Announcing the arrival of Joscelyn Eleanore Ots

September 10th 2009, 8:35pm

Most of you who read this blog may already know from Facebook that our baby has arrived. Joscelyn Eleanore Ots arrived safely on June 3rd, 2009 at 12 noon, 15 days later than her due date. She weighed 7 lbs 11.5 oz (3.475 kg) and was 20.5 in long (52 cm) at birth and is growing bit by bit. We kept waiting for her to arrive on her own steam, but when she was a week overdue, I went for a stretch and sweep (sweeping the membranes) to try and get things moving. The midwife thought it had worked well, and that our baby would arrive before the weekend, but scheduled me in to be induced for the following Tuesday in case it didn't. As each day passed, I figured maybe Stiggy was aiming to arrive on his/her daddy's birthday. Monday came and no arrival of our bundle of joy. So Tuesday morning we took me in hospital to be induced. Thank goodness we were able to leave the hospital and go outside to walk in the park and along the canal. Three pessaries of prostaglandins later, each six hours apart, I was only 1-2cm dilated and wasn't progressing into active labour, so the midwife suggested James go home.

After he had gone home to get some sleep (we only live 15 minutes from the hospital), I was put on the monitor for the umpteenth time that day. I was told they needed 20 minutes of monitoring and then I could go to sleep. Two hours later they finally had enough monitoring with the right data on it and so at 3 am I went to sleep. I woke up at 4 with contractions, but forced myself to fall back asleep. At 5 am I woke up with proper contractions that, despite my best efforts, kept me up, and I went to the midwives' desk at 5:30 to ask them to call James and have him come back. They put me on the monitor again at 6 am, and at 6:15 finally called James, who made it to the hospital in 10 minutes. The midwife wasn't happy with the baby's heartrate, as it kept dropping, so they left me on the monitor, which meant I had to stay laying down. If I didn't lay down, the monitor kept losing contact and not getting a readout. They gave me gas and air to help with the pain (lovely stuff, everything is kind of distant when you're breathing it in), which helped a lot, since I couldn't be mobile like I'd wanted. Eventually a doctor came by to check the readout, as the heartrate had continued to drop occasionally and we were told they wanted to move us into delivery from the labour ward and break my waters to try and move my labour along faster. By the time the midwife, Val, broke my waters, I was 3-4 cm dilated, so I was finally in active labour. Joscelyn's heartrate kept dropping, although making me lay on my left side seemed to help. As she was in distress, the doctor and midwife wanted to get her out as quickly as possible, but were willing to let her try and come naturally. They prepped me for a drip in case I'd need to be induced with a drip or have an emergency cesarean, which fortunately we managed to avoid. James kept everyone up to date on Facebook using Twitter and we had loads of people praying our baby would arrive safely and without further intervention. We finally got to the point where the baby was nearly there, but still in distress. Val told me that if I had a small episiotomy, I could have the baby out in 2 or 3 pushes, but if I didn't, they'd have to go in for her. Given that choice, I went with the episiotomy.

My labour was far from what I'd hoped for. I couldn't use the birthing pool, since Joscelyn was in distress throughout the labour. I had to stay on my back or side to be monitored and couldn't move around freely as I'd hoped. When it came time to give birth, I was on my back, and even had my legs in stirrups. I wanted to squat, but wasn't allowed to (I was told later this was because it uses different muscles to push and they didn't think they had time to teach me how to - if I'd known that, I would have asked for one chance to try it, and if I couldn't do it, to go back to my back). Val kept telling me to grab the back of my legs and pull them towards me, but I just couldn't get any purchase that way. I finally reached forward and grabbed the metal backs of the stirrups, yanked myself forward so I was hanging a bit off the bed (which surprised them, they didn't think it would work that way - James said one of them said they'll have to remember that for future deliveries) and Joscelyn was out in 2 or 3 pushes. Although my birth plan went out the window, I'm happy that our little girl arrived safely and that we avoided the cesarean and the drip. 7 hours of active labour altogether, which I'm told is good for a firstborn.

Joscelyn was born with the cord wrapped around her neck, which is why her heartrate kept dropping. She pinked up right away, which surprised the midwives and had an APGAR score of 8 straight off, and a 9 five minutes later. She was still covered in vernix and had some lanugo, which is unusual for such a late baby. Usually that happens with early babies, so Val asked if my dates could have been off, which they could have by a few days, but not by weeks. So Joscelyn is breaking the mold already!

