Our little girl is growing up so fast. She is changing every day- She is starting to play and grasp items (she loves holding our fingers or mommy’s hair). She is very curious. She loves looking around, and maintains eye contact. She loves kisses, and has the cutest smile. She is still sleeping and eating well. She now weighs 11.5 lbs!

At the beginning of March Grandpa Mark visited us in England. We had such a great visit.  Then for Easter weekend, we went up north to York for a couple of days. It was a great visit. We went to the Good Friday Evensong service at York Minster, and to the Yorkshire Museum. There was also a really awesome Easter Market. Evie did great for her first little vacation. She has seen and done so much in her two months of life, and we can’t wait to do more!

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We have survived our first month as parents, and more importantly Evie survived us!

Honestly, Evie has been an amazing baby. She is doing great at eating, and sleeping (most nights). She occasionally fusses, but overall she is a very content baby.

Tim’s parents were here for her first week, and then Timothy had a second week of paternity leave. When Timothy went back to work, I was surprised at how smoothly things went on my own. However, I am always so thankful when Tim walks through the door at night! Even though she is a good baby, being a mom is mentally and physically tough.

Evie is really strong. She can lift her head, and likes to kick her feet. She can now grasp thing (not well, but she can get a hold of my hair!). She also makes the cutest cooing sound when she sleeps on our chest. Also, at her 3 week weigh-in she had gained a pound! She is now a whopping 9 lbs 3 oz.

Next week Grandpa Mark is coming to visit, and we can’t wait!

Here are a few pictures from a little DYI photo shoot:

Baby Evie has finally arrived! Sorry this post is a little late!

Evelyn was born at the end of January. It was a tough labor, but both mom and baby are very healthy!! Evie is feeding well, and sleeping well. Mommy and Daddy are so in love with Evie and are enjoying parenthood very much.

We are also very thankful that Timothy’s parents were able to visit/help us during our first week as parents. It was such a blessing for them to be here to support us and for them to be able to meet their FIRST grandchild!

Dear Family and Friends!

We hope you had a wonderful Chanukkah &/or Christmas, and that you will have a very Happy New Year!

We had a nice and quiet Christmas here in England. The weather in England has been unseasonably mild, but we are not complaining! Timothy has gotten to work from home this Christmas/New Year’s week, so we are just relaxing and getting odds/ends done for when little Evie comes!

2015 was another exciting year for us. We moved from Israel to England. Timothy has been having an awesome time at his new job. He is working with such awesome people, and on so many cool projects! When Timothy is not working (and sometimes when he is), we traveled!! Not surprising right?!?! This year we went to Israel (for a wedding) & Jordan in May, France (ICML Conference) in June, California (Google HQ) in August, Southern England (Tim’s B-Day) in September, and Northern England (Our Babymoon) in October! Not to mention the entire time we were traveling, little Evie was with us!  (We found out shortly after our trip to Israel/Jordan.)

2016 is going to be such an exciting year. We have our hospital bags packed and ready for when Ms. Evelyn decides to join us. But other than that, we are not sure what to expect! (The story of our lives!)

So far on our 2016 agenda, Timothy will have a few weeks of Paternity leave. We are looking forward to quality time as a new family. Timothy hopes to attend a couple of conferences that happen to be in some pretty cool places. Our parents are planning to visit us in England, and we are planning a trip to the States as well. But life/work always throws a few curve balls our way, so who knows where and what 2016 has in store for us.

We really hope you had a wonderful 2015 and an even better 2016!

 

36 weeks... 9 Months!!

36 weeks… 9 Months!!

We have just hit the 36 week mark! 9 months! Let me say that again, 9 MONTHS! We are so close to meeting Miss Evie-D, only 4 more weeks. Since we are getting so close, I wanted to see what the grandparents predictions were! I’m hoping she will come just a tiny bit early, mainly because I’m so excited and I’m not very patient! But the grandparents think she will be a little late.

So far, everything in my pregnancy has been pretty normal, which we are very thankful for. We have completed our NCT (National Childbirth Trust) Antenatal courses. We were really happy we took the course. We got to meet 5 other couples who are due in January and live in the area. We also learned more about what childbirth is like in the UK (very different than the US). If all goes well, Evie will be delivered by midwifes and I could be home as soon as 6 hours after giving birth! Also, we learned about pain management, the stages of labor, breast feeding, and the first few days at home. So far, we feel pretty confident about everything.

Now on to predictions…

The questions asked:

  1. What day do you think she will come? (Official due date January 17)
  2. Weight? & Height?
  3. Eye color?
  4. Will she have hair? If so, what color?
Mama Laura & Daddy Timothy
  1. January 10 vs. January 19
  2. 7lb 4oz, 19 1/2 in long vs. 7lb 4oz, 18in long
  3. Hazel vs. Brown
  4. Yes- Brown vs. Yes-Black

Grandpa Mark

  1. January 24
  2. 8lbs and 20 in long
  3. Brown
  4. No, eventually brown.

Pap-pap Randy & Grandma Bonnie

  1. January 21 vs. January 25
  2. 7 lbs 9oz, 21in long vs. 8 lbs 5 oz 21 in long
  3. Brown vs. Brown
  4. Yes-dark vs. Yes-dark

Additional Predictions from Grandpa Randy:
Will she be the cutest? Yes
Will she be average or above average intelligence?  genius
Will she prefer windows or Linux? Sorry dumb question. ..of course Linux
Will she use Apple or Android? Sorry again …Android.
Will she like pink? I hope so …based on what she is getting for Christmas.

