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spenceshire BLOG

A Blog is like keeping a diary except it's more random than that,      the entries in this blog are dated and are random thoughts at a certain time which serve to update and inform but also paint a picture of thought processes going on at different times.  I hope you enjoy and also find informative.

Rachel and Ian

 

 

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: June 28th 2007
Title:

Food

Wrote...

Bump2: has now developed the ability to swallow and his or her little pink taste buds are developed!

Reuben: has eaten malted wheats and grapes only for nearly 3 weeks but hot news - in last 48 hours has eaten spag bol and fish & veg.

Mummy: is enjoying planning the weeks main meals and trying at least one new recipe each week. Tonight we had ‘Pork on summer roasted veg.’

 

Entry by Baby 2
Date: June 15th 2007
Title:

Update

Wrote...

Week 20

I wriggled a lot during the scan this week and showed mummy and daddy how good I am sucking the amniotic fluid that I’m in. I also waved my hand up near my head and turned myself round and round during the scan.

Week  25

I let auntie Kate feel me kick and Grandma too.

Week 26

I move around a lot now. Mummy is very happy when I move around.

Week 27

Me and my older bro’ we’re connected already! Mummy thinks Reuben can hear my heartbeat – when he lies on her tummy.

Week 28

I react to light. Or rather I react to darkness. I like it when mummy goes to bed and the lights are off.

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: June 15th 2007
Title:

Update

Wrote...

14 and half months life is good – we had a weeks holiday at grandma and granddads house. I loved all the attention. I liked helping granddad complete his crossword every morning at 6am. I slept in Uncle James’ old room and his duvet cover has footballs on it – I kept trying to pick one up but didn’t manage it. Grandma bought me a cool toy ‘aquamat’ I can draw pictures with water and it dries in the sun – well it would have done if the sun had come out. I went on a narrow gauge railway in Evesham and signed train all the time. I also travelled on the Severn Valley Railway big train. I bought a ball with pictures of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends on it – my 2 favourite things in one.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: June 15th 2007
Title:

Update

Wrote...

Interesting times in Spenceshire right now – Reuben hardly sleeping – no really I’m not exaggerating last night he slept 7pm-11pm then was wide awake til 3.30am then he dozed on lounge floor with mummy til 6am. This pattern is shockingly common. Crazy boy!

He cut 3 teeth in 48 hours including two double back ones and is boycotting all foods that come under the categories ‘vegetables’, ‘fish’, ‘meat’, and ‘main meals’. He’s got nasty nappy rash, which must sting every time he wees as he keeps touching his nappy and crying. By day he doesn’t seem to want/need any extra sleep to make up for the lack of it at night.

Ian has ‘finished college’ although final hand in date for last assignment still looms and several days are taken up with ‘leavers do’s’.

Our loft room is complete but now we have to find time for Ian to sort out book shelving, CD storage, his clothes storage, and various other boxes of stuff that need a new home rather than in the loft!

I am enjoying my new challenge of cooking at least one new recipe per week and have created menu plans to aid the shopping trips ensuring the food bought matches up with ingredients lists. Obviously we need high calorie puddings after every meal as we approach the 3rd trimester and baby 2 is putting on the essential ‘fat’.

As for exploring the area (My other challenge) does a day out at a shopping mall count?!

Oh yes and pregnancy…yes that’s all ticking along nicely, currently 28 weeks and feeling great. If carrying out the front makes it a boy it’s a boy, if having spotty skin makes it a girl then it’s a girl!

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: May 8th 2007
Title:

13 Months

Wrote...

13 months old

I can point to my head, tummy, feet and socks when asked. I know about tummies -Mummy has a big fat tummy! When mummy points to her tummy I sign baby – that’s what she taught me to do, though I’m not sure I understand why.

If someone hides a ball I can sign ‘where’ and then say ‘ball’ and look very surprised when we find it!

I’m beginning to pull myself to standing – well- onto my knees! I’m still not crawling but I’m happy to reach out extra far to retrieve toys. I love to cuddle Wooster. Mum and Dad say I’m at a lovely age and that I’m great fun to be with.

 

Nearly 14 months

I’ve decided that my favourite and only foods are: Malted Wheats (cheap version of Shreddies), white grapes (that are actually green), black grapes (that are actually purple) and plain bread and butter with the crusts cut off! Mummy has tried getting fruit smoothies into me but I just look blank at her and refuse to drink! Asserting my independence with a big grin on my face……!
Entry by Rachel
Date: May 8th 2007
Title:

22 weeks

Wrote...Actually its not as bad as it seems –the photographic evidence shows I’m about the same size now at 22 weeks as I was with Reuben at 25 weeks (See link from Home Page) – my mind must be playing tricks on me.

 I currently have 2 goals:

1)     to learn to cook one new recipe per week

2)     to be more adventurous in our local area

 I’m happy, bump2 is active, Reuben is adorable and Ian is wonderful. 

Entry by Rachel
Date: May 1st 2007
Title:

21 weeks

Wrote...How big am I? I can’t begin to imagine how big I’ll be at 8 or 9 months – I’m currently 21 weeks and the size I was at 31 weeks with Reuben. Come August I’ll be rolling down the street! And having just had Easter its difficult to tell what is baby related, what is stretched muscles from last pregnancy and what is overload of crème eggs. 
Entry by Baby 2
Date: April 23rd 2007
Title:

20 weeks

Wrote... I wriggled a lot during the scan this week and showed mummy and daddy how good I am sucking the amniotic fluid that I’m in. I also waved my hand up near my head and turned myself round and round during the scan.  (Scan photo to come on-line soon)
Entry by Reuben
Date: April 23rd 2007
Title:

Tummies

Wrote...  I can point to my head, tummy, feet and socks when asked. I know about tummies -Mummy has a big fat tummy! When mummy points to her tummy I sign baby – that’s what she taught me to do, though I’m not sure I understand why.

If someone hides a ball I can sign ‘where’ and then say ‘ball’ and look very surprised when we find it!

I’m beginning to pull myself to standing – well- onto my knees! I’m still not crawling but I’m happy to reach out extra far to retrieve toys. I love to cuddle Wooster. Mum and Dad say I’m at a lovely age and that I’m great fun to be with.

 

Entry by Wooster
Date: April 23rd 2007
Title:

Loft room

Wrote...Confused! Since living with the Spence family I’ve learnt what it is to pack up and move as we’ve done it twice, but I’m slightly confused by their latest game of packing everything up from the loft and their bedroom and storing everything in humungous piles in the study and Reuben’s room. We then left it like that (a mess if you ask me) whilst we went to stay at my friend Tiny’s house. Tiny lives with Andy, Michelle and baby Emily but they went to France for 10 days so we moved into their house. Upon coming home it seems that we have a new room and stairs going up to it from the main bedroom. But as the plaster isn’t yet dry and the rooms are still dusty Rachel and Ian have been sleeping in the lounge! Apparently the big plan is to move the study to the loft room and eventually Reuben into the computer room so baby 2 can have the little room….but Ian has some college assignments he needs to crack on with first!

 

Entry by Baby 2
Date: April 12th 2007
Title:

18 weeks

Wrote...I can now wriggle/kick and move so much that mummy can feel it!

Reuben was balancing a ball on mummy’s tummy button yesterday and I could hear mummy telling him I was in there!

Entry by Rach and Ian
Date: Posted: March 23rd 2007
Title:

one plus

Wrote...Since turning 1year old Reuben has achieved the following:

He now (at last we cry) begins to bare weight on his feet – no not actually walking or standing straight but it’s the beginnings!!

He has also progressed into a FORWARD FACING car seat. However the bright sun in his eyes sort of took the delight away, but after a quick stop to attach the sunblinds he was raring to go and looked like a king on his throne.