We've had a little over a week with our little girl now. She seems to have a routine of her own which works nicely into an adult day. Hopefully she sticks with it, especially since she only wakes up once in the middle of the night! I've noticed she has as many feeds in a day as a hobbit has meals, plus one. Joscelyn's a good feeder and put on an ounce between birth and her 5 day check. My community midwife, Kathy, was impressed, since most babies lose up to 10% of their birth weight. Here's how an average day of feeding Joscelyn goes:

We still find it amazing that we're parents and are responsible for this tiny little person. It's strange how quickly you learn what sounds mean what. Joscelyn keeps us busy, but she's a wonderfully well-behaved baby and we're really enjoying all her little facial expressions and coos and gurgles. We've been kept even busier by the fact that we fly out to Canada on June 20th, and as Joscelyn was over 2 weeks late, we have a short time to get all her paperwork organised. So Thursday we added her name to the flight and Friday we went to Rugby to have her registered and get her birth certificate, which was the earliest appointment to have that done. Monday we had her passport photo taken and Tuesday we went to Peterborough for her passport application appointment. We'll get her passport back in the post on Tuesday or Wednesday and on Saturday we fly to Canada! Busy, busy, busy!

For those of you who've come to visit us or bring us meals, thank you so much! We love having people drop by, it's nice showing off our little girl, we're so proud of her! And not having to think about meals has been fantastic. For those of you who we'll see in Canada, we can't wait to catch up on the last 3 years. Until we see you next!

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Comment posted by karina at 8:35pm on September 10th 2009

you are brave parents. :) i'll be praying for you this weekend as you travel and hope that everything goes really smoothly and that joscelyn just sleeps the time away :)

Comment posted by at 8:35pm on September 10th 2009

Thanks to my father who shared with me on the topic of this web site, this website is truly remarkable.

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March goes out like a lamb...sort of.

March 31st 2009, 11:47am

March has come to an end, and so has my time at work! I have April off as annual leave, and then my maternity leave starts May 5th. I'm so glad it worked out for me to have the time off in April, because, as I'm sure many of you guessed would happen, I still have projects galore in store for me.

So I shall be a busy person for the next month. But at least I'm off work, so I have more time and energy to get things done! Only 7 weeks from today until this kiddo is due. My sister's dream of me assembling the cot/crib and doing breathing exercises while in labour won't come true - we bought the cot a couple of weekends ago and assembled it right away. We've ordered the mattress and mattress protectors as well, and got a great deal on them, which is fantastic! So even if Stiggy comes early, we'll have a bed ready and waiting. Aubrey's sent off the paintings and mobile she's made for the nursery, which I can't wait to see! I'm so excited for this little person to finally be here. I can't believe it's such a short time away. I keep wondering what he/she will look like and what kind of personality Stiggy will have and all that jazz. Guess I don't have too long to wait now, which seems more incredible than anything else. Sometimes it's hard to believe that I'm finally gonna be a mom!

Another bonus to this year is our trip to Canada this summer. I miss lots of things about Canada, but here are some of the things I've been relishing the thought of doing/having during our trip (in no particular order):

Okay, so it's not such a long list at the moment, but it just popped into my head. Any suggestions of things you think I might be missing would be just fine!

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Comment posted by Helen at 11:47am on March 31st 2009

I can't believe you are insinuating that the British countryside does not have 'real' wild animals. What about bees?

Comment posted by Naomi at 11:47am on March 31st 2009

Um, Helen, if you have to include BEES to support the evidence of REAL wild animals in Britain, there's not much out there, is there? No bears, not much in the way of deer (they're all pretty tiny unless you go to Scotland and sparsely located), and as Canada has badgers and foxes and rabbits and that sort of thing, well...

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Valentine's Day approaches

February 5th 2009, 6:23pm

December and January have passed us by and I spent an awful lot of that time fighting off a cold. I've been cold free for about a week and a half twice now (once over Christmas break, and once just a few days ago), but it keeps coming back. I've been really lucky to have a great pregnancy so far, no morning sickness, just a bit of tiredness in the first trimester. If only I could lose this horrid cold for good, I'd feel fantastic! Please pray that it leaves me soon and doesn't come back.

Stiggy is nice and healthy, with a strong heartbeat, and equally strong kicks and punches. I think he/she is practising karate in the womb or something. The kicks are so strong now at 25 weeks, I can see my bump move out where the little foot is hitting. So strange and cool all at once!

