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Life with a toddler is never dull. That is in part because they are full of energy. Part because the energy required to keep up with them means you never sit still. We find that we are best with Annabelle when we have a plan. That’s not to say every minute is planned for but that we have a general plan.

Annabelle normally naps for an hour and half – two hours at lunchtime. That means our plans have to be morning plans or afternoon plans. Usually they end up being afternoon plans as neither of us are great at getting moving 🙂

As lockdown restrictions are being eased we are trying to take advance of getting out and about more. With the weather looking okay we decided to check out Balsall Heath City Farm. You can check out their website here.

The farm opened in 1980 as an inner city oasis to give children access to animals they might not otherwise get to see. There are over 50 animals on the farm, a great vegetable patch and plenty of other things to see.

Just like Annabelle is two.

Okay we may have said that already. Our girl turning two has been a big event in our household. As Annabelle’s birthday turned two on a Thursday we had 3 days of celebrations.

We also put together a video of her last year. It’s half an hour long (in case you want to watch it) but there were just so many highlights.

Just like Annabelle is two.

Our little lady is a joy. Over the last year she has become a confident, independent, funny, cheeky, determined whirlwind. A fan of routine and making us laugh. Forever playing peek-a-boo and asking to be chased she is ready to entertain and laugh. Her speech has come on leaps and bounds and she knows enough to tell us exactly what she wants and how.

She is happiest with both Laura and I around but she’ll welcome guests and often insists on saying hi to everyone we meet.
We can’t wait to see what she’ll be like going back out into the post Corona world. One things for sure we will miss her constant presence when she’s at nursery (even if it is just for one day a week). She’s great fun to be around and one of my absolute favourite people in the world.

As parents we have asked ourselves many unexpected questions. Is it okay if Annabelle eats nappy cream? What if Annabelle thinks she’s a dog? Can a baby sleep too much? You get the idea. I’m sure if you are a parent you could fill a page with the bizarre things you’ve Googled.

Then there are questions you do expect. Questions you know you will ask and questions you know you will be asked by your child. We thought we would be waiting for Annabelle to grow up a bit more before answering some questions including ‘what do we call our private parts?’

What does it mean to be American?

I found out this week that Annabelle isn’t eligible to carry on my American citizenship – simply because she is not biologically mine & I didn’t carry her. This is despite the fact that Sarah & I were legally married when we conceived her, & that we are both on her birth certificate.

I supported her and my wife throughout her pregnancy, I imagined what my daughter would be like, when she was born I cut her umbilical cord, changed her first diaper, & was in awe of how we created something that beautiful. I’ve been up in the night with her countless times, taught her new things, by now I’ve probably cooked her as many meals as Sarah breastfed her. In no way is she less my daughter because she isn’t of my blood – but yet, that’s what the American government believes.

We are lucky enough to be Mum’s to our amazing Annabelle and Bisbee. However we had a plan that 2020 would be our year to, hopefully, start expanding our family. The reason for this post is to share an update on that because while having plans is great and all, it turns out not all plans work out. Ours aren’t.

Firstly because of unexpected news leading to Plan A not being possible.

Secondly because the world is not the world it was 3 months ago and so many things have changed.

Thirdly because infertility is now part of our story and this post will explain why a whole new plan is required.

As it is national infertility week it made sense to share this update now.

When we started talking about having kids, we had discussed that we would both ideally like to have one each, but planned on Sarah going first as she definitely wanted to carry (I was on the fence about it!) and she is 5 years older than me. We decided after initially wanting to try IUI, to do IVF mostly due to Sarah travelling a lot for work – we found IVF much easier to plan our lives around, whereas with IUI twice Sarah ovulated on the day she was heading to an important meeting or away was for work!
I didn’t feel at all concerned about not having a biological connection to my child – I think maybe it was because from early on we knew that if we were to have kids that it would be likely the case for one of us (whether it was through one of us having the child, or if we’d adopted), it wasn’t something I spent much time thinking about. Also, I love Sarah with all my heart so I knew it would be incredible to have a mini-her running around!

We knew the time would come for Annabelle to have her first haircut but neither of us were looking forward to it. There were a few reasons; Firstly her hair had reached a perfect length to put in pigtails/bunches. Secondly we weren’t sure how she would react to the whole experience. Thirdly what if she wriggled at the wrong point and she ended up with a wonky hair style.

Okay, okay, all but one of those reasons is vanity related but I’ve always feared a haircut in case something goes wrong.

Thankfully Annabelle’s first hair cut was plain sailing. Here is what we did to prepare her: