Thursday, December 05, 2013

Our Sole Responsibility

Superbaby is four weeks old tomorrow. He makes the transition from being newborn to infant in the world. Though everything is still new to him and he will have first time experiences for the foreseeable future.

There is no question about mine and Robert's unconditional love for this little human. What I didn't expect was the bond from his grandparents. So far we have had 3 grandparents stay and help us out while we are learning this parenting thing. Nana, Nan and Granddad (who I have a nickname for, but I'm not allowed to use) have stayed for a grand total of 3 weeks and I am eternally grateful for their dedication to their children and grandchild. Robert and I count ourselves very lucky that we have two great families supporting us. The extra pairs of hands have really helped with baby holding, feeding and cleaning as well as house keeping.

We went to Thanksgiving at our favourite Aunt's, Mum and Dad saw people from last Christmas. Robbie got passed around all the Aunts, Uncles and Cousins that were there. I didn't see him for a while, but I didn't need to. He's a great baby and I'm very happy to pass him around.

That being said, he's our baby. We are the sole carers for this child and he is fully reliant on us to provide food, a place to live and sleep and he stays relatively clean because of us. We applied for his passport the other day. With a minor (under 15) and first passport you apply in person. Off we went to perform our duties as mom and dad. Without us, he doesn't have a passport, he can't fill in or sign the forms. They were confusing enough for me! 

As scary as that sounds, I've also found some spiritual connection in it. God was and is molding this little human. I'm certain that God knows what he is doing, even when we don't and especially when we are making it up. I pray with my child and for him. Yes, he's our sole responsibility, but I'm so glad we have a God who has looked after my parents, my husband and now my child. We wouldn't be where we are without His guidance.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Looks like we made it"

Well, here we all are. How about that?! We made it all the way to the middle of November and there is a new boy on the block!

Here is my not-so-little boy! He was only a day or so old when this picture was taken, already with a decent sized plug in his mouth.

Robert Kenneth Litton III arrived at 4.04am on 8th November 2013, weighing a staggering 8lb 7oz and measuring 20.5inches long.

Now since we are not royalty, there was no town crier to announce this birth, since he is not the Son of God there wasn't a heavenly host telling shepherds on a hill (not that I know of) and so we used the power of the internet and FaceTime to see family and announce to friends the long awaited arrival of baby boy Litton.

The whole labour (my American friends; can I be excused from spelling please, it's tedious to me) experience was not one of great distress, nor was it such a delight that I'd do it all again tomorrow. I laboured for 22 hours, half with no epidural and half with. I would say the time in between my waters being broken and having the epidural were the toughest physically, and the pushing part the toughest mentally.

To spare you the details, we have a stubborn baby. There is no doubt in my mind that we will fight with this child over wrong and right, over bedtimes and allowances, because of how stubborn he was about being born. He did not want to be in the world.

Robert was my rock the entire time I laboured. We laughed, slept, he ate, I envied his food! I beat him up while I was contracting and he took it like a man (until I slapped him in the unmentionables because I am a mean and super strong while pregnant/labouring). He got me through the last 4 hours without so much as a complaint and without putting me in any worry.

We had some great nurses caring for us at the hospital. They all found my accent intriguing and even joined in with video calls. They were amazing. Our first few days in hospital are a blur at best, we had visitors, and phone calls. We managed to survive all the nurses and professional personnel that visit to register the existence of a new human  in the world. From early Friday to Sunday morning we recovered. We were all home and settled in time to see Arsenal play Man U. Though it seems even the arrival of our son can't guarantee all of our teams winning.

So, we are home. We have been for nearly a week. There is no routine, there is no possible way I could do this without Robert or my mother in law being here. I admire single mums and stay at home mums all the more. You ladies are champions in my eyes. How do you ever shower? Or clean anything??

Here's another picture just because! My super man!

Monday, October 21, 2013

So close!

It's been a whole month since I last blogged, now I'm considered full term and could go into labour at any moment! As fun as that sounds, I'm feeling very apprehensive!

We have had a long month, things are going so slowly and so quickly all at once. It barely feels like its been 8 months, but then it may as well be years that I've been pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I've had no problems to speak of and definitely had a straightforward experience, but it seems so long and we could have another month to go!

The joy is that I finish work this Friday. I'm enjoying the light at the end of the tunnel feeling about this. Many of the ladies at work (parents and teachers) have comments about my size and state! Some are welcome, some are not. But I'll keep my mouth quiet on that one because I'm telling those people directly.

For now it's deep breaths and self imposed time outs for my sanity. Looking forward to the time off I might have before the baby arrives. Cleaning, cooking, sleeping and keeping up with events at home. I shall probably post some more things before I have a babe in arms and hope to post once he is here too. If you don't hear from me, I'm sure Dad or Liz may post before me.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Baby Shower (Litton/Coomlers)

I am blessed enough to have a fantastic set of in-laws. My Mother in Law is one of the kindest ladies I know. The first time I met her we really connected and ever since its been such an easy relationship.

I am also totally blessed that her family seem to have taken me on board so much so that they put a bunch of effort into throwing me a baby shower a few weeks ago.

We had chosen The Lion King as a theme for baby Litton before we knew he was a he. So that was an easy theme for the party. I love the yellows, greens and browns.

My lovely mother in law went about getting a list together of everyone who would be able to come and we sent invites out. Her brother hosted the party, and all he had to do was look after Grandpa while we were out.

I had a great low stress day and saw lots of family and friends who I hadn't seen for a while. The Coomler ladies sure do know how to put on a party!

Julie (Robert's Cousin) helped with decorating.



Diaper/Nappy cake from Josh, Amanda and Abby


Julies fantastic flowers made from socks
Nan Leaver and Nan Litton both came with me on the trip. And so did Liz.


Numbers week again

This week is a week of numbers again.

Today Robbie is 33 weeks and growing. Robert thinks we only have about 5 more weeks to go with his guess at 30th October. Which will make Robbie the second October baby in the family. I'm close to waddling around at work and still able to do. So while I can I will. I have a doctors appointment next Wednesday, and then it'll be a week 35 (ish) check up for Strep and other things. I'm lying if say I'm completely calm about that, since I dreamt last night that I was already in labour! Ha. When Robbie is asleep he's on his side, back turned toward the outside world and is still just small enough to curl up horizontally across my body. He also favours my right side at the end of the day, its strange to feel hard feet, butt and spine. He still hasn't performed for the ladies at work too much.

On Tuesday Mum and Dad will have been married for 30 years! This is a huge achievement! It's crazy to think about, Robert and I are a tenth of the way there almost. Only 27 more years to go. This is by far my favourite picture of Mum this year! Dad promises she hadn't had anything to drink yet, but I don't think I got the full story on that one (I still laugh every time I see this picture and the close up is even funnier to me). Dad of course is the one taking all the pictures, so there aren't many of him.

On Wednesday the smallest of the Fishers turns 1. Can't believe its been a whole year since this little boy arrived already. Andy and Jess are fantastic parents. It'll be a few months before we meet him, I cannot wait to get home and see him for the first time.

Since I last wrote the collective Litton/Fisher/Harmsworth/Harmsworth-Blyth family has a new addition. Aston Spencer Harmsworth-Blyth arrived on 1st September. He was a little early, but perfectly formed. Very proud of Tasha! (For those who have just joined Tasha is married to Graham, my cousin on my Dad's side)

In the next month we celebrate 3 years of marriage, there will be a new Fisher (by marriage), Isla-Rose turns 1 and maybe there will be a new Litton. I know why I'm writing all this now, because in years to come I'll still have to remember all these dates and this is the best way to do it!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Big 3-0!!

Nope, not me, nor Robert. Baby Robbie hits 30 weeks today. No picture this week, but the baby has been growing and growing. Now I can feel him moving all the time and happily so, until last night when I think I got kicked in joint/bony area and that hurt!

He'll move about while I'm at work, while I'm lying down and especially if Daddy comes to talk to him. Robert has been telling him to move since week 12, when he waved at us during our first ultrasound! Ever since then I can't get him to calm down if Daddy is nearby. Of course it's great he is moving and I'm happy that I can feel it. Just don't enjoy him using my bladder as a trampoline nor punching/kicking my spine/hips/bony places!