 

Entry by Rach and Ian
Date: Posted: March 23rd 2007
Title:

Reuben's first birthday

Wrote...Reuben’s birthday was brilliant – he coped very well (almost too well) with the focus and attention being on him. He received a good mix of presents: bath toys, clothes, soft shoes, a stool that doubles up as a storage box, books, a ball pool tent, a named height chart, DVD’s, a cuddly dressing gown, some electronic toys, and some money. We (Ian and Rach) took it upon ourselves to deal with his birthday money in an appropriate fashion and promptly spent it (yes on him…er mostly)! Since his birthday he has gained his first word ‘boo’  - no not an attempt to make someone jump but a detailed description of a rubber thing filled with air with some string attached (balloon).

 

Entry by Baby 2
Date: March 23rd 2007
Title:

More From the Womb

Wrote...  Hello again or maybe for the first time. This week I’m telling mummy to eat endless amounts of those refresher bars, sounds good hey, but not refreshing healthy bars rather the full of E numbers fizzy chewy ones that kids eat and probably ruin their teeth on. Each week I’ve told mummy to fancy something different – at first it was endless bags salt & vinegar crisps, then any strong flavour crisps, one week it was pork scratchings, then next scampi fries. A few weeks ago she craved minty sweets and since knowing I was in here she’s increased her intake of liquorice too. I’m getting active and could be a future gymnast but as yet mummy says she can’t feel me move. There is a sign I exist though – just a little bump protruding, granted its mostly expanded muscles from her carrying my big bro and alot due to all the sweets she’s eating but I’m in that bump too.

 

Entry by Wooster
Date: March 23rd 2007
Title:

A dogs life

Wrote...  Nobody seems to ask my opinion anymore – but if you ask me – and I know you didn’t as such, I’m delighted that my ‘routine’ has returned and that Rachel is well enough to walk me again. They have no idea how much it put me out that the ‘morning sickness’ meant a change in my walking pattern. Don’t get me wrong, Ian does walk me when Rachel’s not up to it but that that’s the problem, I see myself as mainly Rachel’s dog. When I first lived with them she did all my walks and so became the habit that I only feel I’ve had my proper walk if Rachel takes me. Then of course there was the interlude of baby Reuben’s arrival but soon he was old enough to come walking with us I accepted it and that’s the way I like it; Rachel and Reuben taking me for a daily walk usually in the morning. Now so long as my routine stays the same I’m a happy doggy and sleep all day again.

 

Entry by Baby 2
Date: March 8th 2007
Title:

From the Womb

Wrote...  Are you looking at me? Cos I’m looking at you!

 I see this website has lacked updates since my older brother has got er…older, so I’ve come along to take over on the regular (ish) blogs.

Firstly an introduction: Rachel is 14 weeks pregnant with me and we ‘saw’ each other for the first time today at the scan.

I can make all sorts of fun facial expressions as I practice squinting, frowning, and grimacing. Cute development of the week: my little hands can grasp at things and I may already be sucking my thumb!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: March 1st 2007
Title:

A sign a day

Wrote...   Reuben is delighting us each day with new things he can do. We’ve been using baby signing with him (like signing for the deaf) and he is beginning to be able to use them himself in the right context. So far he does: aeroplane, bird, zebra, milk, more, daddy, dog, and today ‘duck’.

He is also able to pick up the correct toy from a selection of train, helicopter and car – if we say where’s the train?

And his favourite game is to give a toy to us for us to roll back to him.

He likes putting toys in and out of boxes and squeals with delight when he learns a new game.

With under 2 weeks until his first birthday we are enjoying this stage so much.

He is our Mr Cutie!

 

Entry by Ian
Date: Feb 17th 2007
Title:

LBC and Rev Rachel

 

Wrote...   Sorry for the lack of blogs and website updates recently.  Life has been busy in Spenceshire but really good. 

Building work

We have recently secured grants of £48,000 to continue renovation work on LBC building.  We now have builders in putting in a permanent ramp to the front, enhancing the front of the building and creating new accessible and regular toilet facilities.  Next stage is a new catering kitchen and cafe style area.

Rev Rachel

Rachel has been going through the process of applying for Baptist Ministry training and this led up to her Ministry Recognition Interviews held this week.  We can tell you that Rachel has been unanimously accepted to train to full Rev-ness with the Baptist Union of Great Britain.  2 Baptist Ministers as parents - Reuben needs your prayers big time!

 

Urban Expression and LBC

M19 Urban Expression is forming and we have started "UE Connect" which without realising has started to become church in it's own right.  The challenge for us now is to look outward to discover where in Levenshulme it is appropriate to plant creative and different expressions of Church for the un-churched and de-churched.  If you know of anyone who might like to move to Levenshulme to be part of the UE team do let us know.  more info: www.urbanexpression.org.uk

LBC is very encouraging.  There's the building work above.  Also we are starting a new children's weeknight club and detached youth work in partnership with Manchester Vineyard who have a team of fantastic young adults to run these activities.  A new 3+ group has started to complement Baby Club and Toddlers and Sunday morning has seen some new people arrive who bring new and fresh perspectives to our worshipping community.

On March 11th LBC have discussions regarding our future with the church beyond what they have committed to.  We would like to stay in Levenshulme.  College will release me this summer to half time LBC Ministry (Paid half time) and half time Urban Expression (Unpaid).  This hinges on the meeting on the 11th.  I am positive about LBC's response.   If all goes to plan I will then be ordained in the summer.

Reuben is doing great.  

More from Reuben and some long awaited Reuben pics to come very soon... Promise!

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: January 2007
Title:

New year

Wrote...   A belated Happy New Year to all my friends

I had a lovely Christmas – I got lots of toys in all shapes, colours and varieties. They all taste great too! Mummy has sorted my toys into themed boxes: farm, transport, shapes, noisy, and homemade. On New Years Eve I was dressed up to attend a superheroes banquet – I went as Spiderman! I looked very cute indeed. Then we had a week staying at Grandma and Grandads so daddy could write his assignments. When we got back to Manchester I had a nasty chest infection but the yellow medicine seems to be making me better. Daddy has painted the lounge today – cream coloured. Mummy and I have been playing with my toys. I’m now 10 months old but I still like to sit and play – who needs to move around when the dog can nudge toys in my direction!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Nov 22nd 2006
Title:

Baptism

Wrote...  On the 16th December (Saturday) we invite you to join us or pray for me as I am baptised by immersion at Levenshulme Baptist Church.  The celebration is at 3pm.

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: Nov 12th 2006
Title:

8 Months

Wrote...  At half term we went to stay with Auntie Kate and Uncle Tom in Sutton Surrey. Uncle James was there too for some of the time. We watched Big Cook Little Cook, went to a farm park and went swimming. I loved all the attention. I found a brilliant new toy ‘a tape measure’. We saw supporter Grace and her family on the way home.

A youth group from ECFC in Bristol came to stay at our church. We went to the aquarium and I saw lots of fish. It was fun meeting more young people and more supporter Sarah stayed at our house for a few extra nights.

I’ve joined the library and collected my first bookstart pack. Books are great – for chewing and watching mummy do British sign language when she shows me the pictures.

I like dogs, mangoes, and grinning.

I don’t like lying on my tummy, bananas, and going to sleep.

Mummy does BSL all the time when she talks to me.

I’ve got a new outfit that makes me look like a leopard – ears and tail included. People say I look very cute in it. Just hope I won’t still be wearing it when I’m 15!

 

Entry by Ian
Date: Oct 12th 2006
Title:

Levenshulme

Wrote...  Life in Levenshulme is good.  There seems quite a positive vibe at church on the whole.  Baby Club and Toddler Group are particularly going well.  This year as well as continuing to focus on building projects at LBC we are exploring fresh expressions of church for Levenshulme.  We are in the process of establishing an urban expression mission team which will be networked, resourced and supported by Urban Expression who have established their first Manchester team.  We would be the second.  See www.urbanexpression.org.uk for more info.  The Urban Expression mission team is our response to the fact that there are many in Levenshulme who are desperate to know God's love but who would feel uncomfortable with church as we know it. 

Basically this is how I see it working in Levenshulme...

The theory is...  we establish a Mission Team of people who are open and accepting in their Christian faith.  Some will already live in Levenshulme and some will move into the area to be part of this (A potential team is already emerging)
 
The idea for the first year is simply about relationship.  Relationship with each other in the team, Relationship with God and Relationship with the community.   Relationship with the community means that we will encourage each other to simply be Christians in the community.  This will mean being involved in things that interest us in the community of Levenshulme.  Basically we are just initially involved in the community and meeting people with no need necessarily to say much if anything about God. 
 
We meet as a team once a week for connect time - time to connect with each other and with God, and I guess there will be food involved too.  We are supported nationally and locally by Urban expression network which is becoming  recognised by the Baptist Union as a good urban fresh expression's network.
 
After the year we then see where people are at and what peoples circumstances are to see what evolves in terms of fresh expression church or churches.  We establish may be several  fresh expressions to meet the needs that arise or don't if they don't.  These will provide opportunities for our contacts made to explore God further in culturally relevant ways.  It's all quite organic and relationally led.  Who knows what these expressions of church will look like.  The idea is that we'll only really know as we get there.
 
This model of "creative church planting" has been very successful in East London and has reached those who would never go to church.  It also only requires us initially to be involved with things we enjoy doing and meeting new people for the sake of meeting new people.

That's the theory anyway!  Please pray as we seek to form the team and affiliate and network with Urban Expression.

 

 

Entry by Reuben,
Date: Oct 12th 2006
Title:

Very nearly 7 Months

Wrote...  Wanted to tell you about my kisses! I’ve begun to react to mummy saying kiss, kiss, kiss and then kissing me 3 times. I suck my bottom lip in and it makes the same sound. Mummy claps her hands at me when I do it., so I giver her a big grin!
Entry by Reuben,
Date: Oct 04th 2006
Title:

6 ¾ Months

Wrote...  Since I last blogged I’ve been very busy.My diary is jam packed with meeting friends at the park and at swimming.  Baby club is thriving and I have lots of new friendships to cultivate there. Eating is going well but I’d like more meals per day please! For those who care to know, my new diet has certainly aided the frequency of my bowel movement. 

At home I’ve been busy learning 2 vital skills

1)     I can now sit unaided. Not only that but I can vigorously wiggle my head from side to side and remain balanced. My arms must be getting longer as I reach out to pull Wooster’s fur as often as I can – he doesn’t seem to mind.

      2) The other skill I’ve been perfecting is that of going to sleep or rather avoiding it. It seems to me that mind over matter means even if my eyelids are drooping I can refuse to give in and re-awaken myself. Mummy and daddy work hard to calm me down, create a sleepy atmosphere and repeat the same routine every night. I, on the other hand, change my mind every evening. Sometimes I’ll go to sleep at 7pm and not wake til 10pm but more often I’ll sleep just for an hour and then be wide awake! If I’m being really daring I don’t let myself go to sleep at all til 10 or 11pm. As for sleeping all night – no I don’t need that much sleep so by 4am I’m awake and ready for the day. During the day I hardly sleep at all just an hour in the morning! Nanny says daddy was the same when he was little!

 

Entry by Rach and Ian,
Date: Sept 09th 2006
Title:

Weeks 25   Birth Celebration

Wrote...  Thanks to all who made Reuben's birth celebration last week.  About 65 people braved the weather and England football traffic to come to Manchester to join us.  We welcomed Reuben to his family, Christian family and to the world.  Several highlights included: A picnic in the virtual reality park!, Better together slide show, and the offer of a tree to be planted in the local park for Reuben by the local councillor.  Please e-mail us any pictures that we can post on the website.

Despite the weather it was a fantastic day.  Thank you to all who supported Kibbuse also.  We raised £175 on the day.  We have currently sent over £27,000 GBP to the project with your help.  £3,000 still needed to complete phase 1.

It has been a fun, but busy few weeks - apologies that the website is taking a while to update as a result.  Promised updates to come very soon - honest!

 

Entry by Reuben,
Date: Sept 09th 2006
Title:

Weeks 25   My room, food and DJing

Wrote...  This week I moved... From Mummy and Daddy's room to my own room.  They think it will make me sleep longer than the 2 hours I have been doing.  Sadly they are right... I have tried to wake up the same but seem to wake up less in my room (about every 4 hours).

I am liking my new food.  So far on the menu is Carrot, Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, Apple and Pear.  Wasn't too impressed with plain baby rice or banana.

I have a shirt which says "Can't DJ (yet)" on it, but I had my first DJ lesson with Daddy at ALL FM this week. "Coming up next week, more from me on the blog... I'm Reuben David... Thanks for listening!"

 

Entry by Reuben,
Date: Aug 31st 2006
Title:

Weeks 23/24   Poo

Wrote...  Despite daddy’s early rhyme about nappies, little roo and poo I actually don’t poo very often…just once a week. However this weekend we went camping and I decided to change my poo habit to at least twice a day!  

Camping was good fun…read more on mummy’s blog.

Reuben xxx

 

 

Thank you Reuben for sharing that with everyone.  Both in a blog and in the nappies!   Dad xxx

 

Entry by Rachel,
Date: Aug 31st 2006
Title:

Weeks 23/24   Greenbelt: Camping experience

Wrote...  It was brilliant. I’m so glad we decided to go. The atmosphere was beyond words. There was something for everyone. We listened to Daniel Bedingfield, Martyn Joseph, Maria McKee, All Star Untied, Andy Flanagan, Blindeye, Vineyard Worship, yFriday, Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britian, Brian Houston, Courtney Pine as well as watching various buskers, skate borders, children playing, farm animals on site, family events, comedy acts, and diverse people being community together. But we only saw a small part of what was on offer. See www.greenbelt.org.uk to find out more. It worked well taking Reuben and we certainly intend to return to the festival in 2007.

 

Entry by Reuben,
Date: Aug 18th 2006
Title:

Week 22

Wrote...  Last week I went on my first holiday with Mummy, Daddy, Wooster, Grandma, Grandad and Uncle Jam.  Nanny, Grampy and Uncle Jon came to visit too.  We went to Wales.

It was great fun being on holiday.  One thing I observed was that baths are different on holidays.  We went to a big pool where I floated and bobbed up and down and then to a place with sand and waves where I paddled.  I noticed that my baths were getting bigger and bigger and colder and colder.

We went on a steam train to see some water falls and we went on a scary walk which was too dangerous for me I think, but hey Mummy and Daddy know best!

Daddy says photos of my holiday will be uploaded soon.

 

Entry by Reuben,
Date: Aug 4th 2006
Title:

Week 20/21

Wrote...Congratulations to Auntie Kate and Uncle Tom who got married on Sat 29th July. A few important points to note: they had Haribo sweets on every layer of their wedding cake which had 3 layers; one fruit, one chocolate and one sponge! Auntie Kate did her own speech and table 14 were very rowdy. There was a big bouncy castle for the kids to help with any ‘boredom’.

I was of course the star of the show and got handed round like a doll. Everyone commented on my big eyes…reminds me of a story about a little girl wearing red.

Daddy is off work this week so has decided to complete outstanding DIY jobs; so he’s:-

half painted the hall,

begun the preparation to paint the kitchen (ie pollyfilled holes)

taken a shelving unit to pieces to adapt to make wall shelves,

bought beading for the laminate flooring

begun to regrout the bathroom tiles.

