A Day Out At Greenwich Maritime Museum

On Saturday 6th April we had a family day out in Greenwich to visit the Maritime Museum. It was lovely to be able to spend the day out as a family with the kids as this is something that we tend to struggle balancing with our busy schedules but definitely intend to do more often.

The Maritime Museum is a place where you can discover the history and treasures behind the associations with the sea and navigation which helps you to understand how these events help shape and change the world we live in today.

The museum itself is free entry and consists of 2 floors with lots to see with the layout being split into various wings allowing easier navigation. It is very child friendly including those with babies and buggies; with easy and spacious access to lifts.

We didn’t get to see everything (as we were with extended family members so had to be sensitive of their time) but was fascinated and entertained by all the painting, figures and activities that we participated in. We walked around and visited 3 main areas which was The Cutty Sark Figure Heads, Sea Things, Polar Worlds and lastly The Great Map/Great Map Café.

Cutty Sark (Figureheads and Decoration)

Cutty Sark is home to the largest collection of Merchant Navy figureheads in the world.

Figureheads are the carved wooden sculptures that decorate the prows of sailing ships. It was thought to be that the figure heads were the spirit of the vessel and offered the crew protection from harsh seas and safeguarding their homeward journeys.

The superstitions of the figurehead meant that the crew would go to great lengths to protect it with most figureheads being ‘females’ probably because of ships being referred to as ‘she’ and as women were not often allowed to board the ships, the figurehead could have been a representation of the sole company on a ship.

We enjoyed leisurely walking around and looking at all the different types of colourful figureheads. There was lots of space for all of us so it didn’t feel overcrowded with a buggy and Nia-Mae also had room to explore.

Sea Things

Sea Things allows the experience of visual spectacles of over 600 objects, where you can also get involved in hands-on-activities such as a maritime personality quiz and interactive share and discovery Maritime memories. Many of the objects are open display so you get to observe and touch close up.

We didn’t get to experience everything in this gallery as there was so much to see and everyones attention span was different with it being a larger group but this is definitely something we would want to participate in at a future date and would recommend for a family with children especially the interactive part.

Polar Worlds

The Polar regions have been a focus for British exploration and scientific enquiry for centuries and continues to do so especially with the era of climate change. This also paved the way for mythical characters and hero’s, where some were lost and some carry on today.

It was lovely to see all the paintings and videos capturing the cold and dangerous climates that explorers bravely faced. Yet being amazed how communities survive in freezing conditions and observing some of the Arctic and Antarctic wildlife.

The Great Map

Lastly we visited the Great Map area where there was a huge floor atlas which you can explore the world, join in with events and play interactive games for children of all ages with it all being free!

Nia-Mae enjoyed using the tablet that allowed her to explore different parts of the world while going on her voyage searching for requested treasures.

There was also 3 toy ships where children could play around on them independently or assisted by an adult by being pushed on the floor atlas (like Nia-Mae was by her daddy)

It was also a way for us all to relax, and for me to feed Josiah with lots of space for his buggy as the Great Map is located next to the Great Map Café where you can sit while kids play all within eyesight.

There was so much more to explore and experience and this is something that can easily be a whole day out. We would definitely want to come back and look at the other areas that we didn’t get a chance to see.

Thank you for having us Greenwich Maritime Museum!

Josiah’s Birth Story

My little man is 6 months old… how time has flown from when I first found out we were having you to holding you closely on your born day. Here’s Josiah’s birth story.

So let’s rewind slightly to when I found out I was pregnant, I had felt some flu-like symptoms for a few days which didn’t develop further put were severe enough to have me bed bound. I asked my husband if he could get me honey and lemon and to also grab me a pregnancy test, I wasn’t expecting anything as I hadn’t missed a period yet but when that line clearly became duplicated I was like this feels all too familiar with the first symptoms I had with Nia-Mae.

The first three months of pregnancy were actually quite smooth sailing where I didn’t suffer with any morning sickness (and what a relief this was as I had suffered majorly when pregnant with Nia-Mae), in fact my pregnancy was the total opposite from the first one which made me believe that I was DEFINITELY having a boy second time around.

The Summer of 2018 was HOTTT!! Second time pregnant and I seemed to get bigger a lot faster, as much as the weather was like being abroad for myself and bump it was torturous. Walking two steps had me sweating buckets but I did my best to enjoy as much as I could with Nia-Mae and my husband by setting up her water pool in the back garden, trips to the park or just steady walks in town.