I'm only experiencing slight discomfort in my upper stomach muscles. A sharp pain every time I lift myself up or do the 'stomach crunch' movement, eg sitting picking up something from the floor. I have lower back pain at the end of the day.

I have had two tests for gestational diabetes now, one at 24 weeks and one at 28 weeks. I failed the first test due to eating too close to the test. Passed the second one easily because of the fasting I had to do. I knew that I really didn't have any problems.

The new school year started, which means new babies at work. We have 4 in the room right now that we are learning and its hard, however I'm enjoying talking to the first time Mum's about their experiences.

10 weeks to go! Argh. But at least I'm cleaning and getting ready. That might take 10 weeks!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

29 Years/1 Year/6(ish) Months

We've now been in the States for a whole year! It's been a long and interesting year. I'm glad we're settled and have made it this far.

In a whole year we have done so many things. The list of States I've visited is still only 4 (AL, GA, FL and MS) but we've travelled so far. Still think about those first few weeks in Jacksonville, AL and time spent in Florida before settling in Auburn.

I've watched more football and baseball than ever, but have enjoyed some great sporting events from afar (Olympics and Wimbledon). Sometimes I think it's better that way. I've experienced a lot of new foods and learnt how to drive (again).

It's still very much interesting to other people that I'm here and I've got an accent. I probably get told once a week that 'I love your accent'. Though I'm glad that my colleagues and friends here are not fazed by it at all. I sound American to my family though, but I think that was to be expected. I never held much of my own accent, it's like my handwriting, it changes depending on who I am with and what I am doing. There's the occasional y'all and extended 'i' sounds (fiiiive, piiie) and I have changed my vocabulary depending on who I talk to. Children are the easiest to do this with, as I don't expect for them to understand me if I'm talking in an English accent. I know I still get the quizzical look, but eventually we can communicate.

This week I began the last year of my 20's! Ha ha ha, oh well. I'm excited for this year ahead. What it will bring and all the possibilities. And so to 29!

Here we are at 24 weeks into pregnancy, just shy of 6 months.
Nothing to report apart from the regular kicking and now hiccups the baby gets. He's growing and growing and I'm waiting impatiently to meet him.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Red, White and Blue

It's been nearly a year since we landed in America. As always with years going by, lots happens. I'm not about to reflect on a whole year. Too much to think about. It has be great overall.


I was writing to share my latest baking accomplishment. First, the teaser photo... Here is the completed cake. Ready to be transported to work for the ladies to eat. I'd been wanting to try this cake for a long time. I've seen this design loads and each time I had to find a reason to do it. Turn's out the day before 4th July is perfect!

To the Red, White and Blue. The cake was easy to make. I did cheat. I decided that I didn't like the idea of trying to make 3 different cakes from scratch. As I was running out of time (Picking up Robert from the evening shift, doing food shopping and eating reduced my time) and didn't want to worry too much about dry cake. I even reduced the baking time because I've finally learnt about my oven and it's ability to super heat! Many cake burnt along the way. These particular ones turned out great.

The Pi├Ęce de R├ęsistance! Sorry couldn't think of a better phrase! Here's a capture of the middle of the cake, which disappeared in it's entirety. It's a little different than I envisioned, due to the lack of small baking pans I have. But it tasted great, and it was impressive. Betty Crocker is my new nickname at work! I think I bring them something baked at least once a month. I normally wait for a special occasion. So far I've stuck to holidays.

 The Original Inspiration. There are 3 or 4 different sources that I can site. I don't remember where I saw it first, but here are a few links if you want to try it yourself.

How I learn. I always view baking as a bit of a learning experience. I wish I could say the same about other things I do. I think I would find life less frustrating. Anyway, I learned that I needed to have made all white cake, as inconvenient as that might have been. I wanted to colours to be more vibrant, but because I used yellow cake for my colours, I used a lot of blue dye (oh and I learned where food dye is kept in Walmart, you know, it's not where you think).

The best kind of cake making is where you have left over cake to eat!!! And I think I need to find a use for it next time, but for this time, I'm happy eating the scraps. I just wish I had chocolate spread or cream or jam or... ok the baby wants cake a lot of the time.

