Yesterday Ben went back to work after two blissful weeks of paternity leave. The sun shone on the second week especially and Josephine adored spending so much time in the garden with her Papa. The one on one time those two shared while Coralie and I got to grips with feeding and enjoyed some long naps, was priceless for both of them. And with Josephine in bed by 7.30, the evening was left for snuggles with Coralie. I didn't leave the house for seven whole days, only venturing outside into our garden. It was a lovely couple of weeks, easing us all into life as a family of four. I know for sure our boy had a tear in his eye when he was getting ready for work on Thursday morning.
And I have to admit, I went to sleep on Wednesday night a little terrified of what my first day of solo parenting with TWO children would hold. But our girls were both superstars. Coralie woke in the morning with enough time for me to make Josephine's breakfast before she needed feeding, then slept for more than two hours giving Phiney and I time to craft and play. We walked to the local shop before naptime, and I managed to get both girls napping in their beds at the same time from 1pm allowing me to have a shower. We even got out to the meadow for an hour of playing before deciding to head home as a rainstorm approached. It was a huge success. And while today was largely spent watching movies (Toy Story 3 and most of Cars) due to a very sleepy two year old and torrential rain, it was still (mostly) stress-free. I am wholeheartedly giving myself a pat on the back, and awarding our amazing daughters gold stars for helping their Mama so.
Now it's Friday evening, and with a Bank Holiday in the UK on Monday, we have Ben at home for another three days, just to ease us all into life's routines and rhythms returning to normal.
I am so much calmer second time round, so much more relaxed, much of which I am sure has to do with the fact that breastfeeding is going so well right now (more of which in another post). And seeing Josephine step so beautifully into her role as big sister is a privilege. She loves Coralie with all her heart and asks to hold and cuddle her all day. These first weeks as four have been amazing, so quiet and so filled with love.
A few shots I snapped on Wednesday - soaking up those last rays of sun before the rain, the last hours of our babymoon bubble before Ben returned to work. That huge yellow bruise on Phiney's head in the last picture? She fell a few days before while playing in our bedroom and caught her head on the corner of a plug socket. I honestly thought she had ripped her head open, but instead, in the space of 2.5 seconds, a bump the size of a golf ball emerged. She was the bravest girl, and was mostly bemused at having a bag of cold peas held to her head.
I also just wanted to thank so many of you for sending such sweet emails to us, congratulating our little family on the arrival of Coralie. And for those who have asked, Coralie's name is pronounced Coral-ee :)