Tuesday 18 December 2012


Some pre-Christmas pictures we've been saving up for you...

I really like this picture of Naomi - it's on my desk at work

Naomi has started a phase of squeezing in to places such as cupboards. Here she is in the bag shelf under the buggy.

Grandma (my mum) came to visit for a couple of days...

This also meant that there was someone around to capture a couple of family shots
Family shot II

I'm not sure what to make of this!

Miriam has had ridiculously good head control since birth (Naomi did too). So she likes to look around - and is getting much better at this, tracking me around the room.

Ahh, the Beano. That's a bit more like it.

"How many more pictures do we have to see?"


Naomi has enjoyed having access to the baby bath, and we regularly find her squeezing herself into it. As of a few days ago, we've started to bath Miriam at the same time as Naomi (albeit still in the baby bath) - so now Naomi's bath time involves little in the way of playing and a lot in the way of craning over the side of the bath to see her sister.

I like this picture a lot too, they both look like they're having a lot of fun.

Okay, so I don't really get the whole Christingle business, but apparently it's a big deal in England (though saying that - my boss at work had never heard of it...) Naomi was old enough to engage with it this year, and had lots of fun singing and dancing, then peering at the candle. Best of all, when it was announced from the front that parents could blow out candles for the last part if they wanted, she was in like a shot and had ours blown out. She then let out a very loud "YAY" when we were told that the eating of the sweets could commence, and soon all of ours were gone.

Sunday 16 December 2012


Poor Miriam, you come second time round and your parents don't update the world nearly so often about how you are getting on because they spend all their time running around after your big sister!  That said, here are some updates for you.

On December 6th Miriam weighed 9lb 15oz which is good weight gain, not to little, not too much.  In fact she is almost exactly average being on the 50th percentile when plotted on a graph of babies her age.

Miriam is not a terrible sleeper but she isn't fantastic either, her main issue is that she isn't a fan of her Moses basket but we think this might be related to some reflux issues she is having, we are starting to try and resolve those now so hopefully she'll be sleeping better/longer (at night) soon.

As her sister did at this age, Miriam loves being out in the buggy and loves our almost daily trips to some toddler group or other or just a trip to Tesco, I am incredibly grateful for this as Naomi and I go to quite a few things.  Miriam also seems to think the car isn't a terrible place to be, we are all grateful for this as it is now only three days till we travel back North for Christmas!!

Miriam is learning to enjoy some toys as well, here is Sandy shaking a rattle for her, seeing as she has not yet found her hands she is unable to do it herself, just yet!  You will see that she breaks into a smile during this (and if you have the sound on you will realise that Sandy and I like to watch Star Trek on a Saturday afternoon, don't judge us!!)

Hoping to see some of you while we are up over the next couple of weeks but keep reading for more updates (hopefully) coming soon!!

Thursday 6 December 2012

Saturday 1 December 2012


A few months back (before we moved) we were given a toddler bed for Naomi, for the time when the cot was no longer able to accommodate her. Since moving, this has been set up in her room, partly as a means of storage, but also to help her get used to the idea. Occasionally, it's been mentioned to her that this will one day be her bed.

Over the past few weeks it's been getting a bit dodgy having her in the cot. On days when she's not in the mood for sleep (usually this happens at nap time) she's been getting very close to climbing over the top of the cot; with a hard floor this presents some risk of injury! We've held off moving her into the big girl bed until Miriam had been around for a bit, so there wasn't too much disruption in one go. Last night though, she started pointing at the bed and was quite upset when she got put into the cot. Seizing on this as an opportunity for a stress-free transition, today we got the necessary stair gate to prevent escape from the room onto our landing, and tonight Naomi made the move into big girl territory.