This is a good example of how daddy works…begins lots of jobs all at once…gets them all completed eventually but I’m sorry to say daddy you’re never going to get it all done in a week (Plenty more weeks in the year my boy - Dad). [Wonder if he’ll publish this on website (Well seeing as you are so cute - Dad)]. Mummy would prefer jobs to be done one at a time and completed (that’s how she works) (Boring huh! - Dad) but she is frustrated she can’t do more to help daddy because apparently I need looking after too.

Me? Well I’m doing ok – gums a bit painful but I’m lovin’ Calgel and lots of extra soothing cuddles from mummy. I’m on holiday next week so there won’t be a blog (I’m telling you this because I know how many people revisit it every week to read my next update).

By the way – what’s a bobbin and why does it need to be wound up?

Email me what_the_bobbins_is_a_bobbin@spenceshire.net

 

Entry by Reuben,
Date: July 26th 2006
Title:

Week 19

Wrote...

My hot topic this week is ‘sounds’.

Firstly I’ve discovered that if I cry ‘wha, wha, wha’ and whilst doing that I change the shape of my mouth, I can make a variety of interesting sounds that are more like words than cries. This makes mummy and daddy laugh.

(I bet you’re trying it now aren’t you?) 

Secondly the baby in the shiny-wall-hanging-thing likes me talking to him so I’ve been busy practising complicated and grammatically correct sentences such as ‘ooh ahh, aw, arrh, awraw.’

Thirdly I experienced my first disco on Monday night…there were some interesting sounds coming through daddy’s cd decks; mostly quite loud sounds. Mummy insisted I was in a different room to protect the drums in my ears (how did they get in there?).

Fourthly I can make a popping sound by pulling off mummy when she’s feeding me. (She doesn’t like this!)

And lastly I can cough and that’s a brilliant sound to practise!

As for sleeping I’ve reverted back to the pattern of bedtime about 7pm, feeds at 2am and 6am. {I think my parents are happier about that than last week when I was waking every 2 hours for food and then not going back to sleep.} Mind you I surprised them last night - I went to bed at 6pm and slept through til 5am. And still slept for 2 hours for my morning nap.

 

Entry by Reuben, Mummy and Daddy
Date: July 18th 2006
Title:

Week 18

Wrote...I think the fact that I’m wearing a t-shit which states ‘little rascal’ is indicative of the reaction mummy and daddy have towards my recent boycotting of night time sleep. Following four consecutive nights of frequent waking and refusal to go back to sleep here are things they have tried:

1)     Calpol in case I’m in pain

2)     Calgel in case my gums are hurting

3)     Opportunity to burp

4)     More feeds

5)     No feed but a cuddle then back to the cot with pink noise on

6)     Controlled Crying through the night

7)     Musical mobile on during night

8)     Singing to me and stroking my tummy

9)     Letting me watch ‘The Office’ with daddy downstairs

10)  Putting me in my bouncy chair downstairs and leaving me there, and them going back to bed with the monitor on!

Mostly these tactics do not win me over. I still cry and if I should allow myself to fall asleep I wake after 2 hours!

Mummy’s note: Between weeks 10-16 Reuben slept reasonably well. He woke once or twice in the night for food but happily went back to sleep without extra help. It’s tricky to know what factors are making him wake up and not resettle: Could he be teething? Could he simply be too hot? Is he testing us? Does he need more reassurance?  Perhaps he’s hungry for more than breast milk? Will see Health Visitor on Friday and ask advice. In the meantime any thoughts??

Daddy’s note: Watching the Office at 2am is a pure delight!

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: July 12th 2006
Title:

Week 17

Wrote...The Snot – its not so great when it gathers at the back of your throat the moment you are put in horizontal position.

Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all

What people put cradles right at the tree top??

Well of course its going to sway when the wind blows

But hang on the branch might break??

And people just let the baby and cradle fall??

Upon hearing this ditty I undertook a Risk Assessment, which clearly concluded it was time to move out of my cradle and into a cot. No chance of me being put on a tree top now!

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: July 4th 2006
Title:

Week 16

Wrote... I’ve got a new friend born this week…Emily…who currently lives in Bath but is moving early August to live very near us in Manchester. Emily’s dad is going to train to be a URC minister at the same place where my daddy is doing his church training. I think we’ll get to see Emily a lot especially as she has a dog too so we can meet up to walk our dogs and let our mums chat.

Projectile Snot: This is sooooooo cool! I arch my back, tip my head back, and sneeze so hard that snot not only comes out of my nose but I send it flying across the air. Great!

Now I have to ask you all a question….have you ever seen any teddy bears going round and round in gardens? Daddy is insistent that they go round and round but to be honest after an extensive amount of research this week I’ve not even seen any teddy bears in gardens let alone ones that go round and round. I humour him though and smile appropriately when he does ‘tickly under there’! Perhaps you could email me with advise on where to look for teddy bears or how to spot them?

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: June 29th 2006
Title:

Week 15

Wrote...It seems to me that while I was inside mummy I was very good at writing this blog thing but since my arrival into the outside world mummy and daddy have been mostly writing on my behalf. Well now I'm coming up 4 months old I think its time to change that...don't you? Up to now my life in the outside world has mostly consisted of sleeping, feeding and crying but now I'm ready to tackle the world and explore new territory.

So I want to begin by telling you about my new discovery this week: I've found 2 'hinges' which seem to be attached to me - they allow my legs to bend and they fit very nicely inside my hands - therefore when I'm sitting I can hold onto them and stroke them to make sure they don't go away. Experts say the caps inside them are still developing but should be ready by the time I am 6months old in case I want to use them to enable moving around.

Finally just because the adults are in charge doesn't mean they are have to be in control - which means if I want to be awkward and cry for the opposite parent when with the other I can!

 

Entry by Ian
Date: June 29th 2006
Title:

Week 15

Wrote... Reuben, Rachel and Ian are enjoying a new Baby Club which Rachel and two other volunteers are co-ordinating.  It is already starting to attract others along. 

Like Wooster, Reuben this week has wanted both of us to be around and has had days when he is with dad and just wants mum and days with mum and just wants dad.  He finds it less stressful when we are both around, which is most of the time.

He is much more free with his smiles now, particularly when Daddy plays tick tick tick, Splat, or round and round the garden.

This week he had his first night of not feeding in the night.  He still woke up but went back to sleep with his pink noise CD (Pink noise is like the droning noise you used to get when you recorded on old cassette players - you know the ones with built in mic and chunky buttons!)

 

Entry by Ian
Date: June 22nd 2006
Title:

Week 14

Wrote... Been a busy fun packed week!

Vikki got her first long drive with us (see Week 13) - 530 miles in total.  We visited Ian's Parents and spent sometime there.  We then went to Bristol to meet our friends in Easton.  Easton is still a very special place to us and I hope it always will be. We then went to visit Ian's sister and nieces (Reuben's cousins) in the Cotswolds.  Back to Easton to their festival and then to a family reunion in Bristol.

We had a fantastic time away and Reuben (as always) was a star!!!

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: June 13th 2006
Title:

Week 13

Wrote... 

Reuben got his first bank account this week and got a free money box to save up with.

He also had his BCG jab (Manchester Babies have to have it) which wasn't as fun.

He is focusing on things from a distance now and so has just started to enjoy DVD's.  Ian looking forward to watching Thomas with Reuben and has bought the DVD's ready.

This week we got a new (to us) car as Rufus was beginning to show signs of requiring attention, so we welcome Vikki our new Astra Estate to the fold (our 4th Astra now!).

Happy 3 Month Birthday to Reuben!

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: June 8th 2006
Title:

Week 12

Wrote... 

Mummy likes best

Watching new expressions on Reuben’s face as he discovers about himself and life.

Chattering to Reuben through mimicking the ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’ sounds he makes.

Describing to Reuben things we do and what we can see.

Seeing him smile, react and sleep.