Letting cake rest is important if tedious. I can't say enough about the day I waited to ice the thing. It's much easier to work with cold cake. Also, flipping the cake to the uncut side will help with icing. I had to use another tub of icing, and it still had flecks of cake in it!

I'm glad I have this cake under my belt. The logistics of it were fun. Next time; more cake (more left overs) and maybe smaller pans.

I learn by doing. No mistaking that. I'm not a passive learner.

Baby and Cake Well the boy loves his food. Definitely a lemon cake fan, a bacon fan and a salad fan! Not all at once.

Celebrating the USA's independence is fun, but nothing will ever top Great Britain and the Queen!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A little movement here and there

As I move around all day, picking up babies, chasing after them, cleaning and feeding I don't get a chance to sit and watch my ever growing bump.

This morning, for the first time since really starting to feel Robbie move, I did. Robert (notice the distinction Robert =Husband, Robbie=Baby) left early for work, on Saturdays he opens the store at 4am. I had tried to get back to sleep, but eventually gave up about 5am. I'm used to my stomach being a little grumbly whatever time of day, so the last few weeks I think I'd put what I could feel down to my muscles or my digestive system, today it felt different.

There's no really describing it, except it didn't feel like me. Then I saw him move. A foot, an elbow or possibly an arm traced about two inches across my belly just under my belly button. I had a moment with myself and my baby. The first of many I guess, but it's a first.

Robert has been feeling him for weeks, in the evenings he puts his hand on my bump and asks 'was that him or you?'. I would say half the time it's me. But I guess more and more it'll be Robbie kicking, punching and elbowing me for the next 19 or so weeks.

Today was a good day for me, I think I've been able to put a more definite sense of what it feels like to have someone moving inside of me. And that's really exciting!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

When you're wrong, you're wrong!

Well, just a little additional update from Monday's writings.

We got all ready for the 'big' scan which was happening Tuesday afternoon. I can occasionally feel the baby move, and every time we have a doctors appointment or a scan we give the baby a pep talk. Well Robert does. I just pray that everything is going to look ok and sound good too. 

Our Ultrasound Technician did all the measuring she needed to do, and she was very fast. She asked us if we wanted to find out what we are having. We said a definite yes, expecting to hear our thoughts confirmed!

But BOY were we wrong! As it turns out, with very definitive evidence we are having a boy. Here's a nice profile picture of Baby Boy!

He will be named after his father and grandfather. Robert Kenneth Litton III will arrive somewhere near the 9th November 2013.

We spent last weekend telling everyone girl and this week calling and telling everyone boy! All the things we have are neutral colors, which was planned from the start. We didn't want to collect a bunch of things until we definitely knew.

We have 20 weeks to go until we meet this boy, it'll be the longest and shortest time ever. Now just looking forward to celebrating babies, weddings, birthdays and 4th July!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Announcing...

I promised myself that I would keep a more up-to-date blog as I got more and more pregnant, because as I do, I would like to have something to look back upon and think about.

My first observance is more of a short lived annoyance. From day 1 of being pregnant, I have found that nobody tells you anything of any use! Whilst this statement is not entirely true, it is pretty close. We turned up to the doctors on Thursday with the thought that we would find out if we were having a boy or a girl. When we finally got seen (an hour later) we were told our visit would be a short one and not an informative one at that.

The lovely nurse really helped us out, she is the first one who has actually listened to us as we shared our concerns about our doctor's office staff, nurses and generally being pregnant. Being a first time mum is hard enough as it is, it's even harder if you are not told anything.

I have unfortunately found this to be a trend amongst medical professionals in the US and UK. In the US you aren't told a needle is approaching, or what's about to happen. In the UK you maybe told everything, but it is at lightning pace with some quick fix solutions. Neither is right, at the moment I can tell you which one I prefer (yep UK wins this time).

Any how, my so kindly offered solution for first time mum is a written list of what to expect and when. Week-by-week. I don't need to know things that will scare me, but I do I like to know what to expect at each visit. I understand this may change/be added to if mine or my baby's health is at risk. But a basic list cannot help. Some mum's might throw it away, but I would have had that on my fridge just so the unexpected doesn't turn me into mum-zilla from hell when I don't get what I want/need.

