June 4, 2018

Cardiff

We had a long weekend for the bank holiday (plus Andrew's half-term break) and while we spent most of it relaxing at home, we decided to be ambitious and take a day trip to Cardiff!

We planned it for just one day because we have a new baby and I was not interested in cramming our new family of five into a little hotel room, especially while we have a baby who wakes multiple times during the night to eat.  And while we had several things on out list of things to do and see, we were able to fit it all into our one day so it worked out really well!

The drive was about an hour and a half from home to our first stop: Caerphilly Castle.  This castle is the real deal!  We've been to several castles since moving out here but this one is by far the most intact and open for exploration.  We were able to climb the spiral staircases up into the towers as well as around the grounds.  We said hi to the baby dragons, and there was even a little setup on the grounds with tents and costumed actors doing all kinds of things like sword fighting and archery demonstrations.




Next we headed into town for lunch.  Though there were lots of great options on the high street, we ended up at McDonald's (because kids).  After lunch we walked around and took a look at all the shops. The little market streets were so neat- they are clear-ceilinged streets with small shops.  A lot of them were closed (due to the bank holiday probably) but they were still neat to see.

Once we had our fill of wandering and shopping, we wandered over to Cardiff Castle, which is right at the end of the high street.  There was a lot to see here: the keep, the house, the bomb shelter tunnels (within the castle walls), and the Welsh soldier museum.  We didn't do the guided tour, but apparently some of our favorite shows have filmed here!



Our next stop was Cardiff Bay.  We didn't have anything we wanted to do here, but rather landmarks we wanted to see.  We took the train (which was a welcome break for my feet even though it was only about a four minute ride) and then it was just a few minutes walk to the bay.  We stopped for a bit in front of the Millennium Centre and I fed the baby while the big boys played with the water tower fountain (aka Torchwood).  We went over to the water and made a quick stop at Ianto's shrine (another Torchwood entrance).





By this time my feet were killing me and it was about dinner time.  There were a lot of restaurants at Cardiff Bay, but we decided to head back to town, get in the car, and stop for food along the way home since we were already going to be getting home late.  If/when we come back to Cardiff we'll have to make a little more time for the Bay!  But the only thing I wanted to see but couldn't was the Doctor Who Experience.  It closed back in the fall, before we had a chance to go, but there were still directional signs up for it all around Cardiff Bay, just to taunt me.  Lame.

We crammed a lot into that one day and though it was tiring, it was also a lot of fun!


*You can check out this post, and others about our travels, on Kimblers Abroad*

May 8, 2018

David's Birth Story

Baby's due date was May 1.  Since Brandon came about a week early, I was hoping this baby would follow his lead (rather than Andrew's) and not make it to the due date.  In the weeks leading up to the due date I was having irregular and non-painful contractions (Braxton Hicks) so I wasn't sure what to expect, timing wise.

At my 38 week appointment with my midwife, she agreed to do a membrane sweep at my 40 week appointment if I hadn't had the baby yet by that point.  So I showed up on May 1st for my appointment (much to my disappointment, because I was REALLY feeling ready for him to come before then!) and got checked and got the membranes swept.  She confirmed that baby was lower than my at my last appointment and I was about 2 cm dilated.

Since Aaron had taken a half day to come to my appointment with me, we decided to go out for lunch while my mom stayed at home with Brandon (Andrew was at school).  I felt a few random contractions that afternoon but mostly things continued as normal.  

That evening after the kids went to bed, my mom, Aaron, and I played a board game (Payday).  Again, some random and irregular contractions but they were starting to get more intense.  It seemed clear that labor was coming, but the contractions were still far enough apart that we didn't know whether we would be heading to the hospital that night or in the morning.

We went to bed around 11:00pm.  Almost as soon as we went to bed the contractions started coming close enough together that I couldn't sleep between them or through them, and at around 12:15am I got out of bed and started wandering around the bedroom, stopping to lean over the bed and breathe through contractions.  They were coming anywhere from 2-6 minutes apart when we called the maternity triage line at 1:30am.  I talked to the midwife for less than 10 minutes and had 3 contractions during the call so she told me to go ahead and come in to the hospital.

We arrived at the delivery floor of the hospital around 2:15am and they got me into the triage room.  After checking me, the midwife said I was dilated to a 3 between contractions but a 5 during them.  She left triage to get a room ready for me and during my next contraction my water broke (2:30am).

We got into a delivery room and my midwife asked me what kind of pain management I wanted.  I told her I was leaning toward getting an epidural, since I had done it that way with my other two.  In the mean time she offered me gas and air, which I used for a while but didn't feel like it really helped with the pain at all.

Things were starting to get really intense so my midwife checked me again at 3:10am.  I was dilated to an 8 but she said she could stretch me to the full 10cm.  It was basically too late for an epidural- she said she could request one for me but wasn't sure they'd get there on time.  Soon after that I felt ready to push and David Joseph Kimbler was born at 3:36am on May 2!  He was put right on my chest and Aaron cut the cord once it stopped pulsing.

I continued to hold him while the placenta was delivered and my midwife stitched me up, then he was weighed and measured and given back to me to start breastfeeding.  Then Aaron finally got a chance to cuddle his new baby while I took a shower and put on some clean clothes.

Eventually we moved up to the maternity ward until we were discharged at around 2:15pm that same day, less than 12 hours after David's birth.

Andrew and Brandon were both super excited to meet their new baby brother!  They have been very sweet with him and are always very interested in what "Baby David" is doing.  Grandma (my mom) has been here and is helping out a lot, plus Aaron has been home from work, making the transition a lot easier.  I think we'll all feel the difference once Grandma is gone and Daddy's back at work!


March 2, 2018

York

We decided to spend half-term break up in York. Unfortunately we had some cold and wet weather while we were there but we were able to find some fun indoor stuff to do to stay dry.

We spent some time at the National Railway Museum...

and the Yorkshire Museum.



We walked on the city walls.

We went to the Jorvik Viking Centre...

climbed many steps up to Clifford's Tower...

and explored the York Castle Museum.

We spent some time in York Minster...

and shopping on The Shambles.


Then we stopped by Hogsmeade Station (Goathland Station)...

on our way to some abbeys and castles, including Whitby Abbey (a location from Bram Stoker's Dracula).

And we spent a good portion of a day exploring the ruins of Fountains Abbey.

Though we were all ready to be back in our own warm beds by the end, we had a really great week!

*Check out our travel blog, Kimblers Abroad, for a more detailed post about this and all of our other trips!