17 August 2018

Blessing Day

My family came to visit me! AH!

But first, there are two things we need to stop and discuss about the above photo:

1) Look at my hair. I literally woke up like that. WHAT?! I waited 9 months for pregnancy hair and I finally decided that I'd just missed out on that genetic perk. Then suddenly I had a baby and VAVOOM! Beautiful covetable locks without even trying. Let this post stand as photographic evidence that this magical hair moment actually happened. 

2) Look how young my ma looks. It used to drive me bananas when people would say "That's your mom? She looks like your sister!" But even I have to admit that she looks pretty darn young in this photo. Here's to hoping I inherited some of that.

So, this is my parent's first ever visit across the Atlantic and I have to say I was a bit anxious before they came. My mom has historically had a lot of anxiety with flying and my dad is usually swamped with work, so a trip this far away has previously not been a possibility. However, the siren call of their grandson's baby blessing was enough to lure them to this side of the pond.

My mom came out a week early and gave me some much-needed help. Since Ezra is an almost exclusively express-fed baby, I find I just don't have enough arms to get things done. By the time I pump, feed and get him to sleep, it's time to start pumping again and the day just zips passed me. She was a godsend.

However, the best thing about having my mom here is that she loaded me up with motherly perspective. For example--at first--I thought E was not a very cuddly little baby. He liked to arch his back and would fight me for a good quarter hour any time I'd try to put him into a sling. But when my mom came she pointed out how easily settled he was, how much he adored being held and how he loves being around people. "This baby," she said repeatedly, "is a VERY cuddly baby."

This made me see him differently, which made me respond to him differently, which I think has--in turn--actually made him a more snuggly child. Now he cuddles with me for hours between feeds and it is glorious.

We had lots of adventures around Bath, including happening about the nation's most scrummy doughnut (Pippin Doughnuts we're lookin' at you!). My mom would not shut up about it. Honestly, she talked of almost nothing else for days and was devastated (almost to tears) when she learned the artisan market we bought them at is only open once a month.

I'm pretty sure the next artisan market is on my birthday so I may have to go eat one in her honour.

Once my dad and youngest sister, Clara, arrived there were more adventures to be had. For several days, my parents took baby in the morning while they puttered around town which meant I could start to whittle through my to-do list. I've never got that much done in so little time before baby. Maybe being a mum gives you superpowers? Is that possible? I think yes. It is the only plausible explanation for how my mother survived seven children.

One evening we went to tour the Roman Baths, which is sort of the main tourist attraction in this town. I'd never been to the Baths before because ticket seemed so outrageously priced (and I'm unabashedly cheap). I had no idea there was a huge museum complex as part of the tour. It was actually really incredible and well worth the spendy admission fee. Highly recommended.

Finally, Jon's dad arrived and we all got to spend time together. I really love how well our parents get on with each other. Our dads walked and chatted like best mates and it was so lovely to watch.

Finally, the day of the main event arrived. My sister Elizabeth knitted this absolutely stunning blanket from baby alpaca wool then surprised me by making a making an extra pair of booties and a hat to match. What a rock star! This is definitely going to be THE heirloom blanket I use for all my babies.

I wasn't able to save the original blessing outfit (I mangled it beyond repair), but I did manage to add a few special touches to the one we ended up using (like adding little wooden buttons). He was the most precious squishy angel and didn't make a peep for the whole of church, even as he got passed around from person to person to person.

I love the photo on the right, but I now retract what I said about my mom earlier. I've definitely inherited her youthful genes because I'm pretty positive I look about 16 in that photo. It's bittersweet--I'm sure one day I'll appreciate it.

Look at all these beautiful people! They are all colleagues from Jon's work that all showed up to support him on this special day. I couldn't believe it! They were all so complimentary and kind and full of love. All the feels were there. 

Below is Ekta holding baby E when he decided he was so over taking photos. Little man already knows his own mind.

And finally, here are three generations of Young men! Love each one of them and having my family here made the whole thing 100x more special.

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