 

Daddy likes best

Tickling Reuben on the chin to make him smile

Dad and Lad adventures and trips out

Singing silly songs

Playing splat with Reuben

 

Reuben likes best

Milk, Thumb sucking, Milk, Sleeping, Milk, Cuddles, Milk, Bath time, Milk, Kicking without a nappy, Milk, Photo time, Milk

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: May 31st 2006
Title:

Week 11

Wrote... 

Smiles... Reuben is much more generous with his smiles now and regularly smiles when we play with him.

Family...  Aunty Kate and Uncle Tom came to play and they gave Reuben a bath.  Nanny and Grampy also came and Nanny gave Reuben a bath.

Fair... This week Reuben went to the fair twice and watched mum and dad go on the rides.

Entitlements...  Ian has been very frustrated this week with the system for obtaining child tax credit and maternity grant.  They are being very unhelpful and makes you wonder if it's worth the hassle, but I think that's what they hope.

Assignments...  Ian has however handed in his assignments for college and so finishes year 2 of his training.

 

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: May 24th 2006
Title:

Week 10

Wrote... New Nappies... This week  Reuben got new washable nappies.  They look very smart on him.  They are made of bamboo!!!

Eye Lashes... He has developed long eye lashes this week

Size... This week he wore his first 3-6 month sleep suit.  partly though because of bigger nappy size but he is growing fast.

Sleep... He is doing well - Is sleeping upto 5 hours ago at night now and normally just wakes for a feed at 2am.

Crying... He does still do a fair amount of this... that can be draining sometimes.

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: May 18th 2006
Title:

Week 9

Wrote... 

Immunisations – Reuben coped well with his first round of jabs.

Jaundice Update – Reuben has now been discharged from the out patients system at St Mary’s Hospital as the jaundice has nearly gone.

Big Bath – Reuben joined Rachel in the big bath for the first time this week.

Making Friends – Reuben has a new friend who was born 10th May, the boy is yet to be named but it was amazing to see the new baby and Reuben lying down next to each other as Reuben looked so big and grown up!

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: May 12th 2006
Title:

Week 8

Wrote... There has been a delay in this blog being written and published on here because we’ve been away here’s what we did:

Key: R&R Rachel and Reuben, G&G Rachel’s parents Grandma and Grandad, N&G Ian’s parents Nanny & Grampy.

Friday 5th - Ian, Rachel and Reuben travelled to Frome via Worcester services to give Grandma Wooster and via NGM (where Grandad works) so he could show off his grandson.

Saturday - baptism of a friend, Daniel 11years old. It was great to share in Daniels special day. Despite only being in Frome for 23 hours we also managed to catch up with many friends.

Ian then took R&R & a car full of stuff to meet G&G.

Ian came back to Manchester whilst R&R stayed in Malvern at G&G’s house.

Sunday – R&R went to All Saints church with G&G and Reuben slept all the way through the service! We saw various friends and N&G came over too.

Monday  - Reuben visited mum’s school! The children adored him and many of the staff came to meet him too. Uncle Jon visited in the evening. Grandma gave Reuben his bedtime bath.

Tuesday – R&R took Grandma to school for 8am then drove to N&G’s house and were there by 8.30am. Back in Malvern in the afternoon Reuben had more visitors but he was a bit over tired by then so not at his best. To settle him in the evening Rachel gave Reuben a massage.

Wednesday – R&R visited friends in Malvern. In the afternoon G&G&R&R&W walked to the top of Worcestershire Beacon which is the highest hill on the range of ‘The Malvern Hills’ and is just short of being a mountain. N&G came in the evening. Grandma bathed Reuben before bed.

Thursday – Grandad brought R&R&W back to Manchester.

All the nights we were away Reuben settled & slept well. He developed a pattern of waking at 5.30am spending time with G&G but then going into a deep sleep about 8am and sleeping til 10am. It felt like a good routine and he was coping with feeding at 4 hourly intervals.  Following a good night of sleeping Reuben’s best time of the day has been 5.30-7.30 when he gave G&G lots of smiles and giggles. Grandad taught him how to do crosswords in these times too.

First night back - Why on his first night back home did his good sleeping pattern disappear?! Poor daddy was up with the boy 3.30am-7.30am!

***Reuben has learnt how to suck his thumb!***

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: May 5th 2006
Title:

Week 7 - my perspective!

Wrote... Having noticed that comments on week 7 all begin with the letter ‘S’ I’ve come up with some that mummy forgot:

Squirm – I can now make nappy changing tricky as I Squirm on the mat.

Steam – I like lying on the bathroom floor when someone is in the shower as the Steam intrigues me.

Soothing – when I’m crying daddy makes the best Soothing sounds ‘shhhhhhhhh’ ‘shhhhhhhhhhhhhh’ ‘shhhhhhhhhhhhhh’ and so on! 

Silly Songs – my mum and dad make up the best Silly Songs you could imagine with any tune they can make a rhyming song that usually has my affectionate nickname Reuben Roo in it.

Splash – in the bath I like the water to be Splashed over me.

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: May 2nd 2006
Title:

Week 7

Wrote... Swimming – Rachel went back to the aqua natal swim session this week and Reuben happily sat in his car seat on the pool edge, it’s a spectator sport for now. (No we didn’t throw him in the deep end!)

Smiles – this week Reuben began to smile – though at the moment he’s not very generous with his smiles so you have to work hard to get one from him!

Sling – Reuben enjoys being in his sling to walk Wooster in the 70 acres of Highfield Country Park next to our house.

Sleeping – we’ve had a mixture of good nights with him sleeping 11-4 and then some not so good nights with him deciding not to sleep! He’s also developed a cute technique where he sometimes sleeps with one eye open and one eye closed – apparently dolphins do this too.

Saying thank you – Reuben has now designed his ‘thank you letters’ and a special invitation, which will be out in the post in the next few weeks!

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: April 26th 2006
Title:

Week 6

Wrote... Growing fast – the boy now weighs 10lb 5oz!

Relaxed – Rachel took Reuben to a baby massage session run by the health visitors. Reuben enjoyed the session and then slept almost non-stop for the next 2 days! (Apart from waking every 3 hours for feeds.)

The sea air & my first ice cream– on Saturday we had a family outing to the seaside. Wooster ran along the beach delighted that he could still come (in fact the seating in the car arrangement currently means Wooster gets harnessed into the front seat and Reuben and Rachel are in the back! We tried dog bars which fit most standard cars – well you can’t get much more standard than a Vauxhall Astra – but the dog bars didn’t fit!!! – Any suggestions?)

The sea air sent Reuben to sleep! Obviously mummy and daddy had to each eat an ice cream on his behalf!

Jaundice – Reuben is still being monitored as his skin is still showing signs of jaundice. The latest results showed that the bilirubin level has dropped to a more satisfactory level (136 for those who know about bilirubin!). It has been decided that he has ’breast milk jaundice’ which is ironic seeing as the ways to cure jaundice are sunlight and breast milk! He has to go back for a follow up appointment on 15th May.

Sleeping – At night time after each feed Reuben has begun to go back in his moses basket whilst awake and gurgle himself to sleep, this is very cute! In the last couple of days he has dropped a night time feed too, which means we now get a luxury block of 4 hours of sleep.

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: April 18th 2006
Title:

Week 5

Wrote... They say breastfed babies get the taste of ‘whatever the mother has eaten’ in the milk so seeing as we’ve just celebrated Easter do you think Rach is producing chocolate milk?!

We’ve noticed that Reuben is at his best when out and about – he particularly loves shopping and meals out at the carvery (which he has been to once a week since birth!)

This week Reuben outgrew most of the ‘newborn’ sized clothing so is now in 0-3months items! He also made the delicate transition from wearing sleep-suits 24:7 to proper clothes during the day. These make him look like a little boy.

We’ve had some successful nights with him waking for food but then going back to his Moses basket and settling with the aid of a CD of ‘pink noise’ (the sounds babies hear in the womb).  The daytimes however have not been so peaceful:  Reuben has developed a high pitched scream which he uses to full effect between feeds.  He would feed all the time were that possible!