Leaving her room, I looked at her lying quite happily in the new bed, and at her empty cot. For the first time, I felt just a bit like she is growing up too fast, and was a bit sad :(

Completely unrelated, today is the first day of December, and Naomi's very much enjoying her advent train of chocolatey goodness.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

A couple of random pictures

Naomi has been a very lucky girl and been given a number of gifts to congratulate her on becoming a big sister.  Here is one of her favourites, from Auntie Heather, Uncle Theo and her cousins.  I particularly love that the pink fairy dress is, here, being sported along with jeans and pink welly boots (or wra wra as Naomi calls them)

Also back in action is the sling that Auntie Fay bought when Naomi was very small.  I love this sling and I am very happy that Miriam seems to love it too, Sandy and I love the look of the tiny legs sticking out the bottom, very good being little on display earlier today as the sling was used to help our over-tired baby take a nap!

Compare and Contrast

Lots of people have been saying to me how much Miriam looks like Naomi and I tend to agree, I thought it would be interesting to compare a picture of Miriam with one from when Naomi was small.

So, here is Naomi...

and here is Miriam...

As you can see, apart from some extra hair which is a bit darker, they are indeed very similar, definitely sisters!

Friday 16 November 2012

Miriam Barbara Elizabeth Brownlee

So, after more waiting than Jay would like, but still two days before her due date Baby II made her appearance into the world.  Miriam was born at 2:18am (for those who like to be precise) on Friday November 9th 2012 weighing 7lb 10oz and has already made her mark on the family.  All of us, even the previously smallest member of the family, love her lots and we're all trying to work out what her various cries and squeaks mean, but (so far) she really is a chilled out wee girl who is quite happy to go with the flow and even deals well with being poked in the eye by an over enthusiastic big sister!

About an hour old, having already stolen Mummy's heart
Miriam slept most of her first night/day, this is us still at the birthing centre

Daddy came back to visit the next day but having not got home till after 6am he was tired and proud in equal measure!

With Daddy came a VERY excited big sister, this was the first time they met.

Naomi wanted a cuddle, it was very awkward for everyone involved but also very sweet

A much appreciated fruit basket (and chocolate and a book) from Open Heaven

Partly for her own safety Miriam now spends a fair amount of time in the Moses basket, slightly out of reach of Naomi!

It's hard work being a baby

Sandy loves babies that look incredulous, here is Miriam's first effort!

Believe it or not there is a baby in there!  Naomi just loves trying to help, some of the time it is even helpful!


A proud big sister shows her sister off as we make a trip to Tesco,  Miriam was less convinced.

I fear that Naomi might be sad when the flow of presents dries up, for now she loves all her big sister presents and helping Miriam open her well-done-you're-a-baby presents.

Much of this week has featured this activity

I'm pleased to say that cuddling has got better and easier as you can see here (though Naomi still has an odd camera smile!)
So, that just about sums up our first week.  We are all tired, Naomi too, but we're working out how to be a family of four and having some fun along the way.  I am very pleased that Sandy isn't going back to work till the end of next week but at the same time it will be exciting to see how it works when the children outnumber the parents while Daddy is at work.

Looking forward to seeing you all out and about and to those of you in Aberdeen direction, we'll see you at Christmas time when we travel North for the winter (aren't you supposed to do that the other way round?)

Wednesday 7 November 2012


While the limbo period of Baby-II-nearly-here continues, Naomi keeps us well entertained. She's a little ill at the moment (as am I) but she's still full of energy.

One of the things she really likes to do is dance, and particularly to our odd tastes in music. Here she is a few days ago having a bit of a ceilidh with her bear, accompanied by the legendary Shindig.

Now a couple of recent pictures...

As winter nears, it's even getting cold in England now!

Naomi has taken to enjoying mummy and daddy's bed on the occasions she comes into our room (this is during the day when we have to get something from there, mind: she's very good at staying in her own bed during the night). She's also most particular about making sure it's quiet when this happens. She even pats my pillow indicating that I'm meant to be sleeping too. At the end of a long day at work it's hard to turn this down!

Friday 2 November 2012


The Broons is an essential piece of reading for Scots; it's where expressions like "Jings, Crivvens, Help ma Boab!" can be readily found. So we were most pleased to see Naomi enjoying our Broons Annual prior to bathtime a few nights ago...