While Timothy and I haven’t done a great job of keeping up with our Ducky Adventure’s Blog, they are still a HUGE part of our lives. This is the latest from DtPb: http://duckyadventures.com/

baby_sister

Ducky, Pembleton, Blizzard and Ted,
Gathered in the living room right before bed.
The mama and the papa told them some news,
That a brand new baby would be joining them soon.
Ducky asked, “will the baby be a brother?”
“No, not a brother”, said the mother.
“Then we’re having a sister”, shouted Ted and Blizzard.
Pembleton asked, “what is her name?”
The papa replied, “let’s play a guessing game.”
Ducky declared, “her last name has to be Mann because she’s joining our clan.”
“Right”, said papa, “and what will her middle name be?”
“I know, Dorothea! For our Grandma Dee.”
“Now let’s finish the game,
what about her first name?”
Blizzard laughed, “This should be easy”,
Ted giggled, “Let’s call her Evie.”
“Evie?” asked Pembleton.
“Is that short for Evelyn?”
“Yes”, said the mama, “that is her name,
Evelyn Dorothea Mann.”

Our trip to the Lake District was just a little vacation we wanted to take, since Tim had some extra vacation. However, the hip thing to do now is to take a “baby moon” when you’re pregnant (according to pregnancy websites: it’s kinda like a honeymoon, but before the baby is born). So we decided to call this trip our “Baby Moon”.

Day 1- Monday, October 26

From Harpenden to Keswick (a town in the Lake District and the “w” in Keswick is silent) via A1(M) A1 (British Highway: Arterial road 1/Motorway 1) the trip was roughly 286 Miles. Timothy did ALL of the driving to Keswick. It was roughly 5 1/2 hours with a few stops. The drive was more scenic, than if we took just the Motorway. It was a bright and sunny English day, and the fall foliage was just gorgeous the whole way!

Once in Keswick, we checked into our wonderful B&B, the Ellergill B&B. It was recommended by Rick Steves, and Rough Guides, and so do we! We used Rick Steves’ book and Rough Guides, along with a video Rick Steves posted on Youtube about the Lake District to plan our trip. The B&B was just around the corner form the main market street and several restaurants/pubs! It was also about a 10 minute walk to Derwentwater (a lake).

That evening, we walked to the lake shore right at twilight. It was so peaceful and beautiful. Once it became dark, we went to town for dinner and turned in early.

Day 2– Tuesday, October 27

We woke up bright and early to walk to the lake shore before breakfast. Once again it was so peaceful and even more beautiful in the early morning sun light. Timothy and I really lucked out, our first day was a beautiful sunny/dry day! After our early morning walk, we went back to our B&B for breakfast! A Full English (vegetarian) Breakfast- eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, toast, with juice and coffee/tea. It was very good, and a perfect way to start the day!

Our host recommended we walk 1/2 way around Derwentwater– going west towards Nichol End Marine, and then south past Catbells around the lake to Mary Mount Hotel for lunch. The was was relatively easy. The 4 1/2-5 mile hike should have taken about 2 hours, but being 7 months pregnant, it took us more like 3 hours, with lots of stops for pictures and taking in the beauty of the Lake District.

Once we got to the Mary Mount Hotel, we were ready for lunch! The pub at the hotel had large windows with a great view of the lake and Catbells fells (a local mountain). It also had a ton of bird feeders, and a bird guide for us to learn about the different birds!

From the Mary Mount Hotel, we could take the Keswick Launch Company boat ride back to Keswick. The ride was very enjoyable, and we got to enjoy more of the lake. From there we walked through town and back to our hotel to relax, before dinner.

Day 3– Wednesday, October 28

After sleeping in (or trying too), we had another Full English Breakfast, before heading out for a hike to Castlerigg Stone Circle. Our original plan was to drive, but Google Maps said it was only 1.8 miles (one-way). So we decided to walk. Not a smart move. When we started walking it was overcast, and shortly into our walk it started to rain (lightly). Then about the last quarter or half (it felt like more) of the walk was UP HILL!!! It was tough, but I did pretty good for a pregnant lady! Once we got to the stone circle, it stopped raining and we had an amazing view from the top of the hill of the surrounding areas. It was breath taking. After taking lots of pictures, we started to walk back. Then it started to POUR!! It was an interesting walk back to town, and we even got lost a little. After lunch at a local cafe, we relaxed at our B&B until Dinner time.

Day 4– Thursday, October 29

Once again, we tried to sleep in, but it is not as easy as it seems! We had another Full English Breakfast before heading to the Southwestern corner of the Lake District to Muncaster Castle. The hour long drive was very scenic and beautiful. However, it was very stressful. English roads are very narrow and windy! Plus this road had lots of sheep and cows roaming freely! We even got in to a few “traffic jams” with the sheep and cows!

