The Cornells

Where we've been, what we're doing, and photos of the lot!

So what's been happening...?

Well, where do I start...?!

Obviously since Joseph arrived finding time to update my blog has become more and more difficult. With a 3 and a half month old boy and a nearly 3 year old girl in the house, our time simply revolves around them. Not that I'm complaining here mind. We knew exactly what to expect by having the two kids within a few years of each other, and if I'm being honest it's actually easier than me or Jen expected - touch wood! Yes your time is not your own until they're both in bed on an evening, but I wouldn't change it for the world. It does make me wonder what the hell we did with all our time before the kids came along mind!

Joseph's a little star. I don't know if there's actually such a thing, but he really is a 'low maintenance baby'. We have his routine sorted and as long as you stick to this, there's never a peep out of him. He's has quite short cat naps throughout the day every 2 hours, but then on a night time he's in his cot from about 7.30pm - 7.30am with only ever 1 or 2 feeds in between.
When awake there's no doubting how much he loves attention! He will happily chatter away to himself, but as soon as you talk to him he beams from ear to ear, whilst kicking his legs and flinging his arms all over the place. I'm still trying to upload photos to flickr in batches and did two lots last week;

Abigail absolutely loves him! She asks for to see Joseph as soon as she wakes up, she tries to help during nappy changes, she helps to hold is bottle during feeds, and has recently started to give him his dummy when he needs it. It's easy to forget how old Abigail is when you hear her coming out with lines such as "Ah hello little Darlin' ", and "hello little boy"!
She seems to have grown up so fast since Joseph was born, and in her own way become more independent. Abigail skips the potty in favour of going straight from nappies to the toilet, and apart from the during the night nappy, she is now fully toilet trained. She can happily do the whole toilet thing herself which is invaluable when you have your hands tied with Joseph.

We received confirmation this week that Abigail will be starting morning nursery at Bede Academy in September, which is ideal as it's what we requested. This will be around the same time that Jen returns to work after Maternity Leave.
Jen is fine as always and still does her daily best to hold on to her Mother Of The Year title. Not that I'm biased of course!
She was at Liverpool last weekend for Chrissy's Hen Weekend and everyone apparently had a great time. The wedding itself is in Ireland at the end of May and Jen is a bridesmaid so that will be a bit of a frantic time!

Lastly we come to me, where as usual nothing is straight forward!! I started experiencing bad left knee pain around the middle of last year, which was eventually discovered to be a problem with my hip. (Knee and hip share the same nerve endings, so there's a kind of pain transference to the knee when in actual fact it's the hip which has the problems). Docs didn't see any other option than surgery, and because I has such limited mobility the decision was made to get this done as soon as possible so I could get my full quality of life back.
I went into the Freeman Hospital on 8th April for an operation on the 9th. I was lucky enough to get away with a Hip Resurfacing operation as oppose to a full Hip Replacement, which meant I was discharged from hospital 3 days after the op and the recovery time should hopefully be quicker.
The surgery immediately alleviated the pain in my knee, but has obviously left me with some discomfort in my hip during recovery. 3 weeks on, the staples have now been removed and I'm on the road to recovery. I have to use crutches so as not to put too much strain on the new joint during the early stages and I'm on sick leave from work for at least 6 weeks. Driving is out of the question during this time and I must take care not to put too much strain on the hip.
I could waffle on for ages about my stay in hospital and go in more detail about the recovery, but those close to me are probably bored stupid of hearing about it by now!

Finally just to add to everything else we have going on at the minute, work has resumed on the house extension; The lintels have been fitted this week to allow the kitchen wall to be knocked out and form one large kitchen. The kitchen itself was delivered yesterday morning and installation should hopefully begin next week. The kitchen is the biggie, and once that's done we* should be able to plough on with completion of the other rooms. I'll post pics as things progress and they look at bit more interesting!
* I say 'we', but obviously neither myself or Jen can help at all. It's good to watch though! Poor Laurence (Jen's Dad) may as well move in here given the amount of time he's here working on the extension. Needless to say it's very much appreciated.

Sorry again for the ridiculously long post, if you're still reading at this point! Lol. I really need to take a leaf out of Michele's book and do shorter posts on a more regular basis......but I've been trying and failing to do that for years :o)

Happy New...........Baby :o)

First post of 2010 and a happier post it could not be;

Joseph Revell Cornell was born at 6.52am on Tuesday 19th January weighing a hefty 9lb 2oz.

