost: Up to two children can travel for just £1 each when accompanied by another fare-paying adult/senior. See website for details
To find out more about travelling on this Railway, take a look at my review of the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway from last year.

Trees in Spring/Summer Trail at Rushmere Country Park at Rushmere Country Park
Saturday 28th May - Sunday 5th June
Pick up a Trail sheet at the Visitor Centre and go on a wander through the Country Park.
Place: Rushmere Country Park, Linslade Road, Leighton Buzzard LU7 0EB
Time: See website for park opening times
Cost: £2 per person. Car parking charges apply.
This park is one of our favourite places to visit. The last time we were there we went on a Fairy Trail at Rushmere Country Park.

Look at Life at Milton Keynes Museum
Saturday 28th May and Sunday 29th May
Go wild at the museum with the Look at Life weekend. Free attractions over the weekend include fascinating microscope safaris, pond dipping for watery mini beasts, rambles on the nature trail, demonstrations and lots more.
Place: Milton Keynes Museum, Milton Keynes MK12 5EL
Time: 11am - 4.30pm
Cost: Children aged 5-16 years £6.00, Under 5s are free, Adults £9.00 (tickets are valid for as many visits as you want for 12 months from purchase date)

Reptile Week at Mead Open Farm
Sunday 29th May - Friday 3rd June
Ever held a Tarantula or been nose to nose with a Chameleon? Stroked a Royal Python or listened to a Hissing Cockroach? Now’s your chance to do it all, at Reptile Week at Mead Open Farm. Come and learn more about reptiles and insects close-up with our reptile expert and enthusiast.
Place: Mead Open Farm, Stanbridge Road, Leighton Buzzard LU7 9JH
Time: 10am - 5pm
Cost: £9.95 for children (2-16), under 2s are free, £10.95 for adults.
To find out more about what's on offer, take a look at my review of Mead Open Farm from our visit.

Steaming Days and Special Events at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
Sunday 29th May - Sunday 5th June
Various events taking place including their Steaming Days where a full size engine will be in steam offering unlimited free train rides. Train rides can also be taken on the miniature railway for a small charge.
Place: Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton Road Station, Quainton HP22 4BY
Time: 10.30am to 4pm (3.30pm on weekdays)
Cost: See website for details

Make It Amazing at intu Milton Keynes
Monday 30th May - Saturday 4th June
This half term at intu Milton Keynes enjoy some fun, free activities including crafting, book reading, cookie decorating and a painting workshop.
Place: intu Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes MK9 3GB
Times: See website for opening times
Cost: Free

Bug Hunt in Tring Park
Monday 30th May
Search Tring Park for a variety of bugs and discover where they live and how they move. Advance booking required with Tring Museum. Most suitable for ages 5+.
Place: Tring Park, Tring
Time: 1 hour activities at 10.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm
Cost: Free
We've enjoyed lots of family walks in Tring Park. Read more about our most recent visit when we found the Animal Sculptures in Tring Park.

Family Bushcraft Activity Day at Wendover Woods
Monday 30th May
Hosted by Green School. A morning activity session of bread-making over a charcoal campfire. An afternoon story walk for all the family (2.30pm start). Booking advisable.
Place: Wendover Woods
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: Morning activity: £4 per child. Afternoon activity: £7 per head or £30 per family (up to 5 people). Both activities: £10 per head.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1802716563295001/

Bugs & Beasts at Black Park Country Park
Tuesday 31st May
Hunt for creepy crawlies in Black Park with the help of our Rangers, using a mini-beast kit. Advance booking required.
Place: Black Park, Wexham SL3 6DS
Time: 2pm - 3pm
Cost: £5 per family (max 2 adults + 2 children)

Crafty Fun at Bucks County Museum
Tuesday 31st May - Friday 3rd June
A different activity each day; Tile Painting (31st May, Stained Glass Windows (1st June), Mosaic Tiles (2nd June) and Fabric Painting (3rd June). No need to book, just drop-in.
Place: Bucks County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP
Times: Drop-in between 10am - 12pm or 1pm - 3pm
Cost: £3 per child/participant

Busy Bee Week at Wyevale Garden Centres
Tuesday 31st May - Friday 3rd June
Different bee themed activities each day. All events must be pre-booked online.
Place: Wyevale Garden Centres: World's End - Wendover and Bicester Avenue
Time: Check website
Cost: From £2.50 per child

Ice Cream Dream at Frosts Garden Centres
Tuesday 31st May - Friday 3rd June
Kick off the summer by decorating your very own yummy cupcake ice cream cone. Choose your perfect buttercream from different flavours and let our experts show you how to create the "whippy top" then finish off with a range of different toppings. You will get to take home your creation in a cupcake box.... if you haven’t eaten it already! Then you can get creative by colouring in your very own flip flop key ring. Pre-booking advised - Book tickets online.
Place: Frosts Garden Centres: Woburn Sands (Milton Keynes) and Millets Farm (Abingdon)
Time: Anytime between 10am and 4pm
Cost: £4.99 per child