Luckily, even though the morning was wet, shortly into our drive the rain cleared up and turned into another beautiful day. We toured the castle (that is still lived in), the grounds, and a owl/eagle/hawk sanctuary! We also went though their family friendly scary halloween maze, and watched a spectacular bird show! Thankfully, I only had 1 heart attack during the show.

We then headed back to Keswick for dinner, and another relaxing evening.

Day 5– Friday, October 30

It was sad to leave the Lake District Friday morning after another Full English Breakfast, but we were ready to go home. Plus there is always laundry, and house work to do after a vacation. The drive back was LONG! We went down the M1 (motorway). And there was a lot of construction and traffic! It probably took us 7 hours (including lunch break). This time, Timothy started out driving, but after lunch I drove, and did a pretty good job! 🙂 We were very thankful to be home, even though we highly enjoyed our “babymoon,” and hope to go back to the Lake District one day! There was still so much for us to see and do, and so much more hiking to do.

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For Timothy’s birthday, we took a nice day trip to Southern England! It was nice to relax on a coach bus, and listen to our amazing guide. We really enjoyed this trip! Plus, the weather was AMAZING for England! Our first stop, Leeds Castle was breathtakingly beautiful! We got to explore the castle, which was restored by an American who bought it 1926, and the pretty garden with amazing views (for those of you who love golf, they have an amazing course). It is definitely a must see! Then we went to Canterbury Cathedral. It was really neat to visit together. There is so much history and beauty at this cathedral! The architecture and art in this cathedral is very impressive.  Lastly, we went to the coast to view the White Cliffs of Dover! The sky was so clear we could see all the way across the channel, to see FRANCE! It was amazing. We had such a fun day together.

Description of Trip:

“Escape the hustle-bustle of London for a day and travel to the English countryside for a tour of Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover. Enjoy a private viewing of beautiful Leeds Castle before the doors open to the public, get an exclusive tour inside UNESCO World Heritage–listed Canterbury Cathedral, and admire the symbolic White Cliffs of Dover.”(Viator/Evan Evans Tours)

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Timothy’s parents visited England for the first time this past month! We had a great time showing them around the St. Albans area, and of course LONDON!

Timothy’s mom arrived first. She was able to go with us to our anatomy ultra sound, where we discovered Peanut was a very healthy (and maybe stubborn) little GIRL! 🙂 Then the site seeing began! We showed her around St. Albans, London, and Hampton Court Palace. Also, one evening Tim took us to the theater to see WICKED. It was a lot of fun.

Then about a week later Timothy’s dad arrived! A really cool part of their trip was that Christopher’s (Timothy’s younger brother) trip to London/Amsterdam overlapped with his parents, so he hung out with us a couple of days! While Timothy’s dad was here, we went to St. Albans, of course, and in London we visited the British National Gallery, the Tower of London, Westminster Abby, and went on a Thames River boat cruise to see all the major sites (Big Bend, Parliament, St. Paul’s, etc.). On their final day in England, Timothy took his dad to Bletchley Park (iconic WWII code breaking location), while Mrs. Mann and I had an afternoon at the spa.

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I’ve been meaning to do this for a while!

My first trimester was a little tough. While I was not as sick as some women, I was extremely tired, and queasy for several weeks. Right around the end of the first trimester (early July), I felt better, and better with each passing week.

When we went to our 12 week ultra sound, we were shocked to find out we were 13 weeks. While one week may not seem like much, it made me more anxious. That was one less week to prepare!! Despite the news we were further along than we thought, it was an amazing experience. Peanut (Baby Mann) was so active! We couldn’t believe it! Seeing Peanut on the screen definitely made it more real!

My second trimester has been going very smoothly. We have been traveling a lot. This means a lot of walking, which has helped me regain a lot of my energy. I didn’t start showing until around week 18-19, and each week Peanut is getting bigger and bigger. Around 18 weeks I thought I was feeling Peanut move, but I wasn’t sure. Then around week 20, I was definitely feeling Peanut move. While my book says that Timothy shouldn’t feel Peanut move yet, Peanut is pretty strong and every once in a while Timothy feels a really good kick (or punch!). It’s pretty amazing.

At our 20 week anatomy ultra sound, we received really great news. So far, Peanut looks super healthy! All of Peanut’s skeletal structure and organs looks exactly like it should. I will say this was a very interesting appointment. During our first ultrasound Peanut would not stop moving! It was very hard for the technician to measure the baby. This time, we had the opposite problem! Peanut was asleep, on it’s belly. This made it so we could only hear/see the heart beat and a few parts of the skeletal structure that needed to be reviewed. After drinking juice and lots of walking- Peanut finally woke up and turned around. Finally, the technician could do their job! At the very end of the appointment, we found out that Peanut is a…

It's a Girl!

We are so excited. We are currently at 22 weeks, so only 18 more to go! It’s a little scary, but we are very excited to meet our little girl!

Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers and well wishes!

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