Fast forward to the final month and after having a hard Summer with a family bereavement and having to spend a month away from home with Nia-Mae, I was actually worried that baby boy would be coming early due to numerous painful contractions which I was definitely not used to in my previous pregnancy. I was so worried that I’d go into labour being in Leeds and having nothing with me but thankfully baby boy decided to stay put and cook some more.

So I’m back at home by September and in overdrive trying to frantically nest and get everything ready… bags aren’t packed and NOTHING has been purchased (not even a vest) but on top of that I’m frantically still working on outstanding orders from my small business before baby boy comes but luckily manage to get everything ready with majority of baby items being in perfect condition thankfully from hand-me-downs we’d purchased for Nia-Mae.

7 months pregnant at my late Grandma’s funeral

It’s a week before your due date and I am so ready for you to arrive that I was going to ask a midwife friend of mine to do a sweep in fear that I’d be overdue which I really didn’t want to be the case. I had been active enough with entertaining a toddler (that isn’t the easiest feat) plus my continuous obsession of needing to nest and keep things clean and tidy. With the freakish Tropical like Summer we were having and it being stuffy both day and night, sleep wasn’t my friend either so the day before you came I had been extra restless and was pacing about the house looking to do anything that would keep me busy such as changing our bedding, continuing with work orders (even though I was on Maternity leave at this point) and if that wasn’t enough an evening of boogie down with my favourite playlist.

All this must have triggered something as prior to having Brixton Hicks contractions a couple of days ago that didn’t develop into labour I wasn’t hopeful when I started having these again in the early hours of Friday 5th October. So I did the usual and timed them with each early contraction being 10 minutes apart and bearable. I’m awake on my own so decide to entertain myself with Netflix while still timing with contractions varying between 8-10 mins but surprisingly over a short space of time the contractions start to be at smaller intervals at every 5 minutes so I decide to call my hospital labour ward as I wanted to be prepared as we still needed our assigned person to be well prepared in order to look after Nia-Mae.

Gravity definitely did it’s part as soon as I was on the phone to a midwife I could barely speak through my contractions at this point and knew that this was the real thing. The midwife first advised me to soak in the bath which unfortunately for me couldn’t be the case as we only had a shower. I’m still timing contractions that are erratically all over the place so thankfully the midwife advises us to come in.

“Get up Miquel, it’s time!”

So it’s now game on and I call my assigned person so that we can arrange for Nia-Mae to be taken to their house…ring ring, ring ring and then straight to voicemail but luckily our second choice was able to come to our house and look after Nee (even though it was completely unplanned for her) While fighting through increasingly painful contractions and getting the last bits ready for Nee eventually it was time to go to the hospital.

Once we’d got to the car the contractions seemed to die down and I was able to get to the ward with ease and check into the waiting room where I decided to call my mum and let her know I was in labour. During mid conversation I had the most strongest contraction that I just handed the phone to Miquel and groaned through the pain. Contractions all of a sudden intensified where I was crying out in pain for the ‘nurse’ not caring who was watching or hearing me and I must have been causing enough noise as a midwife soon came and between her and Miquel on either side partially dragged me to an observation room where I was checked and was 5cm dilated and relieved to be told that I wasn’t going home.

From always wanting a water birth and it not going to plan the first time round, I was adamant about doing the best for a water birth this time and luckily the pool was available so as soon our midwife for delivery was available we were taken to the pool. Contractions before this point had been steady but bearable so when I entered into the pool I asked the midwife ‘How long do you think it will be until I give birth’ and her reply being ‘I can’t specifically say but it’s usually 1cm every hour’ of course I knew this from prior experience but had magically hoped that this wouldn’t be the case second time around as I had stopped dilating at 7cm with Nia-Mae as well as already having an epidural.

I remember looking at the clock and it being just before 7am and predicting that I would give birth around 11am-12noon but oh how wrong was I. I had never used gas and air before but the contractions came on as powerful than ever that in between sucks I was begging the midwife that I now wanted an epidural to which she let me know that the anaesthetist was currently in surgery so I’d have to wait until they were finished but reminded me that this couldn’t be administered in the pool. I DID NOT want to come out the pool as it was giving me a lot of relief despite the pain so I just dismissed the idea but quickly swayed back on forth with each painful contraction demanding that I now wanted the epidural and to allow me to come out of the pool when the anaesthetist was out of surgery.

