Monday, 30 April 2012

Frogs and snails, and puppy dog tails...

...that's what little BOYS are made of!

On the 29/04/2012 at 20:51 my sister welcomed a little boy into our family. He weighed in at 8Ibs and he is 20 inches long. I am over the moon to be an auntie and I am so proud of Nicola for going through 18 hours of labour!


Introducing Cohen James Nicholas here with his very proud Daddy!

Cohen is a name they came across which they both really liked. At first it took getting used to when I first heard it but it's suits him and it's unusual without being freakishly weird. James is a name that runs in Robbie's family so they wanted to keep tradition going.  

I am so pleased Nicola got her April/spring baby. I'm happy he is a boy as I know Robbie secretly really wanted a son but most of all I am so happy he is healthy. Nicola and Robbie had a rough start to the pregnancy with being told they had a high chance of a downs, cystic fibrosis or heart defect baby. For him to be born healthy and absolutely fine is just the best feeling!

Nicola is doing brilliantly and they will be going home tonight to be alone just the three of them. Due to my work schedule and them not living so close by I won't be able to visit til the end of the week which I cannot wait for!

I'm so glad you're here, Cohen. I adore you so much already. 

Love Auntie Becca x x x

Monday, 23 April 2012

Overdue.

I cannot imagine how frustrated Nicola is right now because I am walking around on egg shells waiting for the call that I am an aunty!

I nick named my niece/nephew a "little terror" at the beginning of the pregnancy and he/she is certainly living up to the title!

She was due the 19th April, so she's only 4 days overdue but that has been a long 4 days. Every time my phone rings I hope it's Robbie telling me he is a Daddy! Ultimately, the baby will decide when to make his/her appearance but I am really feeling for Nicola. She's so uncomfortable now and getting very little sleep due to it.

She had an appointment with the consultant about being induced today but they said everything is fine and that they'll wait until the 30th April to induce her. It sounds bad but Nicola has always dreamt of having a spring baby. They did not plan to have an April due date at all but she loves the idea of having an April baby so I hope, for her sake, that little dream does come true!

The only date Robbie did not want the baby born on was today - as it is St. Georges Day today (our patron saint of England!) and Robbie is Welsh haha! Man this couple are picky with dates for this baby, no wonder he/she is making them sit it out!

I don't think we can wait another week! So please baby come soon. The whole entire family cannot wait to meet you!!!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Cornwall.

Last week Si and I went for a break to Cornwall in south west England. If anyone who has never been to England before I would never recommend London as being your main stop. England has such beautiful countryside and much nicer locations to enjoy! Cornwall is one of them and we had a lovely 4 days there. Instead of doing a long drawn out post I just wanted to share some photos from our time there.

We arrived late in the evening and had fish and chips on the beach. It was one of the best sunsets I have ever seen!

The following day we went on a 10 mile bike ride along the Cornish north coast. I haven't rode in years since my bicycle was stolen 3 years ago. Luckily I didn't fall off but I had the most numb bum at the end of it! The path we took was from Padstow and it was called The Camel Trail. It was originally the  old train line which they stopped and it's now a scenic route!

We then spent the afternoon in Padstow -  the famous fishing village. Sadly it rained quite a lot but we took a speed boat ride around the quay and then had lunch.

After lunch we played miniature golf and I got two holes in ones! Wahoo! In the evening we went out for a Chinese. 

The following day was much SUNNIER! I love my sunshine. It was a special day for Simon as we went to a little town called St. Mawes on the south coast. His Grandpa's ashes are scattered here as it was his favourite place and I can totally see why. I got lost in my own little world there.

St. Mawes

Now if you want the best scones in the world then go to Cornwall. They are renowned for their famous Cornish clotted cream and jam. I wish I could have taken a heap home with me! We then spent the rest of the day in Falmouth and then we then went for a date night in Padstow again.

Si surprised me with this necklace after our Italian meal. It's beautiful!

After we came back - FULL!

The following day we had to leave our little bed and breakfast guest house. The scenery and views were amazing!!! Imagine waking up to this everyday?!

On our way home we stopped off in Fowey (pronounced Foy). It's popular for it's ice-cream. In fact Cornwall do the best clotted cream ice cream (sorry Italians!). We took a boat out and took a tour of the bay. I have never driven a boat (put put) before so it was quite fun!!!!

Fowey joy!!!

Our last picture before leaving. I will remember this view behind us for the rest of my life!