 

Entry by Reuben
Date: April 11th 2006
Title:

Week 4

Wrote... Visitors have still travel from far and wide to see me! Grandma and Grandad came for 3 days. Auntie Kate came to stay in our house, followed by a friend from Frome. I also met my great auntie Margaret.

I had more blood tests for the jaundice – my br level has been 255, 245 and the latest result 239 so its coming down but not very fast; it should be under 50 by now. However the paediatrician isn’t worried enough to give me any treatment but I’m still being monitored.

I’ve put on lots of weight…I’m now 9lb 8oz! I enjoy my food and would feed from mummy 24:7 if she let me!

I’ve had over 100 welcome cards.

Happy Easter to all.

 

Entry by Ian
Date: April 6th 2006
Title:

Parking

Wrote...  How excited was I to be going to Tescos this week. For years I have had to park back from stores to make way for parents.  Well today was different!  For the first time I could park in a parent and child space! 

Imagine however my disappointment to discover that the normal spaces at our new Tesco are closer to the store than the parent ones.  Where is the justice in that - All those years having to park behind parent spaces and now they go and do that to me!  Positive discrimination. Must change supermarkets now out of principle!

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: April 6th 2006
Title:

Week 3

Wrote...This week Reuben and Rachel had their first trip out in the car without daddy, this helped mummy feel like ‘normal’ life could resume being able to drive again.

Reuben had blood samples taken at hospital as the midwife was still concerned about his jaundice levels, unfortunately the doctor couldn’t get a good vein and it took over an hour to extract the required amount of blood from the boy, (which he wasn’t very impressed about!)

Grandma & Grandad came again (Rachel’s parents) and Reuben had his first trip out in his buggy. Grandma told Reuben all about the world around him as we walked…these are houses, cars, a cat, flowers etc…then we realised that due to the angle of his seat all Reuben could see was they sky!

We registered his birth so ‘Reuben David Spence’ is now officially alive. Interestingly no one has pointed out to us that his initials have a link to Ian’s radio interest – RDS. Also we found out that another Rachel Spence gave birth just 2 days before us at the same hospital.

Reuben’s cousins & aunt and uncle visited – Kathryn 13 and Hannah 7 adored taking turns to hold their new cousin even though he mostly slept through it all! Hannah watched with great intent at all the ways we looked after Reuben and mimicked them in her care for her doll ‘Baby Annabelle’, yes even right down to the intricate details of feeding!

Other things in Reuben’s busy social life: This week brought the first time that Ian was out for an evening meeting meaning Rachel was on duty for bath time – Ian had done them all up to this point! We also visited a friend and got a lovely photo of the dads & their lads (there’ll be more dad & lad moments in the future I think!). We met our Health Visitor but are still being seen by the Midwife team too.

Wooster has taken to sitting at Rachel’s feet when she is feeding Reuben. So there you go another successful week in the Spence household. Thanks for visiting this blog.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: March 30th 2006
Title:

Week 2

Wrote...  Mummy really really really enjoyed mother’s day! In fact I just wanted to hold my little boy all day and spoil him with kisses – well have to whilst I can before he begins to say ‘mum don’t embarrass me!’

He’s doing well – the midwife weighted him saying’ babies loose weight in their first two weeks then steadily gain weight…but not your baby he’s put on weight 4oz!’ Then by day 13 when he was weighed again he was up to 7lb 14 oz!

This week has brought more visitors and the return of family (grandparents /uncle) who couldn’t wait to see and hold him again. He’s also been out & about a bit visiting Ian’s college and going to church for the first time.

Wooster mostly ignores Reuben during the day and thinks he is entitled to more treats at night time now he remains in his basket even though we are up with Reuben at night.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: March 20th 2006
Title:

First week as a mummy!

Wrote...  Amazing to think that as I type this blog entry it was this time last week I was in labour.

I managed labour on a TENS machine (very well controlled by Ian), gas & air (that’s good stuff) and a whole lot of prayer (by friends and family). Labour lasted just 11 hours but all the way through I don’t think I realised how far through I was…at 11pm I asked if I could eat something because I thought I still had a long way to go (I was told no I couldn’t eat) and actually I only had 3 hours left!

So Reuben David was born on his auntie’s birthday (Rachel’s sister Kate), which also turns out to be the birthday of a few children of friends of ours too.

The first week has been amazing…Reuben was born with a natural talent for breastfeeding (hurray) and weeing in the face of any female who try to change his nappy!

I gaze constantly at my son and thank God for his gift to us and It’s been awesome watching family and friends revel in our son too. 

'Wooster has adapted well to a baby although when Reuben cries in the night Wooster isn’t too sure if we are going to respond and that winds him up a bit. But during the day Wooster sleeps in his basket and Reuben sleeps in his musical chair whilst we sleep on the sofa. 

Reuben’s favourite place in the house is by the computer and he has already purchased items from Ebay. 

He sleeps quite well for a baby of one week old – about 3 hours at a time. 

And now seeing as he is asleep I should go to bed too, I’ll write more soon. 

Thank you to everyone for their generosity in cards & gifts & texts & emails.

 

Entry by Ian
Date: March 9th 2006
Title:

Renovations

Wrote... 

It has been a busy few weeks...  Renovating a house for baby to arrive, moving our contents from Somerset, moving out of our rented house, trying to fit all our stuff into the new house, trying to keep on top of church and college work (Think I've mostly managed this!), producing a radio programme, renovating a church building (Phase 1)and looking after Rachel.

A big thank you to all who have helped move boxes, clean, paint, lay carpets and flooring, walk Wooster, and much much more.

We await the arrival of the baby with excitement and anticipation in the knowledge that the baby now has a home to come to.  Apart from Changing Rooms, this is probably the fasted make over of a house in history.  You've seen the before pics on the site.  Will post the current pics of it soon (it's a bit different now).

We give thanks to God for providing us with a house that we got cheap (I wonder why?).  We would not have been able to gain a mortgage otherwise.  (The bank are still laughing at my enquiry for a mortgage on only one part time church wage between us!)   - Still God's provision is of much better interest!

See you soon Baby!  Daddy.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: March 9th 2006
Title:

9 months

Wrote...  Isaiah 40:30-32 (Contemporary English Version)

30 Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall. 31But those who trust the LORD will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.

And when you’re 9 months pregnant there’s not a lot else you can do but wait on the Lord!

Currently I’m feeling quite calm about the next 2 weeks or so – my birth plan remains the same ‘get the baby out safely and quickly and I’ll take any kind of pain relief!’ Until the contractions begin I’m waiting on God for his perfect timing – knowing that He is allowing my body to regain some strength, following flu and a heavy cold, before I have to tackle the demands of labour.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Feb 11th 2006
Title:

Dancing at a Ceilidh at 8 months

Wrote...  I managed to do 3 of the dances at our church Ceilidh. The caller assured me the dances were gentle and the exercise would be good. Baby Spence enjoyed rolling around to the music! I had sore knees the next day but other than that all was good.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Feb 8th 2006
Title:

Sneezing

Wrote...  Why do sneezes irritate me so much? Whenever Ian sneezes it makes me grind my teeth with annoyance (poor guy). And now I have a cold, which makes me annoyed at myself every time I sneeze!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Feb 3-5th 2006
Title:

Throne Room Love – Ladies Spiritual Health weekend

Wrote...  Staying in the Marriot Hotel in Bristol and being pampered in body, mind and spirit is a fantastic treat at the best of times but especially when 8 months pregnant. How’s this for a fabulous Bible verse ‘You are beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.’ Song of Songs chapter 4 verse 7 The Message version. How awesome does it feel to hear that God says that about each one of us? How often do you feel worthless, ugly, like a misfit…yet God says you are absolutely flawless.