I can't believe it's February already! There's so much to do before this kid arrives on the scene and I know the time is going to fly by even faster. I still have to do the following before the end of March (this is my sensible deadline which gives me a leetle room):

James and I (mostly me, I admit, I've had fun doing it!) have been researching which items to go with for our baby. We finally found the pushchair we've been looking for and it turned out to be nearby! I'd only found it in cities two hours away, but James found it in a great shop within a half hour's drive! After playing with it for a while, trying it out with the car seat we like, we decided we'd finally settled on THE pushchair for us. So the Phil & Ted's Dash it is. It'll allow us to put a second seat on when we have kids #2-4 added to our little family eventually. And it'll work with the Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix car seat we like. I have so many facts about baby gear in my head, I think they're starting to squeeze out other things, like small words, so I can't remember them! I think James gets a kick out of the fact that I know more about most of the pushchairs we've looked at than the salespeople.

My latest (and I think biggest AND most difficult) choice is which cloth nappy/diaper to use. A little over a year ago, you wouldn't have convinced me to go cloth. My memories of cloth nappies/diapers are of square, bulky, leaky, thick pieces of cloth that were not fun to change (I once babysat for a family who used them, it was not pleasant...) and you had to fold them oddly. Why would I go with that option when there are disposables? But then some Brit friends showed me their cloth nappies. They were shaped and colourful and didn't have to have big crinkly plastic liners over them. Hmmmm. Maybe they were an option after all! Then I discovered you could get flushable papery liners to make cleaning the poo off far easier! Hurrah! So now, I've got it narrowed down to the fact that I want to use an all-in-one, birth to potty nappy/diaper. I'd really like is to have my choice selected and ready in advance. So far, I've found the following nappies/diapers:

I've decided not to go with FuzziBunz, a friend tried these who has Bumgenius nappies/diapers, and wasn't at all impressed. The Mommy's Touch AIO Snap and Mommy's Touch AIO Touchtape seem like a possibility, but lack the range of sizes the others seem to offer. If any of you guys who read this have any idea of what I'm talking about and can help me out knowing what to go with, please do!

I get a week off the week after Valentine's Day (we're going to a wedding that day!), so I'll be busy building that changing table. Hopefully I can have some photos of it to post soon afterwards! Then I'll tackle the quilt. If you're not on facebook and haven't seen any of the pics of Stiggy or the bump that I've posted there, please let me know and I'll put photos on here. For now, adios from me and my bump!

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Comment posted by Helen Brown at 6:23pm on February 5th 2009

Hi, I only just read this post today - 31st March - I see you haven't done any of your things off your list... Good job you're on leave from now eh?! Hx

Comment posted by ang at 6:23pm on February 5th 2009

I love that you have almost a whole post on nappies! Yay new babies :) And new moms.

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August, September, October, November and we step foot into December soon...

November 26th 2008, 7:05pm

Lots of things have happened since I last blogged. James changed the format of my blog for me so that I could post my blog stories to facebook. Alas, I have forgotten how to gain entry to my blog to post new stories. So now I have some catching up to do!

In August, we met my parents in London to bid them farewell. They had a great time travelling around Europe and I've gotta say I'm proud of them for doing it the same way I did, with backpacks, a tent and a month train pass. Not many parents are up for that kind of mad adventure, but mine certainly seemed up for it! We only had a day and a bit with them before they had to fly back to Canada, so we puttered around London a bit more together, went on the London Eye and just generally enjoyed ourselves. For those of you who know my mom, check out her facebook page, she's posted a fair few photos. After we dropped them off on their train to their flight (sounds callous, but it was the best way for them to get to the airport from Central London!), we hopped in our car and made our way south. We had decided to have a nice little bit of weekend in Kent. Why Kent?

Well, my dad's grandpa (his father's father) was born in Kent, and as James and I are both into geneaology, we thought we'd go have some fun tracking the Wood family down. The Centre for Kentish Studies houses lots of family tree info, and that Saturday was the one Saturday that month it would be open. So we took my laptop and crammed in as much research as we could! We managed to find the house my great-great grandfather worked in as a 15 year old, and the estate where my great-great grandmother lived with her family. Pretty cool that the buildings are still standing. Their owners even brought us inside and showed us around, which was cool. We also found lots of names and birthdates to add to my family tree, so it's grown again!