On to the more exciting news! We are pleased to announce that we are having a girl!! So far so good on the growing front, she's kicking me at night mostly that I can feel. On Thursday she looked a little scrunched up, stretching her long legs and arms up towards my ribs rather than out towards my sides. She already has a name, Madelyn Josephine. After Nan's on both sides.

The original Madelyn was a great woman, I only knew her for a year, but every time we talked I knew how much she loved Robert and I. Sadly she won't get to meet this Madelyn, but I know that we'll be telling her all about her Great Nan.

The original Josephine is still alive and well, and living in the UK. We lived with her for a while before we moved back to the states. She gave her name to my Mum and I now have it as my middle name. So Madelyn Josephine is a 4th generation Josephine. And I'm already so proud of her.

People ask me if we had names picked out already. I remember the day we picked this one. It was the day we got married!! Some parents think over names for as long as they are pregnant and even longer in some cases. We knew right off (2 years before we were even thinking about getting pregnant!). One of the easiest decisions ever. Now if we have another girl, that's going to be harder!

Here's me at 18 weeks and 3 days, just after we told Andy, Jess and Leo. And before we celebrated Father's Day with the Coomler side of the family. I can tell you, I feel a bunch bigger than this in real life!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Dream Grows a Little Every Day

This post has been a while coming, it's mostly here because I've found my energy again.

Here we are living life right now. We're both working, both happy and everyone around us is pretty good too. We are 10 months in to our lives in America it's been really good so far.

Culturally I'm almost integrated! People still ask me where I'm from and how I ended up here, but mostly people still gawk and I just carry on with life. People at work are adjusted enough to me that I can speak at normal pace and be understood. There's the occasional moment of mis-communication, however that's just human beings! What's funny is people in Alabama thinking they don't have an accent.

Anyway, I'm stalling. The big update announcement for this blog is that we're having a baby! A tiny little Litton is growing right now. Here is the latest picture of the baby, hands up. She danced around for us too. Now we don't know if she is a she or a he yet. We'll find out soon enough.
Baby is amazing. She's growing so good (she's a bit bigger now), so far hasn't caused any problems and now people can see she's coming too. It's a very exciting time. I'm very happy to be having a baby and adding one more to us. I promise to have more up dates as we go.
This is us a few weeks ago, at Robert's friends wedding. My first American wedding (apart from my own!) and it was short, very sweet, and followed by a tornado warning!! It was a beautiful thing to be attending, I'm glad we got to go. It seems that we are going to be reconnecting with people for a while yet.

Sorry if we haven't seen you yet, we're getting there.

This little boy will have an American cousin just a year younger than him. Super exciting! Also his parents will be getting married, so we'll be returning to the UK for the wedding. And we'll finally meet this boy and my cousins little children then. Cannot wait! So there we are, as up to date as we can be! (If you click the picture you'll go to Amanda's Website - she took the gorgeous photo)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Parents for Christmas

Five months into this whole thing and we have just said goodbye to our first visitors from overseas. Mum and Dad came to stay for two whole weeks, covering Christmas and New Years. I was very happy to see them and very happy to host them too. They arrived with some idea of what they wanted to do, but not really having any firm plans other than seeing The Hobbit at a Drive-in. 

So two weeks has been a long and short time it seems. I've walked with them around Auburn and was sad that we couldn't walk into Jordan Hare Stadium, it's so huge from the outside. We weren't the only family trying to visit the stadium that Saturday. They've had Cracker Barrel, Toomer's Lemonade, Chick-fil-a, and driven a whole bunch of miles without really realising. 

We've been to Huntsville, Gadsden and Atlanta, they visited Montgomery, FDR's Little White House and a local park. We've been to Callaway Gardens and had a country Christmas (courtesy of Leigh and Brent's families.). They've tried 3 types of bbq and various amounts of cornbread, biscuits and attempted to get hot tea in many places (Cracker barrel was the best).

It's been great to have them over for two weeks. I'm looking forward to having more visitors.