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: Jan 31st  2006
Title:

Breast Feeding workshop

Wrote...  Fair play to the NHS for providing a very good informative session all about the benefits and techniques of breastfeeding. Enough said!

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: Jan 27th  2006
Title:

New House!!!

Wrote...We’ve got the keys to our new house!

 It’s in better condition than we remembered it to be so with a bit of paint and a carpet or two we’ll soon be feeling like we can move in…well that is of course after the builders have mended the roof and sorted out the bad damp problem throughout the downstairs and put in some kitchen units!

 Then all we have to do is move all our big furniture up from Frome (sofas, beds, cooker, fridge freezer, tumble dryer, washing machine, dining room table & chairs, shelving units, treadmill, and all the stuff we crammed into the loft!) Oh yes and move all our stuff from our rented house too.

 Well its not like we have any other impending pressures…like only 6 weeks till our due date!!??!!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Jan 27th  2006
Title:

Last day at work

Wrote...On my last day at work my students organised a surprise party for me. They were very generous in the food provided (homemade samosas, crisps, sandwiches, spicy burgers, Maltesers, biscuits, 4 varieties of fizzy drink, strawberry cheesecake, toffee fudge cake and lots more!)

 They also gave me: a big card signed by them all, a photo album, flowers, Thornton’s chocolates and 2 luxury sets of bath/body lotions. The presents were in cool Mickey Mouse bags…one in pink and one in blue…very good planning I thought!

Thank you to all the students who made my last day special….I will definitely bring the baby in to see you all! Photos of the event will be uploaded soon.

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: Jan 21st  2006
Title:

Cranium

Wrote... Excellent ‘reunion’ or get together with Rachel’s ‘old’ youth group. One couple have moved to New Zealand…making it tricky for them come to annual reunions…but they arranged for John Lewis to deliver the game Cranium to the hosts of the day.

Acting like Eddie Izzard, spelling Rhododendron out loud without writing it down, whistling ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams, moulding a piggy bank from play dough, silently acting ‘free range eggs’, knowing if there are cash points on all continents in the world or not: were amongst other bizarre challenges in the game!

 

Entry by Rachel and Ian
Date: Jan 15th-21st  2006
Title:

Friends

Wrote... This week was brilliant…we had Ruth to stay for 2 days. Crammed lots of doing stuff in…took Wooster for run on English beach (no match for an Australian beach but hey ho!) We also visited Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs Tiggy-winkle and Peter Rabbit at the Beatrix Potter Attraction in the Lake District. Did you know that Beatrix Potter had a Springer Spaniel called Spot!

Then on Friday Gaz & Laura came to see us on their way to Preston.

Then we had a get together on the Saturday with friends from the past; see entry ‘Cranium’.

 

Entry by Wooster
Date: Jan 10 2006
Title:

It’s all about me, it’s all about me - ‘Wooster’

Wrote... Last week I got myself tangled up in the hedges in the country park and as I pulled myself free my harness broke. (Bit annoying as it was new 6 months ago!)

Today Rach & Ian bought me a new harness – same make but in blue!

They also bought me a new blue collar too.

As if that wasn’t enough I now have a brand new lead as well.

I’m feeling very spoilt.

 

Entry by Wooster
Date: Jan 06 2006
Title:

Sounds Soothing

Wrote...Hey I’ve got a new CD – its got only 2 tracks on it.

One is made up of the noises that new babies make and the other is of children playing.

Rach & Ian put it on quietly and monitor my reactions.

Then another day they’ll put it on again and turn the volume up and again monitor my reactions. And so on.

This is supposed to help me prepare for the arrival of baby Spence!

Today was the first time I heard it.

My reaction? Well I tilted my head to the side a few times and then decided all was ok and went to sleep!!!!!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Jan 06 2006
Title:

Stretch Marks

Wrote...Apparently they are mainly heredity so despite lots of moisturising over the last 6 months my body has succumbed and developed a map of veins on the bump!

I feel slightly sad about this – even though pre-pregnancy I never wore a bikini  - so I’m not likely to wear one in future – yet still it’s a poignant moment when the marks appear.

 Oh well! Never mind. It’s worth it.

 

Entry by Wooster
Date: Dec 22 2005
Title:

The Vet

Wrote...I love having Ian & Rachel at home more but when do dog owners realise that us dogs more than dislike the annual trip to the vet for booster injections?

 As if that wasn’t bad enough 3 days before Christmas, Ian also asked the vet to ‘sort out my anal glands’ – charming!

 And now they wonder why I’m in a strop with them?! Well it’s working to my advantage because they keep telling me how gorgeous I am and that they love me. I’ll keep the strop going till bedtime then I’ll jump on their bed and lick their hands so they know I’m their friend again! (Have to stay on the right side of them – rumour has it I’m going to be presented with another Spence to love in a few months time – don’t want them to love baby more than they love me!)

 

Entry by Wooster
Date: Dec 21 2005
Title:

Big Dogs

Wrote...  A few weeks ago an Alsatian unexpectedly pounced me on and then it wouldn’t leave me alone and kept pushing me over. I was a bit scared and I think Ian was too – the owner of the Alsatian kept calling his dog but the dog was too interested in bullying me.

Now whenever I see big dogs I run to Rach or Ian for protection!

Mind you, today I met a Rottweiler ‘puppy’ I say ‘puppy’ it looked pretty big to me; anyway I ran away form the dog but it chased me so I turned barked and showed him I could run!! We played together for ages and I now think I’ve got over my fear of big dogs.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Dec 21 2005
Title:

Aqua Natal

Wrote... 

 Question: Is it actually possible to stand with legs slightly bent at the knees the same distance apart as your hips, hold the stomach muscles in, the pelvic floor up, shoulders back, exercise in time to music AND smile???!!!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Dec 21 2005
Title: Reflections on my pregnancy
Wrote... 

1st Trimester –

Felt seasick 24 hours a day.  Wanted to sleep 20 hours a day.   Couldn’t get out of bed till I’d eaten something. Had to eat to combat feeling sick.   Bought and ate ginger nuts like they were the latest craze. The thought, smell & taste of sweet corn made me heave. Went off chocolate.  Went off tea. Had a scan at 9 weeks all was well. Went to Pairs, turned 30 and moved house all at 12 weeks!

 2nd Trimester –

Seasickness switched off at 13 weeks. (What a relief)   Stopped eating ginger nuts!   Felt energised and alive and very excited!  Began to swim once a week.   Began drinking tea again but only if it had sugar in it.  Eating chocolate again! (phew)   Favourite meal fish fingers and baked beans!  Bought first few items of baby clothes at 14 weeks.  Bump started to show at 15 weeks. (just a little)  Scan at 17 weeks having just registered with a doctor in Manchester!   First felt baby move inside me at 18 weeks – like little bubbles bursting.  At 20 weeks I had to swap my clothes for maternity ones – EBAY was brilliant.  Another scan at week 20 – saw baby open and close its hands.  First saw bump move at 21 weeks.  Met our midwife at 21 weeks.  First heard the baby’s heartbeat at 21 weeks.  At 5 months I began a new job!  Loved watching my bump move as baby did acrobatics inside me.  We massaged bump every night from week 22.  Perfected the art of snoring. (poor Ian)  At 25 weeks suddenly I looked much bigger.  Began joining baby clubs and collecting vouchers!

 3rd Trimester –

Drinking tea without sugar now.   Began aqua natal swim sessions.  At 27 weeks stood looking sideways in mirror - amazed at size of bump!  Baby’s kicks are more defined now but I still love the feeling.

Christmas week is week 30 so the new year brings the countdown!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Dec 15 2005
Title: God the Provider
Wrote...  I only work 10 hours per week, which means I have plenty of time to assist Ian in church related tasks and to walk Wooster. The downside is that I don’t qualify for statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance and it’s not an ongoing post so I don’t have a job to return to! But we believe in God our provider - God has been showing us his faithfulness in recent weeks and we’ve gladly accepted many offers of baby equipment and clothes.