My passport arrived at the end of August, which meant I could take my Life in the UK test and get the ball rolling on my visa. In order to get my permanent residence visa, I had to take a test to see if I know enough about life in the UK. Things like what percentage of the population is white, is Jewish, lives in Scotland, all sorts of random stuff no Brit I know knows! I felt like throwing up while I waited to find out whether I had passed, Which I did, thank goodness, though it's the only test besides a Driver's test that has ever truly unnerved me. So we began putting all the information together for my application. They don't ask for as much information as they did for my inital visa, but it's still a fair bit of stuff to put together. We packaged up all they had asked for, along with our passports and sent them off. More to follow on this story later...

September also brought something else along. Something that we'd been hoping would occur. We found out, much to our joy and satisfaction, that we weren't going to be just the two of us for much longer. About 36 weeks more alone just the two of us at that time! Yup, if you're not on facebook (who isn't?) and you haven't heard, we're expecting our first addition to our family May 19th. Little "Stig", as we're calling him/her until he/she is born (I got tired of calling it "It") is healthy and I'm 15 weeks into the pregnancy now. And not a bit of morning sickness, which is lovely. I was absolutely exhausted from about week 7 until last week or so, but I'm feeling like my old self again. Oh, if you don't know the British program "Top Gear", Stig is their "tame racing driver". We thought it was a funny name while the kiddo's in utero. We're not going to find out whether it's a boy or girl until it arrives on the scene. But if you can think of initials that should NOT go in front of Ots, please let us know... ie. S.P.Ots or C.L.Ots, etc

I also started in a new position at work. Same school, although it has a different name now. I'm working in a library of a secondary school, which is pretty darn ideal for me, considering how I love working with kids and how much I love reading! It could only be better if it was a primary school, but I can live with that! :)

October, October, did anything happen in October? Hmmm. Nope, can't think of anything.

November 5th we went in for my 12 week ultrasound. Something several people were looking forward to for various reasons. We were looking forward to seeing Stig for the first time and to being able to tell people I am pregnant. My mom and sister were looking forward to being able to tell anyone and everyone! It was so cool looking at our baby for the first time, seeing that little heart beating away. It was all cuddled up, sucking it's thumb, having a snooze by the looks of things (takes after Mommy) when the ultrasound started. The tech had to keep prodding my belly to get the baby to wake up and move around so she could get a good measurement! We heard Stig's heartbeat for the first time last night. My sister-in-law, Becky, lent us their Doppler fetal heart monitor and James had fun trying to find where our kidlet was located so we could hear it best. We even recorded it on my computer and I've put it on facebook (go to the Boxes tab) so people can have a listen if they like. It sounds something in between a steam train, a galloping horse and like our kid is holding a rave in my womb.

I turned 29. Eek! The big 3-0 next year. Good thing I'm sneaking a kid in before then, huh? I had a lovely birthday, the best I've had in Britain yet. Everyone was so lovely, and I had cards and sweets and hugs and all those things that make birthdays nice. We went out for fondue (cheese and oil- too stuffed to fit in the chocolate one afterwards) with some friends later on after work and had a lovely time schmoozing around the table. I love fondues for that, they really are good for conversation, cause you can't stuff your face fast!

December is nearly upon us. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford to fly out to Canada for Christmas AND next summer with the baby, so we gave my family the choice. Everyone but my brother voted for the summer. Bro, if we could afford it, we'd be there with you in a few weeks. Alas, it's not in the cards, so we'll just have to hold out until the end of June! And I can't WAIT!!!!! I do wonder if I'm completely crazy, planning on taking a 9 hour flight with a one month old baby, but I'm crossing my fingers that little Stiggy takes after Mommy and sleeps well on a plane. And gets Mommy's cast-iron stomach and is a good eater. Should help out a bit!

Remember that visa? Well, we had been waiting for it to come back to us. Usually it only takes 4 weeks, but if it doesn't, it can take 17 weeks. Go figure. We had booked a cheap flight to Bratislava for November 20th, and were going to rent a car and drive to the Czech Republic and Vienna, Austria as well, since they're only 60 kilometres apart. Alas, our passports did not make it back in time. So we sent Allison off to Bratislava alone, and decided to go to Norfolk instead. We found a lovely hostel, Deepdale, and had a great time taking pictures of all the scenery, waterfowl, windmills and lighthouses in the area. We even had snow on Saturday evening, so Sunday morning there were some really nice shots to be had. There are a couple of books James read over and over as a kid that took place in the Norfolk Broads, so we drove around to a few of the villages they were set in. It was pretty neat to see how accurate some of the sketches from the books were. Oh, and we had some delicious food, too. The best moules mariniere since Scotland. Mmmmmm.