Even though I have just come back from America it was nice to go somewhere for a couple of days just to relax and do a few things. I almost needed a little holiday to recover from the previous one because America was so jam packed!!! We will be returning to Cornwall again.

Oh and TODAY is my sister's due date. She is really feeling it now as struggling to sleep and now she is off work she is literally nesting and twiddling her thumbs. I really want to meet this niece/nephew of mine so HURRY PLEASE!!!!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Please Check.

This will either be a blog post that makes you feel really awkward or hopefully a post that empowers you in some way. I hope it's the latter, if not then I apologise for any weird feelings you come across as you read this.

Do you check your breasts?

I mean - regularly - check your breasts?

As I'll be honest I never did until about a year ago. However, after meeting so many (I cannot even count any more) breast cancer sufferers say "If only I had checked my breasts more often...I would have found the lump much sooner" that I felt the need to say to myself just check once a month!

Last month just before America I found a little lump in my left breast, no bigger than a couple of pea sizes. I've been to my doctor and she says it doesn't feel sinister. It feels more like a cyst or protruding cartilage on the sternum. So I am having further tests to see if it needs to be removed etc.

But that's not the point.

The point is if I had not checked my breasts last month I would not have found it. It could have been left to become sinister at a later point. I work on an all female ward and I asked some of my patients if they knew how to check their breasts properly, You know what? None of them did it properly or in the best way. They were rotating their fingers (which only moves tissues further away), prodding into breast tissue and some just looked down and said "I don't see any lumps". It's not their fault. I think it's largely to blame from lack of information and guidance on the subject. 


The video is really good as it shows the 'cupping' method you use and it was this programme that prompted me to check a week after my cycle each month. 


It literally takes a couple of minutes. One of the things my patients say to me is that breasts are so 'lumpy' anyway due to the mammary glands. However, usually when your checking your breasts - correctly as seen in the video - abnormal lumps tend to 'pop out' a bit because they're not meant to be there. If not, go to your doctor to confirm as I did.

I think the biggest misconception is that younger people don't have to check. I'm 23 and the thought of something like breast cancer at this age doesn't compute to me but I had a 24 year old with breast cancer last week to take care of. So it reignited my instinct to check my breasts regularly again.

Please do it. I don't mean to make anyone uncomfortable but to me it is so very important and it saves lives.

Are you an advocate of this?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Las Vegas & The End.

Las Vegas...I can now totally see why it is called Sin City! The only place in the USA where drinking, gambling and prostitution is legal all in one state.

When we first arrived I will admit I felt a little - scared. There were girls walking around half naked, people jumping out at you, it was very loud and to be honest a whole other planet. At first I really did not know what to make of it. The streets at night take on a whole new personality of their own. However, we were only here for 2 days and I wanted to make the most of it!

The highlight of Vegas was meeting this awesome woman! I have "known" April through blogging and twitter for about 3 years now. It was brilliant to finally meet her and have her show us around. I still cannot thank her enough!!! I'm glad we're real life friends now.

She took this picture of me jumping in front of the Vegas sign! At first I mocked her for saying it was silly but it's an awesome shot don't you think?!

April showed us The Venetian where inside the ceiling is designed to mimic the sky outside. At night time the ceiling goes dark to mimic night time. It was eerie! 

Outside on The Strip. I think I preferred Vegas in the day time.

The Gondola rides.

Inside The Cosmopolitan. It had the prettiest chandelier EVER!!!! April also showed us The Palazzo and took us to the Cheesecake Factory. We had so much fun and I don't think we ever stopped laughing! 

Once we said goodbye to April we went on a tour of Vegas by night. We first went to Treasure Island Hotel/Casino where we watched a pirate show. 

We then walked down The Strip to The Mirage Hotel/Casino where they have a big volcano that erupts every hour.

After the eruption we got a ride down to The Bellagio which is right outside their version of The Eiffel Tower (now I have been to both!). It was so pretty lit up.

Then we saw the best bit of the night. The Bellagio Fountain show. It played to some really cool music. 

 This was the water fountain. I could have stayed here all evening!