Craft Workshops at the Natural History Museum at Tring
Tuesday 31st May - Thursday 2nd June
Big Bugs (31st May & 2nd June) and Dragonfly Water Shooters (1st June). All activities most suitable for ages 5+.
Place: Natural History Museum at Tring, Akeman Street, Tring HP23 6AP
Time: Check website for workshop times
Cost: Activities £2 per child. Museum entry is free.
We've visited the Museum a few times and it's always been a hit with Little Miss A. Take a look at these posts: Meeting the Animals at Tring Museum and Meeting the Animals Again at Tring Museum

Half Term Fun at Rainbow Buttons
Tuesday 31st May and Thursday 2nd June
Rainbow Buttons will be open for drop-in sessions for 2 days during May half term. Children aged 2-5 will make their creations at the PVA tables and those aged 6+ will be able to use hot glue guns (full safety talks and demonstrations given).
Place: Unit 25, Wheatley Business centre, Old London Road, Wheatley OX33 1XW
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: Prices from £8.50

May Half Term Messy Church at Southcourt Baptist Church
Wednesday 1st June
Art, food crafts, bouncy castles, play, quizzes, story, singing, lunch and so much more...
Place: Southcourt Baptist Church, Aylesbury HP21 8HW
Time: 10.30am - 12.30pm
Cost: £1 per person
To find out more about this session, take a look at my review of the Messy Church from April and Messy Church review from May last year.

Swashbuckling Pirate Fun Day at Friars Square Shopping Centre
Wednesday 1st June
Meet a Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike, enjoy comedy shows from Pirates in Menspants and take part in the Pirate craft workshop - make parrots, masks and Pirate hats. Complete the treasure trail for a chance to win £50 for The Entertainer!
Place: Friars Square Shopping Centre, Aylesbury HP20 2QF
Time: 11am - 3pm
Cost: Free

Pond Explorers at College Lake Nature Reserve
Wednesday 1st June
Visit College Lake for a pond dip, and meet the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the pond at College Lake! No children under 6 to attend please. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking essential.
Place: College Lake Nature Reserve, Tring HP23 5QG
Time: 10am - 11am and 1pm - 2pm
Cost: £4 per child (accompanying adult free)
We always enjoy visiting College Lake for a walk, you can read more about our last visit to College Lake.

Kids 'n' Cakes at Abbotts View Alpacas
Wednesday 1st June
Learn how to decorate a cupcake in alpaca/pig/chick style. Then eat it or take it home to show off to your friends! Personalised tour around our private farm to meet our alpacas, rare breed sheep and pigs, pygmy goats, ponies, ducks, rabbits and guinea pigs. Children must be aged 5 years and over to join in the cupcake session. Younger children will be provided with crafts to keep them entertained. Booking essential.
Place: Abbotts View Farm, Moat Lane, Aston Abbotts HP22 4NF
Time: 10am - 11.30am or 1pm - 2.30pm
Cost: £6.50 per child (aged 5 and over). £4 per adult or child under 5.

Film Trail at Black Park Country Park
Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June
Find out about some of the different movies, TV shows, adverts and music videos that have been filmed in Black Park on this fascinating self-led film trail. No need to book.
Place: Black Park, Wexham SL3 6DS
Time: 10am to 3pm
Cost: £3 per trail guide

Footy Thursday - #AylesburyThursdays Event
Thursday 2nd June
Organised by Aylesbury Vale District Council, #AylesburyThursdays returns at half term with another free event. Get Euro 2016 fever with fab street football, speed cage, table football and arty activity!
Place: Aylesbury town centre
Time: 11am - 3pm
Cost: Free (charge for some activities on the day)

90th Birthday Party for The Queen at Buckingham Old Gaol
Thursday 2nd June
Celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday with children's craft activities, games and a birthday tea. Prizes for the best dressed boy and girl in a red, white and blue outfit. Limited spaces, first 24 children to apply will be the lucky ones! Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Place: Buckingham Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham MK18 1JX
Times: See website for details
Cost: Tickets £1.50 (members), £3 (non-members)

Bird Box Building at Black Park Country Park
Friday 3rd June
With help from the Country Park Rangers, have a go at putting together your own bird box. Take it home and make it a home for birds in your garden! Advance booking required.
Place: Black Park, Wexham SL3 6DS
Time: 10am - 12pm
Cost: £5 per bird box

Waddesdon Country Show 2016
Saturday 4th June
A day out for the whole family with plenty of attractions for visitors to enjoy. In addition to arts and craft stalls to browse, there will be rural craft demonstrations and agricultural trade stands. There will also be a main ring schedule featuring The Welsh Axeman Display Team, The Sheep Show and Young Farmers' competitions!
Place: The Bail, Waddesdon Estate, Waddesdon
Time: From 9am
Cost: See website for details

10th Anniversary Open Days at Two Oaks Pony Sanctuary
Saturday 4th June and Sunday 5th June
Celebrating 10 years of rescue. Meet rescued ponies, plus chickens, ducks, geese, pigs & goats. Entertainment including live music, displays, dog show, BBQ, bouncy castle and lots more.
Place: Two Oaks Pony Sanctuary, Darrs Lane, Northchurch HP4 3RJ
Time: 12pm - 4pm
Cost: Adults £1. Children free.