When we got home, there was a delivery notice on the floor. They had tried to deliver a package Saturday. We went to the post office on Monday after work to pick it up. When I opened the package, I reached in and pulled out our passports, and flipped through mine to see the visa. I couldn't spot it, so I flipped through it slower, and then again. I couldn't believe it wasn't in there. James, meanwhile, had the papers in his hands, and was looking at a letter. Turns out they released a new version of the paperwork just before we posted off our application, and it took them two months to decide that we'd filled in the earlier version and should have filled in the new version. So, despite the fact that the questions haven't really changed (one option was removed, but wasn't one we chose, and they require LESS paperwork to prove identity and living together), we have to fill in this new form and send it all back off. So pray that goes quickly!

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Comment posted by Aurelie at 7:05pm on November 26th 2008

It is so good to hear you guys are doing well! I'm not on facebook, so I don't keep up with the times as much! I'm trying to track down your sister - can you help me? Talk to you soon!

Comment posted by karina at 7:05pm on November 26th 2008

well, i do think your kinda crazy for wanting to fly anywhere for any length of time with a one month old...but if anyone can do it you can :) and at that age they do really do nothing but sleep eat and poop so as longing as the eating and pooping are going well you probably won't have anything to worry about re the sleeping on the plane. are you going to be flying only to pg or are you also planning a wee trip to lovely saskatchewan? :)

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London Town

August 8th 2008, 9:18pm

Yesterday I went to London to drop off my passport application. For the last two years, I've had my passport in my maiden name, and figured it was a good time to get it switched over, as the visa in my current passport expires at the end of September. So on Thursday after work, I had my photo taken, filled in my application, and got on the cheap bus to London at 6:50 Friday morning.

I got into London a bit ahead of schedule, and wandered off in the direction someone gave me (turned out to be the LONG way to where I was going). But it worked out alright, because I managed to find a copy store and get my ID copied in colour. Once I got to the embassy (which I can't believe I've never spotted before - there's like 12 Canadian flags on the building!), getting the application sorted was pretty straightforward. I had a really nice day, wandering all around Leicester Square and Soho and down through St. James Park, Green Park and Hyde Park. There was the coolest tree in Hyde park. I don't know what it was, maybe a weeping alder? It was really big, and its branches went down to the ground, but the trunk was big and gnarled, and kids were climbing it right to the top, their heads peeking out of the very crown of the tree! I had sushi for lunch (mmmm!) and kai-lan, salt, pepper & chili squid and wonton soup for supper. Pretty good stuff. I love chinese food, and I can't get enough of the really good stuff around Coventry. So whenever I'm in London, I try to get some in! I saw a bride and groom walking though the crowds watching the Olympic opening ceremony, the bells of the church next to the square still ringing from the end of their ceremony. I spent an hour looking at various portraits in the National Portrait Gallery. I think I prefer non-portrait paintings.

Highlights of my day? Having two pigeons poo on my head while I was watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics (thank goodness the embassy was right next door - I went and washed my hair in the bathroom sink), seeing a man taking his ferret for a walk and enjoying a good browse through the bookstores on Charing Cross Road.

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Comment posted by rebekah at 9:18pm on August 8th 2008

I had a bird poop on my shoulder during the prayer at my cousin's outdoor wedding. Much fun and laughter was had.

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Weeks Two & Three with Mater and Pater

July 26th 2008, 12:31am

After puttering about Comrie for a day, we headed up over Loch Ness (stopping for a few snaps with the loch, Nessie and the castle) to Eilean Donan Castle. We had lovely sunny weather on the way up and we were greeting with a smattering of rain. We took a wee trip over the bridge to Skye briefly while in search of supper, which seems to have given Mom and Dad the bug for returning to Skye in particular, and Scotland in general.

The next day we jumped in the car nice and early to get to Fort William. We were hoping to catch a ride on the Jacobite train (the one used in Harry Potter), but all the tickets were sold several days in advance. So we decided to "race" the train to the viaduct to get pictures of the train crossing it. It looked so cool, with the billowing clouds of smoke trailing after it.

We spent another two nights at Comrie Croft. After all our nice weather, we had the rain come down on us right before we hit the hay on our last night there. We packed all our gear up in the morning, some of it slightly damp, and made our way back to Cov.

We decided to rest on Friday, as there were gales forcasted for Snowdon, where we were meant to be going. Instead we went to Leicester and met our new niece, and had a brief visit with James' parents. Amelie is so sweet and tiny and such a lovely quiet baby! It will be fun to watch her get bigger.

