Monday, 30 March 2009

All the girls!

You know, turning 40 isn't that bad at all...especially when it means a week of celebrations, starting with a spa day with the girls. We went to Center Parcs and had a really chilled, really lovely day. The day started with tea and coffee or juice, then we went for our treatments (pedicure for me), and then a couple of hours of wandering around in a robe and swimsuit doing a lot of nothing. There were saunas and steam baths to explore, a lovely outdoor heated pool with seats and bubbly jets to massage your back, and waterbeds! Yes, really! Very 70s. The beds were like the size of a lounge chair, scattered throughout the spa and piled high with pillows. Caroline and I found a double bed on an outdoor balcony with a corner full of huge beanbags and cushions. I could have stayed there all day. We then had lunch, followed by more nothing. I found a waterbed, read a little, then plugged in my iPod and drifted off for a few moments. I had one of those startling moments when my own snoring jolted me awake. Looking around to see if anyone was staring at me in disgust, I casually coughed and resumed my reading. Later on, we met up for huge slices of cake and hot beverages. The day just flew by.

Bliss! I mean, how often do you get to truly sit and do nothing? Even when no one's at home, there's still a pile of laundry and washing up that taunts you so you can never fully relax. This was a place where we weren't MummyMummyMummyMummyMuuuummmyyyyyyyyy!!!! and you could curl up with a good book or a trashy magazine for as long as you wanted to. Fabulous.

Tuesday is my birthday, but it'll be business as usual and a normal working day. Wednesday, Paul and I are off to the Fat Duck restaurant (where hopefully Norovirus is no longer on the tasting menu) and an overnight stay at a lovely B&B. Saturday, I'm going out with more girls for a meal at one of my favourite pubs. Very excited! So yes, turning 40 ain't that bad at all. Even though I have to do it without alcohol and with a lot of heartburn; it's going to be fantastic.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

getting there

One of the problems about not finding out the sex of the baby is that you can't go crazy with the shopping. So far, I've bought a couple of sleepsuits (gender neutral, of course) and newborn nappy bits and bobs. That's it. Oooh and a lovely new Moby wrap. We have all the big stuff like the co-sleeper, bedding, pushchairs, etc so we don't really need anything for the baby right away in terms of equipment. We will need a new bouncy chair as ours seems to have died while up in the loft, though. Gotta have a bouncy chair. It saves your sanity during the first three months or so. It sounds totally ridiculous, but I'm struggling to remember what you need for a newborn, even though we just did this 21 months ago. Nappies. Sleepsuits. Sling. Bed stuff. Baby gym. Bouncy chair. Muslins. Clothing. Baby bath. Boobs. Is that it?

How depressing. I'm currently bidding on a Miracle Blanket (swaddling blanket from Mothercare) because I sold mine on eBay after Mia outgrew them. Actually, wait - there is a bright side to this. The blankets were part of a gift from work so this is costing me nothing. Hurrah!

As for me, it's all going well and I'm feeling pretty good. My bump is enormous, as is the rest of me. I'm loading up on protein and avoiding the white starchy sugary stuff in an attempt to battle water retention (sort of a Brewer's Diet type affair.) It's a good diet to follow for labour and birth anyway, and I always feel better when I eat this way. But then of course with my birthday coming up there will be cake. Lots and lots of cake. Oh yes.

I feel calm and happy, looking forward to the birth (looking forward to maternity leave more so.) Could do with a nap, though.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Sous chef

Yesterday was Mother's Day in the UK, and I had a lovely, lovely day. It started with some extra sleep (I got out of bed at 8:15 as opposed to 6:30 as usual) followed by cards and breakfast. Jack insisted that I have my breakfast on a tray in bed, but I didn't want to sit up in the bedroom by myself while Paul and Jack whipped it up so I came downstairs. When breakfast was ready, he came into the living room and declared "Breakfast is served!" I burst out laughing and was informed that "It's NOT FUNNY, mummy." Breakfast is a very serious business indeed. I said to Jack "Want to come upstairs with mummy to eat breakfast?" Jack said, "No, I'm watching Nick Jr." Ah, okay then.

We took the kids swimming, which was very relaxing as the pool wasn't nearly as crowded as usual. It's was lovely to splash around with the kids, making them giggle as I pushed them across the pool on a floating horsie. The afternoon was fairly quiet, which made a nice change from the hectic weekends we've had lately. For supper, Paul made me a gorgeous filet steak with potatoes and broccoli. We clinked wine glasses and I watched my trashy telly ("Dancing on Ice" - it was the finale, you know.) A very fantastic end to a wonderful day.