He was 13 days late in arriving so kept us hanging on, and then when he did decide to make an appearance it was done in a hurry...!
Quick Birth Summary; Jen's contractions started at around 8pm on Monday 18th and the contractions were on average 8min 13.7 seconds apart!! Yep it was another chance for my inner geek to try and prove it's usefulness with an application for my iPhone called Labor Mate (American Spelling)

I was told to go to bed around midnight as there was apparently no point in us both staying awake when they were that far apart! I was woken by my mobile ringing not long after 3am, and it was Jen calling from downstairs (!) to inform me they were now approximately every 4 minutes. ('Approximately' - cha, have I not taught this girl anything?!). Anyway, by the time we'd woke my parents up and my Mam came round to stay with Abigail, it was 4.50am when we arrived at the Wansbeck General Hospital maternity ward.
I'll miss the graphic detail out of the next few hours, but if you're keen to hear them Jen is only to pleased to explain them all first hand.!
So two hours after arriving at the Hospital, Joseph was born. Jen's birth record actually mentions that the second stage labour was less than 15 minutes!

The speed of the birth caused a bit of shock for Joseph and he swalled some Meconium on the way out. As a result he spent a day in the Special Care Unit whilst they flushed any remnants of the stuff from his lungs, and gave him an anti-biotic to fight any possible infection. I did a Charity Bike Ride with Abigail in August last year (pics here), in aid of the Wansbeck Special Care Baby Unit and as much as it felt like a good cause at the time, it's only when your child is in there and you see the amazing work they do there that you can really appreciate it.
Jospeh was back with Jen on the Ward for their second night in hospital, and after being given a clean bill of health I brought them home on Friday 22nd January.

Everyone's first question is always "What's Abigail like with him'.....
She didn't really grasp the whole baby thing when he was in Hospital, as it was more of a bigger deal for her to be going to visit Mammy.
She was kind of curious on his first day at home, in that she would smile and point wouldn't really go too close to him.
The next day although she appeared to be taking it in her stride, Abigail was getting a bit upset whenever Joseph cried.
By his 3rd day at home though, she became the perfect little Sister; full of cuddles, saying his name, giving him toys and stroking his head whenever he made the slightest little whimper.
It was all really interesting to see, and impossible not to get a little teary as she has bonded with him more and more. It was also difficult not to laugh when the first time Abgail decided she wanted to hold Joseph on her knee, that he then promptly broke wind :o) .....

Joseph is simply what I would describe as 'chilled out'. He lets us know immediately when he wants his food, makes it obvious when he still has wind to bring up, and sleeps completely soundly. He has a feed around 11-12pm, another around 3-4am and then the morning one is from 6.30 - 7.30am, all of which means we certainly can't complain about the amount of sleep we have been managing to get right from day one.
Although I always suspected that things may be easier the second time around for us as parents of a new born in that we'd have more of an idea of what to expect, I actually underestimated how much of a difference the experience from Abigail would make. Jen and I are both so much more relaxed and able to enjoy this precious family time without that slight niggle at the back of your mind about whether you're doing everything right.

For anyone reading this who has been round to visit with a gift, or sent a card/gift in the mail - can I just say a big THANK YOU. You are all extremely generous. (Jen's badgering me to sort out Thank You cards which I will get too eventually!). The boxes and boxes of neatly folded Pink baby clothes from when Abigail was born turned out to be of no use, but Joseph already has a full blue wardrobe from all of the gifts he's received.

Even when I cannot find the time to update this blog, I will continue to post regular pictures of both Abigail and Joseph on our Flickr page so please check there regularly. And of course Jen will post a selection now and again on Facebook.

Joseph's Flickr set here. Thanks for reading.

A picture paints a thousand words.. it saves me having to type long blog posts....!

Eventually got round to uploading pictures from the past 4 months onto Flickr last week;

In August it was Peter and Joanne's wedding, and I was his Best Man.

I stayed at the Village Hotel with Peter and the two Ushers the night before the wedding. The reception was at North Shields Registry Office and then everyone headed back for a Garden Party at Joanne and Peter's house, where yes I had to make a speech!
The evening doo was then at Seaton Sluice club.

O'Brien Flickr Set and Slide Show.

Also took Abigail to SevenStories for the first time in August, and she loved it.
It was early on a Sunday morning and she basically had the run of the place.

