Life

Marie Louise McConville: Two new beautiful blessings make for one broody auntie

Baby Alaia Ann arrived on Saturday night

Phew - what a week.

It may be just seven days but wow, a lot can change in those 168 hours.

That's the funny thing about life I suppose, just when you think you're in the swing of things, it throws in a surprise - or two - and boom, everything changes.

Take my family for example.

My mum and dad had four children, and in 2006, they welcomed their first grandchild, Reece, who was born on August 13.

For a long time - seven years in fact - he remained my mum and dad's only grandchild.

And, as expected, he was spoiled rotten by all of us - and rightly so - every child deserves to be cherished.

For a long time, we existed as a family where there was one baby, right up until December 2013, when our first little princess, Mia, arrived and what a beaut she was.

She was followed one year later in December 2014 by another little princess, our little Abbie, who just stole our hearts with her perfect little face and smile. Then, just 15 months later, our wee James was born in March 2016 and what a little bundle of perfection he was too.

Suddenly, our family had gone from having one grandchild to having four, in quite a short space of time and now, I am beyond delighted to announce to you all that our family has once again been blessed - not once, but twice - with two new little additions being born within 48 hours.

At 10.41pm on Saturday, a new little princess joined our family.

Alaia Ann arrived weighing 5lb 15oz and boasting a full head of beautiful, glossy black hair.

The first child to my brother, Colm and sister-in-law, Arlene, we are all just delighted with our new little gorgeous addition. She really is a bundle of joy.

And, I have to say, my sister-in-law did a fantastic job because of course, with most new arrivals there's always drama and little Alaia had in fact convinced us all that she was in no rush to arrive but just when we were all relaxing, she decided she wanted to say hello to the world - a week early.

However, our little Alaia - with her button nose and blue eyes - is not the only reason I am buzzing this week because on Monday afternoon, our family welcomed another new addition, a little baby boy called Cían Anthony.

The second child for my sister, Jennifer and brother-in-law, Conor, our new little man arrived at 12.37pm weighing 7lb 12oz.

A perfect little bundle of perfection, our little prince slept peacefully in my arms as I cooed at him in the hospital - resisting the temptation to eat him all up.

Again, boasting a full head of beautiful, black hair and the most gorgeous long eyelashes, he is just a wee dote.

My niece, Mia, who is three-and-a-half was just over the moon to meet her new brother and she promises she will look after him well - starting by painting his fingernails.

What a gorgeous little family for my sister, Jennifer.

I really can't tell you how delighted we all are and how blessed we feel with our new additions, which bring to six the number of grandchildren for my mum and dad - three boys and three girls.

I've just spent this last week inhaling so much new baby smell, and honestly, I could just take them both home with me.

I can't help but think about all the wonderful memories these cute cousins are going to make together.

So now, we just have to give the new arrivals some time to get settled and get to know us - it's so exciting.

So now more than ever, there are babies, babies everywhere and I don't mind telling you, it's making me feel VERY broody indeed.

You see, I really do love babies - holding them, and playing with them and feeding them and bathing them and dressing them, they're just soooooo squishy.

How on earth am I going to be able to sort this?

Oh, I've just had a thought.

Oh Darren darling ...........

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Competition

It's summer - despite the downpours - so how do you fancy taking a break from the kitchen and having some delicious food delivered straight to your door?

Based in Northern Ireland, FitFodder.com is a direct-to-door meat delivery service providing premium, lean, high protein meats helping you to feed the family or achieve your fitness goals.

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There's also a menu dedicated to those who are gluten intolerant and a range of ready meals, pastas and protein treats for snacking.

Further information is available online at www.FitFodder.com

I have three £25 vouchers for FitFodder to give away to three lucky readers.

If you fancy winning a voucher, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to competitions@irishnews.com

Closing date for entries is Tuesday, August 1 2017

(Q) Where is FitFodder.com based?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

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What's Hot?

New Music - Irish rock band The Script have returned to the music scene after almost a year off and have released a new single, `Rain', which I think is fab, a great summer tune. Out now.

Fun Flick - If you're looking for some animated fun at the cinema this weekend, check out Captain Underpants. Featuring the voices of Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, the movie tells the story of two mischievous kids who hypnotise their mean high school principal and turn him into Captain Underpants.

Revamp - TV duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are to front a revived version of classic Saturday game show The Generation Game for the BBC as their first joint project since leaving The Great British Bake Off.

So Not!

Cancelled - US singer, Justin Bieber has left fans disappointed after he cancelled the remainder of his Purpose World Tour "due to unforeseen circumstances".

Disappointed - The Script, who I think are brilliant, are going on tour later year but have not scheduled a date in Belfast. The band will play Dublin and Derry but no Belfast. Not happy at all. Tickets on sale today.

Return - Apparently, Celebrity Big Brother is returning to Channel 5 for a new series on August 1. Why does this keep happening? This show has had its day and should just be relegated to the vault.

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Competition

The winners of the BRICKLIVE competition are Deirdre McArdle, from Middletown, Cathy Shields, from Belfast, and Angela Curran, from Mullanaskea

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Easy Peasy Recipe

This week's Easy Peasy Recipe is Rich Peanut Butter Blondies

You will need:

130g peanut butter

75g margarine, softened

125g caster sugar

110g brown soft sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

125g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

To Make:

Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and grease a square baking tin.

In a bowl, cream together the peanut butter and margarine.

Gradually add in the brown soft sugar, caster sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and then add this to the peanut butter mixture and stir well.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool and cut into squares.

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

Are you the queen of quiches, magnificent at muffins or can you turn out some nice scones?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Marie Louise McConville,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,

Belfast,

BT1 2GE

or

m.mcconville@irishnews.com

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