I hope all of you mummies had an equally wonderful day!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

i'm just weird like that

In my lovely, lovely antenatal yoga class last night (did I mention that it's lovely?), we were talking about labour at various points. The teacher and I have both had home births, one lady is hoping for a home birth for her first baby, and the other had her first with the help of syntocin/oxytocin and is pregnant with #2. So at one point, we were straddled on chairs leaning over the back and I mentioned that I laboured like this (didn't mention that I was screaming the house down at the time, so as not to alarm newbie mummy.) I said that it was really comfy and worked well because Paul could rub my back during contractions. Then we had a conversation about pushing. Lady who is pregnant with #2 said she couldn't tell how/when to push and explained because she had been given syntocin, she was told to push by midwives (despite not feeling the need.) I said how the pushing phase actually felt really good; a huge relief because you feel like you're working with the contractions. I told her that maybe if she's left to labour naturally, she might experience the urge to bear down next time. She sort of laughed when I said pushing felt good and said, "That's because you seem to actually LIKE giving birth!"

Actually, despite the pain and screaming (I read my birth story from time to time to remind myself that it wasn't all roses because Birth Amnesia tends to do this), I really did love giving birth. I'm very excited about doing it again, despite how mad that sounds. The anticipation of labour, the first few contractions, getting everything ready...I really can't wait. I think having had such a positive birth has given me a huge amount of confidence going into this one, and remembering the sheer joy and elation of Mia being born is something I am eager to experience again.

But first, I look forward to going on maternity leave, afternoon naps, and wandering aimlessly around shops on my own. Two more months...

Sunday, 15 March 2009

attack of the killer weeds

What the heck is this thing for?

It was a lovely sunny afternoon and I finally decided to get out in the garden and start attacking the weeds. I've been gazing at them from the bedroom windows for weeks and they've been driving me nuts. I think the rockery is a total write-off; I need to dig it up and start again. It'll take me a month of Sundays, but it really needs to be done. I'm hoping that someone's planning on renting Alan Titchmarsh for my birthday to come and sort it out.

So anyway, the veggie patch is ready for this year's seed sowing and despite all the Braxton Hicks contractions I've had afterwards, I'm glad it's done.

Veg patch before:
Veg patch before

Veg patch after:
Veg patch after

Friday, 13 March 2009

Jack's got TWO Pringles

First and foremost, I suck. I've been really rubbish at updating this blog, despite thinking "I must blog about this!" almost every day.

But what sucks the most is that I completely neglected to do a post dedicated to my beautiful boy who turned four on Feb 22. FOUR! Where the hell is time going? He and a friend had a joint pool party at the local leisure centre with nursery friends, and they had a blast. Paul couldn't get in the pool as it was too soon after his knee surgery, so all the nursery parents got to enjoy the sight of me in a swimsuit. I think most of them are still in therapy trying to get over that one. Anyway, it was a fab party and Jack had a very fun day. On the day of his birthday, we went out for lunch with my in-laws and the kids stuffed their faces with sausages and mash. So again, a good time was had by all.

And to make the day extra special, on the morning of Jack's birthday, Paul and I both felt Junior Mint squirming about from the outside for the first time. That's NEVER happened before. Normally, I feel movements from the outside at around 24 weeks then Paul finally catches them a few weeks later. Our babies tend to hide when daddy's hands come near them, but this time, Paul felt a very definite and strong kick just after I did. Jack leaned over and put his head on my belly, hoping to feel some kicks too. "I can hear the baby! He's playing!" Jack said.

He is such a big boy now although sometimes, thankfully, he still needs to curl up in my lap and have a cuddle with mummy. I love how I can have real (albeit somewhat surreal) conversations with him now, and he comes out with the most hilarious things. Today, Mia was poorly with a stomach bug. When Jack came home from nursery, Mia went running up to him. Jack took one look at her and said "Don't get sick on me." He can use computers, Wii consoles, and iPods. He's pretty much outgrown CBeebies and only wants to watch Ben10 and Star Wars. He had his first karate lesson last night. He's growing fast, but he's always going to be my baby boy. Even when he's 1 foot taller than me and eating us out of house and home.

Happy birthday, Jack-Jack. xxxxx

Sunday, 8 March 2009

bumpty bump bump

I have so many things I need to blog about, but no time at all at the moment. In the meantime, giggle in amusement at the mental size of my bump.

On the left, Junior Mint bump at 23 weeks. On the right, Mia bump at 25 weeks.

And for those who actually want to see my face, here's the full shot:

I've been in size 16 (size 14US) maternity since the end of December, and clothes I was sure would fit for a good long time are now too small. Feh. Better hit eBay soon.