My poor midwife who was only on duty for an hour before her shift was over did her best to accommodate me as much as possible so went off to try and get the paperwork started for my epidural leaving myself and my husband to continuing labouring. All I remember thinking is if this is how painful it is now then it will be too unbearable by the time I’m ready to push not knowing that I was further along than I realised. I suddenly felt the urge to want to push down and knew that the head was coming but had slid back in and once the midwife came into the room I screamed ‘He’s coming!’ The look on her face was total disbelief as I had only been in the pool not even 30 mins. My husband who had now been in charge of the gas and air due to me overdosing on it had changed positions so that he was now facing me so he could assist me when I needed to take a puff!

All of a sudden I hear him say ‘Im gonna pass out!’ and then see him toppling backwards as he’s fainted taking part of the instrument I needed for my gas and air. The midwife is in total shock and has pulled the red cord for more midwives to assist but to my surprise have paid all the attention on Miquel and left me to fend for myself. I cry out ‘Help’ as I feel that the next few contractions are the ones needed for me to make my last few pushes; I must have sounded so desperate as all I see is this head pop back up and my husband ready to continue his duty as birth partner. And very well timed as the next couple of contractions I could feel ‘the ring of fire’ (which to me didn’t feel as bad as some of the stories I’d heard and felt that my contractions had been much more painful), a few seconds later out slid my beautiful baby boy at 7:24am on Friday 5th October weighing 6lbs and 10oz of gorgeousness. I was in love all over again and so relieved and proud with myself for having the birth plan I’d always wanted… I’d finally had my water birth.

We cuddled for a while until your umbilical cord was cut and then you latched on perfectly while we both enjoyed skin-to-skin contact while Mummy and Daddy grew besotted with you.

Six months later and we are more in love with you than ever. Your big sister adores you and treats you like you’re her own, always ready to give a helping hand with nappy changes (I once luckily just in time walked in on her trying to wipe your soiled nappy) You continue to feed like a champ and although you could sleep A LOT better than you do, it’s probably because you love Mummy loads and want all the cuddles. Despite kissing sleep goodbye for the foreseeable future, Mummy can’t deny that I do and always will love our cuddles too!

Josiah Craig Lambert born Friday 5th October at 7:24am via the quickest water birth weighing 6lb 10oz

Marriage, Motherhood and Maintenance 

As I amend the drafted date and insert the new one a wave of calm and nostalgia come over me… I’ve really missed blogging, just being able to express my feelings, fears, desires, expectations, ventures all visually via my keypad. 

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve been here, and all due to a BUSY period. Time has just flown by… with Christmas nearly already being a distant memory! 

So how has your New Year set off so far?? For myself I must say I’m pretty pleased with what I’m accomplishing so far (although there are still areas lacking and in need of amendment) I am trusting and relying on God to assist me with, cos this woman over here often has no clue most days. It’s ONLY by God’s grace that I have come this far. 

So as my title states I’ll break it all down for ya… 

Marriage


So this here is my gorgeous loving, loyal, hard-working and dedicated husband! We’ve been married 3 years and 5 months and it has been a rollercoaster ride. I’m not going to charade and make it out that it’s been a fairy tale and ‘happily ever after’ because it hasn’t. Christ has been that link that has and is continuing to hold us together, when at times either one of us doesn’t ‘feel’ like being a husband or a wife to each other we continue in our efforts of ‘daily dying to ourselves’ and preserve through.

That’s what I’ve learnt along the years that love and marriage definitely isn’t based on feelings but is a choice. Our selfish flesh always looks out for ‘me, myself and I’ while love focuses on the best interests and needs of the ‘other person’! 

Reflecting over last year really allows me to somberly feel convicted over how I can sometimes take my marriage for granted. The passion, energy and excitement that was put into the foundation of friendship, dating and the delighted anticipation of getting married can seem so easily smouldered by routine, bills, work, church and friends. 

Of course all of that is a natural function of life  but how did it transition into a monotonous cycle that could almost be perceived as Groundhog Day. One simple answer… Investment! Growth in any area requires attention, nurture, habit, evaluation, change, support and increase. If this is so for tangible things such as employment, health, wealth and hobbies how much more should be for our spouses??!

“I need to consciously ensure I daily desposit into our account of love in preparation of ‘rainy days’ so there will always be an abundance of savings previously invested”


My husband is a blessing to myself, my daughter and our home!!! My aim and challenge for this year is to study and actively try to be the best help-meet for him; speaking his love language and purposefully investing all that I have into our marriage.

I look forward to many more years of adventures! 


Motherhood

Over these past four months of looking after my daughter it has revealed and stretched me in so many areas that prior to being a mother were not even thought about. Being a mother means all the time and attention that was spent on my needs cant always be achieved at that specific moment. There’s a little human that doesn’t understand the pile of dirty dishes in the sink need to be washed, dinner that needs to be prepared, a washing basket that is starting to look like the Leaning Tower Of Pisa or the fact that you have a schedule to meet and need to shower and be ready on time so your not late to a venue. The transition into motherhood has allowed me to re-evaluate priories that some of those things don’t matter at that exact time BUT also it is up to me to arrange my time accordingly so that these things are not neglected. This has taken me a lot of juggling and sacrifice, to utilise the time my daughter is sleeping often neglecting sleep, that hot cup of tea or the catch up of my favourite programme. Yes I have learnt these things but with everything in life there has to be balance!! I have achieved this by setting routine and structure, children need consistency and conscious habits; structured bed times and the choice to no longer co-sleep have helped all of us to not only get a good nights sleep but to also revel in each of our along time. 

Alone time for a baby you ask… YES!! Nia-Mae is seeing many new things in her environment, developing daily and exploring new exploits accompanied along with constant human interact can often be very tiring. I believe that as mothers and parents in our efforts to ensure development and interaction through communication we can at times over stimulate their precious tiny minds, by studying my daughters cues, signals and behaviours it has allowed me to understand her needs at that precise time and act accordingly to the best of my ability. Do I get it wrong? At times yes especially in the very early stages but cutting myself some slack with daily reminders that all this is new allows me to enjoy the process and uncertainty in my role of motherhood! 

In the further development and achievement of milestones yet to come, I have to accept that I will be clueless in many efforts,at times make many mistakes. In all that which is out of my control and comfort zone I will eternally be grateful and continue to enjoy this beautiful journey named motherhood! 



Maintenance 

Prior to being a wife and a mother, I very much believed in working hard and playing hard. I would invest in the upkeep of having my hair done at the hairdressers, the renewal of my nail extensions and the splurge of shopping sprees at times I often regretted purchasing as soon as I walked out the shop door. This was SINGLE LIFE. 
Entering into marriage I strongly believed the concept of ‘not letting myself go’ just because I am now married. I would try make time for the maintenance routine in the same manner I was accoustomed to while single, only to soon find that many of those things I had the luxury in paying for would soon have to be replaced with DIY upkeep! 

Yes it may take half the day to wash, blow-dry and straighten my hair but the adjusted priorities of shared currency with my newly wed husband soon brought me into check. Thankfully I still hand the means to go to the hairdressers but the difference is where it was an automatic response now took planning and preparation with a before thought of not just how that decision impacted me but also my husband. 

Fast forward a few years to now being a mummy and the whole persona of maintenance and up keep is now a whole different ball game!!! My thought process of making sure I look good at all times has now been replaced for ‘only on a need to basis’. Half a day spent on the upkeep of my hair has quickly been replaced to low maintenance and protective hairstyles, my nails often go weeks without being manicured and painted and my once luxurious lifestyle of shopping sprees are now a distant memory replaced with bills, nappies and food! The time I do get to buy anything is for my daughter and replaced with online browsing and ordering. 

I am still in the learning process that the added benefits of maintenance have to be planned but yet flexible… yes I still believe in the importance of upkeep and ‘not letting myself go’ but thankfully my mindset has matured into not only thinking what’s best for myself but for the family which I care about and love! 
Here are a few of my quick and daily preparation and ‘fix-its’ 

  1. I get ready at least 2 hours ahead of the intended time so that I can allow for any spontaneous events such as feedings, nappy changes or an explosion of tears 
  2. I utilise the opportunity of my daughters nap times to catch up on luxury showers that can take more than 5 minutes. 
  3. I plan and prepare outfits the night before in order to avoid the hustle and bustle that will only ensure our tardiness 
  4. Hair and nail appointments are ONLY on a need to basis and are chosen with the lowest form of maintenance and renewal possible (weaves and shellac nails) 
  5. Makeup is only worn for events where looking like the walking dead is not acceptable. Local trips or errand runs often do not count 
  6. ‘Me time’ is often achieved at the dead of night when everyone is asleep and I have the quietness to reflect and evaluate

And lastly but by far not leastly 

7. I PRIORITSE! Some things need to be done at that precise time, some later and some not at all.

With all that said and done, I am enjoying the growth with everything that I’m enduring and it is allowing growth and stretching in areas I didn’t even think possible. I love the fact that I am changing for the better and hope and pray I continue to do so that is pleasing to God, my husband and my daughter. 

This year I want to be the best version of me!