Saturday 27 October 2012

Love you Baby Brownlee

In keeping with this letter that I wrote to Naomi when we were expecting her I have I have decided to write a letter to our new baby.

Baby Brownlee, I am already conscious that you are suffering slightly from second-child syndrome.  Your Dad and I never really got to coming up with a nickname for you while you are in my tummy and this letter comes later in my pregnancy than with your sister.  The thing is, though, it doesn't mean we are less excited about you arriving and it definitely doesn't mean we love you any less.

I am so excited about meeting you and I already love you more than words can express.  As I sit and type this I can feel you kicking me in the ribs and although it hurts quite a lot it makes me realise that you are already working out how to make your presence known, I know that you are going to be a massive part of my life and this family because I know you are going to be just incredible.

I am excited for seeing what you look like, I feel like we've had a sneak peek having already met Naomi, but you will look just like you, you will be one of a kind and I am really looking forward to knowing what that is like.  I can only imagine you will be beautiful.

I am even more excited, though, to find out what your personality is like.  If the old wives' tail is to be believed and the temperament of a baby still in utero relates to the child that baby will become, I think you will be quite calm and chilled out (which having been dealing with your big sister for nearly two years now I am not sure what that looks like) and I suspect you will be quite contemplative.  It's up to you, though, baby.  You can be whatever you want.  God will have woven hopes and dreams and desires into you and you can follow those as you want, I will consider it a privilege to help you work out what those things are.

Baby, you will be beautiful, I am sure.  You will be incredible, I am sure.  You will steal my heart, I am sure.  I can't wait to meet you.  Come and meet me, it's great out here, we have milk and cuddles, these things are brilliant and we have your big sister, she is also brilliant.  Hope to meet you very soon, indeed!


Monday 22 October 2012

Guess the flavour, date and weight

We now have fewer than three weeks till our due date! All preparations are almost done so it is just a case of waiting for baby to decide to make an appearance.

When we were still expecting Naomi we ran this competition and thought we'd run another now.  As with last time the only prize is the joy of winning.

So, we're looking for your predicted date of arrival, weight of baby and of course gender!

Due November 11th and for those that think these things matter here is an up-to-date picture of the bump!

Comment to "enter"...

Thursday 18 October 2012


Another assortment of pictures from the last couple of weeks...

The new house is much nearer to many people in our church. An extra bonus is that one the weeks I'm driving the van, it's now parked five minutes away instead of twenty! The first experience here was even better though, thanks to a late night session, the last guy who used it parked it right outside the house, so I got a bit more time that morning. Here it is in all its glory from our living room window.
Naomi is adding new words every day now, and a favourite of the moment it "AAAT", or as most people call it, "hat". Here she is sporting mine.

We got this shower curtain from thinkgeek.com, and I picked it up from America in July (thanks to Rick for holding it for me). We saved it for the new house. Chic or what?

One of the only negatives of the new house was that it didn't come with a shed, but the weekend after we moved we were given one! It was pretty old and rotten, but also huge - 10'x6' - so I cut it down to a more sensible size and in doing so removed most of the rotten bits. In the end all it cost was a new roll of roof felt, some preservative and two big posts to hold the floor together. Much appreciated!

No comment!

Mummy's bump is now apparently quite comfortable.


My parents came down a couple of weeks ago to look after Naomi, so Jay and I could have a bit of a break before the new baby comes. This was the longest Jay had been away from her (2 nights!) and was pretty hard, but the weekend was very nice.

We got a very good deal on a room in Chesterfield, you can see the squint church spire right out of our window...

The room was very warm given the time of year :( Fortunately the place had a pool and jacuzzi which were much appreciated.

Naturally we went for a short walk in the Peaks, and on the advice of my supervisor Jon we did a lovely walk that lasted about an hour and a half, concluding with one of the very English pubs that seem to cover this part of the world.

View from pub. Note hot air balloon.

All in all a very enjoyable weekend. Grandma and Granddad had a nice time with Naomi (who enjoyed having more people to show off to), and they were here for over a week in total. Most fun.