One last look at The Strip before going to bed. We had to be up early to catch our ride back to California the next day. We didn't do any gambling, mainly because we didn't have time but once you saw one casino you saw them all :)

I really do miss America. It has so much to see and do and that was only part of the west coast! When we were travelling back to the airport Lotte and I were looking through our photos and we could not believe how much we did. "Can you believe that was only a week ago?" "I totally forgot we saw that!!!" or "wasn't that just the best bit...no wait that was!". It was such an awesome way to look back on it. There were so many highlights! We went through hot weather, to torrential rain, to snow and then back to sunshine. We saw the cities, the desert, the mountains and the national parks! We did things we thought we would never do like ride in a helicopter, see a volcano erupt outside a hotel, rode over the Golden Gate Bridge and made our mark on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

We loved every second.

I was so blessed to go and made some amazing memories that I'll never ever forget!

The End.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Grand Canyon

Considering the size of the Grand Canyon it was the one thing that I kept forgetting we were seeing. I kept saying to Lotte "what are we doing on Tuesday? Not another day of travelling is it?!" (because we spent the day after Yosemite travelling from California to Laughlin, Nevada. And then on the Tuesday another 5 hours to reach the canyon in Arizona) She was almost sick to death of reminding me that we were going to see one of the 7 natural wonders of the world! How could I forget we were seeing that...

There was one word to describe this place....jaw dropping. 

I think it is one of very few places where I actually had no words. The pictures and videos do not do this place justice. It's astonishing at the sheer size, the depth and the fact it has taken between 2-5 billion years to create! I still find it amazing that a tiny river (Colorado river) billions of years ago began this beauty!

As I approached the Canyon I did not expect this to be my first view!

Lotte and I at the entrance to the main area of the park. 

The canyon is SO huge that you need to use a telescope to see right back. It was really cool to see all the layers built up over the years right up close!

This is my favourite photo from the whole holiday. It says so much of my plan for 2012 - to see the world and all its glory. This was glory. 


We then did a bucket list moment. I have always wanted to fly in a Helicopter! And to fly in a Helicopter over the Grand Canyon was just the best. Our pilot was called Scooter and he was from Ohio.

Inside the Helicopter as we were taking off. I was a little nervous as you feel a little more exposed.

Inside the canyon.

Colorado river running through the middle of it.

The view as we were leaving it. To say I have walked around the canyon and to say I have also flown over it makes me feel very lucky!

Arizona desert.

Once we left the Canyon we headed westward to our next stop. We drove through the Arizona desert for a bit. I have never been in a desert and I always thought they were quite boring. Sand? A bit of foliage here and there? Not this one! It was beautiful to travel through and the sunset over the mountain was out of this world!

Our last stop...Vegas!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Yosemite.

Whenever I say Yosemite...I smile. It was a whole other world in that place and to say I have been still amazes me. We were in for a shock though. Before I went to Yosemite I read reviews and saw pictures of all the lush green foliage, the mountains, the wildlife roaming and the picturesque waterfalls.

Well it snowed!

It was so bizarre. We went from sunshine in LA and the Monterey peninsula. I was in the torrential rain and hail of San Francisco. So I might as well have expected there to be snow too huh?!

Even though it wasn't what I expected it was like Narnia out there. Still so stunning and as beautiful as I expected it to be. 

This is Bridaveil falls which is halfway up the mountain. It was at this point you could definitely tell the air was 'thinner' due to the elevation. we were about 10,000 ft above sea level. I felt a little short of breath but soon got used to it. At this point it was not snowing, just foggy and freezing!!!

Yosemite is famous for its California Redwoods, the official tree of California! Isn't the colour amazing?! It snowed buckets just after this picture was taken.

It's really hard to explain Yosemite! So I made this quick video to show how amazing Yosemite Falls was. We were really lucky to see the waterfall as in Summer and Autumn it just trickles. You can see how snowy it was too!

It was just breath taking and I really mean that. You could not take your eyes off it.


Lotte and I outside Yosemite Falls. There is a higher point you can go to but it was closed off because it was icy which was a shame. Due to it being a National Park if you're caught taking anything from the site, e.g. a pine cone, you were fined $500 and sent 30 days to prison. It seems a bit steep of a punishment but in order to protect something so wonderful I can see why it's imposed.

The surrounding areas were stunning as well. Due to snow and fog we were unable to see the towering mountains like El Capitan. But the snow made it look so pretty too! One of the Rangers even said to us you're lucky to see it snow in the day time. It's usually at night is when it snows so we were lucky to see something out of the ordinary.

When we left and got the bottom of the mountain (which is about an hour drive) it was sunny and went up about 20 degrees so you could tell the difference! I would have happily spent the whole day there. It was enchanting!

Next stop...Grand Canyon, Arizona!

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