Open Farm Sunday
Sunday 5th June
There are lots of local farms taking part in Open Farm Sunday. Each event is unique with activities such as machinery displays, tractor & trailer rides, demonstrations, crafts and more! See the Open Farm Sunday website for details including which farms are taking part, opening times and costs.

Everyday (ongoing)
Join Stick Man on his forest adventure at Wendover Woods. Set off with a hop and a twirl and help get Stick Man get back to the family tree!!
Place: Wendover Woods
Time: 10am - 5pm
CostFree. Car parking charges apply. Activity packs available from the Go Ape cabin or Cafe for an additional cost of £3.
To find out more about the Trail, take a look at the review of the Stick Man Trail from our recent visits.

National Trust
Throughout half term
It's worth checking the National Trust website for details of the school holiday activities going on at each of their properties.

I've compiled these events from various websites, Facebook etc. Please check with the actual organisers/venue for up-to-date information.

I'd love to know if there's any events not on this list. I'll try to add to this list with any additional ones I find out about over the next couple of weeks.

For more ideas, you might also be interested in the Family Days Out and Family Walks that we've been on.

Hope you and your family have a great time over the May half term holidays, whatever you're up to!

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National Trust - Cliveden

We have visited Cliveden on two occasions now and it's definitely my favourite National Trust place so far.

It's just a 50 minute drive away from Aylesbury and it is very family orientated. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Our first visit was just under a year ago, in May last year. We stopped at the Information Centre to pick up a Trail leaflet and then set off. The first part we wandered through was the formal Long Garden. This is beautifully planted.


Then we walked through the woods where there were some lovely views, including down to the river. Little Miss A found a fab tree to climb!


The walk took us to the Manor house. You can't go into this house as it's a hotel but we were happy to explore the beautifully maintained Parterre. We stopped for our picnic lunch in the grounds.



Our route took us back to the Fountain of Love where we managed to get a family picture.


We then headed off to tackle the maze. We took it in turns to decide which way to go and after quite a few wrong turns we made it to the centre!



Near the maze is the Water Garden which is really lovely. We enjoyed a wander around the ponds spotting lots of big fishes.



Then it was time to hit the Storybook Play Den - an absolutely magical playground with lots of characters from popular children's books.










The playground is an absolute must on your visit. It really is brilliant.

Little Miss A and I paid another visit to Cliveden at the beginning of April. We met up with my friend and her two children (one of whom is my god-daughter). Despite the big age gap between the children, they all got on so well. It was so lovely watching them together.

We spent a fab afternoon exploring many of the same areas as last time stopping for a spot of lunch and an ice-cream at the Orangery Cafe. We spent a long time in the Storybook Play Den, it was hard to get the kids to leave!

I'm so glad that they made the journey up from the South Coast to spend time with Little Miss A & I. Hopefully next time we meet-up the Dads can join us!




I've really enjoyed both our visit to Cliveden. It is really family orientated with so much for children of all ages to do. And there are large parts that we haven't even explored yet particularly in the woodlands so I'm looking forward to another visit again soon.




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My Sunday Photo 08-05-2016

Sunday, 8 May 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


Another week, another bluebell picture! This was taken when I took Little Miss A up to Wendover Woods. We spent a lovely morning in the sunshine enjoying some quality Mummy & Daughter time before baby arrives.

OneDad3Girls

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Family Fun Day in Tring

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Today Little Miss A and I enjoyed some fun in the sun at a family fun day in Tring organised by the Friends of Tring Church Heritage.


I was struggling for what to do with Little Miss A today when I stumbled across details about this event on Facebook. We headed off to Tring and to St Peter & St Paul Church and Churchyard where the event was taking place. There were lots of teddy bear related activities including the highlight - Teddies' Tower (a zip wire for teddies!).

It was such a sunny day and got really hot. Although Little Miss A was initially keen to go on the big bouncy slide, the surface was actually really warm so she only had a few goes down it. She then had a go on the teddy tombola and won a Peppa Pig toy which she was really pleased with.




Then she wanted her Panda to go down the zip wire. The soft toys were released from the top of the church tower - so quite a long way!





It was nice that when you collected your toy back at the end, you were presented with a certificate.

Little Miss A had a go at some biscuit decorating and crafts before we headed inside the Church which was a good place to cool off. There was a miniature railway which Little Miss A spent some time watching (the detail was amazing) and then she wanted to sit and listen to the choir for a little bit.

We headed back outside for a hot dog and then as it was getting really hot in the sun, I said she could send her new Peppa Pig toy down the zip wire before we headed home.

There were lots of other stalls and activities which we didn't do, but we certainly enjoyed the time we spent at the Fun Day.



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