Saturday we headed to Kidderminster to take the Severn Valley Railway. We got to see several steam trains and rode on four of them. I think we may have to do that more often, it was a lot of fun! Mom and Dad certainly seemed to enjoy the chugging along.

Sunday came with good weather and we were on our way to Snowdon. We decided to take the Pyg track up to the top. What a hike! All the stone stairs that there are to climb - I'm not sure whether they make it easier or not! When we got the top, the wind was blowing something fierce, so James and I headed down to the Snowdon Mountain Railway to take the train down, while Dad went for the very summit and Mom waited for him. They ended up hiking down, with a brief stop at a tea shop while we took the easy way down! Our bunkhouse for the night was a total dive, but luckily Mom and Dad had chatted with the tea shop guy a fair bit, and he suggested a nicer bunkhouse, which turned out well.

We had a relaxed day Monday, and two fantastically busy days in London on Tuesday and Wednesday. We saw Tower Hill, Tower Bridge (it even opened while we were looking at it), the changing of the Guard, St James' Palace, Buckingham Palace, the Horse Guard, 10 Downing, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, Charing Cross Road, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Soho, and plenty of statues! Thursday we dropped Mom and Dad off at the docks in Dover to catch the ferry, stopped in Sandwich for a sandwich (really good ones, too!) and made our way back home. Today I was back to work, and thank goodness for the weekend ahead! I think I shall have a good lie-in!

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Week 1 With The Parentals

July 12th 2008, 9:51pm

Sunday we drove down to Gatwick to pick up my mom and dad from the airport. After driving past Windsor Castle, many "Oh my goodness"es and"Wow!"s later, we finally arrived back in Coventry. James and I spent Monday at work, while Mom and Dad puttered around Coventry, showing themselves the sights at their own pace. Probably a good option, since we've kept them going since! :)

Monday morning, we piled all our gear and ourselves into the car and headed north. We drove up into Derbyshire to see Chatsworth House. Chatsworth what, I hear you say? Well, if you've seen what my sister-in-law refers to as "the cheesy North American ending" of Pride & Prejudice, with Kiera Knightley, it's the house they used as Pemberley for that scene. Very cool gardens, and an AMAZING house! Next time you're looking for a good stately home to visit, try this one, it's the bomb. Then we piled back into the car and made our way to the very wet and rainy Lake District.

We woke up Tuesday morning, all of us feeling a bit tired after pitching our tents on fairly slopy ground, having dug our toes in to stop ourselves from sliding out the front of our tents all night. The rain lifted for most of the day, and we took Mom and Dad over to Hill Top to check out Beatrix Potter's house. We enjoyed sitting in front of the fire at a nearby pub, as we'd been there last year with Sharon. After a short "walk" we went to Bowness-on-Windermere, had some pasties, chilled on the lakefront, and bought a couple of waterproof jackets for James and I so we could stay dry. Good thing, too, because when we got back to the tents, it started raining again.

After a bit of a later start on Wednesday morning, we took the very scenic tour to Ennerdale where we managed to pitch our damp tents in only a spatter of rain. A nice pub lunch later, all fueled up, we hiked up to Crag Fell to look around the area and got a gorgeous view for our troubles just as the clouds cleared from the summit.

Thursday morning, Dad woke us up at 6:11 a.m. (I kid you not - and this is a holiday!!!) and we drove from the east coast of England to the west coast, and just to see some birds. Not just any birds, though. Puffins. They are so great!! We made really good time getting there, and managed to get on a tour boat one hour earlier than we planned. There were lots more puffins on Inner Farne than we had seen on Skomer, just because we were there at the right time this year! But the ride out around the islands was a bit rough - not too bad, but for people who aren't used to the open ocean, not so nice - and one woman had to make a dash for the side. We had a great time taking pictures of the shags and cormorants and razorbills and puffins, I just wish we could have spent more than an hour there. We got back to Seahouses, topped up our baking, and got back on the road towards Comrie. Which is where we are now!

We're kicking back, enjoying being back at Comrie Croft, chatting with Andrew. He's really done a lot to this place, it's fantastic, and his campground is like a Canadian campsite, which is rare over here! We get to meet his little son, Harris tonight, who's only 5 months old! And we have a niece to meet when we get home, whose name we don't even know yet!

Hopefully this kickstarts me on a new blogging run. Hope you like the new design. There are still changes to come, but I wanted to at least get something up and running!

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