Our best story is that we did some research into car seats, prams and pushchairs and despite being baffled by the variety we decided we liked the make ‘Graco’ especially their 3 in 1 set. Ian’s favourite part was that you get a drinks tray by the handle (never mind about any safety, weight or ease of use features – hey?). We thought about buying one in the sale but somehow resisted even though it seemed a good bargain. Just 3 days later a friend from Ian’s college brought round some baby stuff for us to have, including a ‘3 in 1 Graco set’ with a drinks tray! It’s in good condition and it was free to us.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Dec 15 2005
Title: I’m a Learning Mentor
Wrote...  I began a new job when I was 5 months pregnant!

I work with 16-19yr olds who are struggling to achieve passes in their coursework at level 3 in Health & Social Care. The challenge is to enable them to gain new skills ranging from: extracting information from text books and re-writing in their own words through to using the correct spelling of ‘their’ or ‘there’! There spillings leeve much to bee desired, and grammer, and sentince structure is too poor like they Right as they talk do ya know wot I mean? 

 

Entry by Ian
Date: Oct 13 2005
Title: College, Jobs and baby
Wrote...Ooops haven't blogged for a while.  Baby seems to be better updating their blog than us!

College is going well but a bit too much work this semester, but the plan is to cut down drastically next semester ready for the baby.  Church is going great.   Nice people who are very positive re: our work and involvement.  We have cell groups and an interactive bible and living event starting.  We also have a new church web site: www.levenshulme.org  Both Rach and I have led services which have been well received.

Rach is enjoying resting with baby.  She went for a job interview last week at a local college for learning mentor post.  She is waiting to hear back.

 

Entry by Ian
Date: Sept 22 2005
Title: Doctors, church and college
Wrote...Managed to register with a doctor who was fantastic.  She took a real interest in us and we are now registered to be visited by a midwife.

Church is good, A great welcome service and a lot of excitement in the church.  First week back at college which has been tiring but good.  Off to recite my Greek alphabet now or maybe just have some chocolate instead!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Sept 07 2005
Title: The NHS
Wrote...Humm, Not only can we not register with a dental practise here but it appears all the doctors are full too!
Entry by WOOSTER
Date: Sept 05 2005
Title: A Wee Problem
Wrote... No-one understands what it’s like being a dog. The back yard is full of stuff and there is nowhere for me to wee. Rach & Ian say do a wee but I’m thinking where??? So I sit by the back gate hoping they’ll let me out onto the vast grassed area they call a park. Eventually they get the hint.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Sept 02 2005  14.15
Title: Bus tour without the Bus
Wrote...I am 30! We decided to do a tour of the city and see all the famous landmarks. We got a map of the route the open top bus does and decided to save ourselves £15 each and walked it! The bus takes 2.5 hours to do the whole lot we took 5 hours. It was a glorious day. Then in the evening we had a picnic by the Eiffel tower, with 2 guitarists close by so it felt like we were being serenaded! The ET lights up at night and glistens on the hour so it was very romantic.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Sept 02 2005  14.10
Title: clutching at the very last straw
Wrote...(clutching at the very last straw) Still 29 years, 11months, 31 days and 23 hours and 55 minutes old!

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Sept 01 2005
Title: PARIS
Wrote...Ian gave me my surprise birthday treat....tickets for Eurostar Channel Tunnel to PARIS! By 2pm we were there in a hotel, which had a view of the Eiffel tower! We went up the ET by lift and walked back down.

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Aug 31 2005
Title: Denial
Wrote...

Wednesday 31st August

Ian: ‘You’re nearly 30’

Rach: ‘No I’m 29 years, 11 months, 30 days’

Ian: ‘That’s called clutching at straws’

 

Entry by Rachel
Date: Aug 28 2005
Title: Moving house
Wrote...

We have moved to Levenshulme, Manchester!!!!!

 I can safely say that we brought with us every basic essential item needed for our rental house e.g. 2 full bodied puppets, the whole ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ collection and a box of ‘Whodunnit’ Mystery Game Plots. Amazingly we didn’t think to bring a kettle, toaster or spare bedding!

 

Entry by Ian
Date: Aug 18 2005 02:25
Title: A possible house!
Wrote...

OK so we know God acts in the eleventh hour but it does seem that this maybe 11.55!

Just as we were beginning to despair that a suitable house had not become available in Levenshulme, a possible answer...  A house in a road we looked at to buy in but decided against because the particular houses needed a lot of work, but we liked the road and area.  This house to rent backs onto a park (great for Wooster and us) and is newly decorated, carpeted and furnished.  The landlady sounds really nice and helpful from e-mail exchange (unlike the unhelpful Edward Mellor estate agents who the other house in last blog was with).  This seems a good option for either 6 months or  even as a longer term solution.

Please pray that this may work out smoothly and that we will be able to move either next week or the week after.

 

Entry by Ian
Date: Aug 01 2005 14:43
Title: Finishing in Frome
Wrote...

It's that strange time now when you are about to move and you go through the process of "This is the last time I'll..."   We are really looking forward to getting to Levenshulme.  Work (TWR) for me has been a bit bizarre as the board have decided to relocate to... South Manchester (I think they are stalking me!)   It has however in many ways been badly handled by the board and has resulted in many of my colleagues loosing their jobs if they don't relocate.  As you guess morale is very low.  It sadly has meant that many of our creative programmes have had to stop broadcasting including Good Morning UK and Blow The Box.  Please pray for the staff who are uncertain about their future.

Please also pray for housing for us in Levenshulme.  We still have not sold and so it looks like we shall enter into a 6 month rent on a house in Levenshulme.  The house will be fine for this period with a bit of Spencey TLC.  Ideally though we would like to sell as we have seen a house which seems just right and would work out cheaper than renting.  We will keep you upto date on the blog as we know more.

 

Entry by Ian
Date: July 16 2005 22:25
Title: Edinburgh
Wrote...

Had problems getting the menus to work on the site but they seem to be behaving now.  Edinburgh was amazing - 250,000 people there to make a difference.  Christian community was possibly the main driving force which was fantastic.  Loch ness and Ben Nevis were cool too.  Since getting back things have been kinda busy.  Been to Manchester to look at houses and we have a house which we can rent while we continue to try to sell ours in Frome.  The house we will move into is a bit of a shell but it's cheap and with a slap of paint it will soon feel like home.   We are looking forward to getting to Levenshulme now.

 

 

Entry by Ian
Date: June 29 2005  22:16
Title: MPH Edinburgh
Wrote...

It's 10.20 on Wednesday evening and we catch an Easyjet flight tomorrow morning to Edinburgh,  Leaving here at 3.45 so really should be in bed but hey ho.  Main reason for going is for the Make Poverty History Event on Saturday.  It is so cool to see so many unite behind this cause.  We'll put some pics on the site when we get back.  Heading from Edinburgh to Loch Ness - if we see Nessy will be sure to upload that pic too.

 

 

Entry by Ian
Date: June 28 2005  06:16
Title: Easton
Wrote...

Welcome to the Blog!  I hope you enjoy our random thoughts.  I write having spent Sunday back in Easton, Bristol.  It was actually quite an emotional day meeting old friends and realising again what a special place ECFC is to us.  Beckie came with us and we were really proud of her for reading a song at the front of church.

What struck me again was the fact that ECFC is a very inclusive church and you feel that anyone with any background could walk in and find acceptance.  In that, you could sense God's presence with the people in a way which you just don't sense in many churches.

As we prepare to move back to the inner city, this time in Manchester, I would want to say a big thank you to folk in Easton for opening our eyes as to what the message of God is really all about and I pray that we may be able to take some of that understanding into our next and future ministries.

Thanks guys.