Definitely somewhere we'll take her too more often and it's probably also somewhere relaxing to go when we've two children in tow...!

SevenStories Flickr Set and Slideshow.

In September it was Andrew (Maddy) and Sara's wedding, and I was an Usher.

The whole day was at Doxford Hall, which I have to say is one stunning place.

Maddison Wedding Flickr Set and Slideshow.

Then finally just to explain the last of the Flickr photos, I attended a charity day at The Races where I got to meet Alan Shearer and current Newcastle Goal Keeper Steve Harper.

On the subject of photographs, I recently came to the conclusion that it's time I moved on from Compact Digital Cameras to the real deal Digital SLR Camera format.
Sold my old one on good old eBay and the new one is due to arrive any day now, so expect a shed load more pics starting to appear on Flickr....! Could have waited for possible bargains in the sales but I need to make sure I'm familiar on how the thing works before baby no.2 arrives, and as you can see from the count down at the top of this page that's really not long at all now.
Jen is doing really, really well and she literally NEVER moans or complains during pregnancy. Don't get me wrong I know she's getting towards her limit now and is about ready to pop, but it has to be said that she's an amazing mother.
It's also a bit worrying that people are forever commenting that she suits being pregnant....!!!!

Past Halfway Already!

We went for the 20 weeks baby scan last week. Yep, that's 20 weeks already!!
I know I speak for Jen here too when I say that the whole pregnancy thing is obviously a lot more relaxed the second time around, but I seriously can't believe how quick it's going. Obviously not a bad thing like, because it means baba will soon be here.

Scan went really well. They normally only last about 15 minutes, but because there was a trainee guy there too it went for double the length of time which was a bonus for us.
Although we've chosen Wansbeck Hospital for the actual birth, you can literally be sent to any of the surrounding hospitals now for the routine scans. A lot of pregnant women around at the minute* so they're sharing the scan appointments around. I guess there's a lot of truth about how people are staying in more during the credit crunch!!

Time to Blog Off?

Another geeky post I'm afraid...! Just trying to decide whether to switch Blog host providers from here to HERE

At times this Country REALLY DOES SUCK!!!!

It's time for me to have another rant..!
Following on from my earlier post about Swine Flu and how I think it's being blown massively out of proportion by the press and the powers that be in this Country, I was disgusted to read one of the bits of advice on the National Childcare Trust's (NCT) website;
So they are reporting that the DoH advises people trying for a baby should wait until the Swine Flu situation calms down! You've probably heard about all the back tracking and re-wording which has taken place since this statement but I'm still astounded that it was even said..!

- Surely they must have realised how this would make recently pregnant women feel?!
- As for the reference to couples in the middle of IVF treatment, it's got to be one of the most stressing things to go through as it is, and thinking positive must be hard enough without having this doubt to consider.
- So a possible population dip and then the following population explosion when things calm down would be acceptable would it?! Where are we here - 1944 in the middle of World War II?!
- Given the plight of the Country now with an ever increasing Measles problem because of the supposed MMR advice, surely there should be greater controls on such press releases by now?!

The more this Swine Flu situation rolls on, the more and more despondent I get with the Country's approach to handling it!
I'll finish with this cartoon from the Daily Mail;

Another member to join the Cornell household

As most people will now know, and as briefly mentioned in an earlier post, Jen is pregnant again :o)
Our latest addition, still code named Button2 at the time of writing, is due around the 4th of January 2010. I say 'around' the 4th because we've had 2 scans (1 private and 1 NHS) and the predicated dates vary between the 4th and 6th of Jan. Also when we had the private scan they had the facility to do 4D images as well as the usual 2D. They're not that clear at this stage of the pregnancy but still interesting to see and extremely clever when you take into account how small baba is at this stage.

Jen's doing really well and touch wood no morning sickness this time either so far. Obviously there are days when she's absolutely shattered from running after Abigail etc but she never complains about it. Feel really sorry for her at the minute though because she's been suffering really bad with her hayfever. Normally a tablet tends to calm it down, but she doesn't have that option with being pregnant.

Timing wise Jen should start her maternity leave when she finishes work for Christmas so that works out quite nicely. And let's just say the usual question of "What we going to do for New Year", won't be getting asked in our house this year!!

There'll be 2 and a half years between Abigail and Button2 which is about what we'd always hoped for. Certainly different to the 8 years between me and my Brother! Abigail is fascinated with "Babas" and I can't wait to see her with a new baby in the house....