Friday, 20 February 2009


Felix was lucky enough to see his Nanny and Grandad twice this week, which I think was probably the best thing that he could have imagined. Mum very kindly came round a couple of times to help me out with my current immobility, and of course Felix was absolutely thrilled. Today they did some good Play-Dohing, and Felix generally spent the afternoon following her around.

Then when Grandad got here earlier than normal, he couldn't believe his luck. Much chasing and squealing ensued, before settling down with some books.

Felix is a bit of a book-fiend at the moment actually - he has five or six favourites that get read every day at least twice. I love that he's so enthuasiastic but it can be difficult to drum up the enthusiasm to read the same book over and over and over and over....

I haven't posted much this week because we haven't really done much, but I like these pictures from dinner yesterday and Kester's faux apple teeth. The one of Felix screwing up his eyes is because he was preparing for the flash to go off. It made me laugh though.

It's been pretty tough work this week chasing round after the boy with the aches and pains, but he's generally been great. I may be imagining it but he seems super-helpful this week and I'm wondering if he actually understands more of what's going on than I would have thought. A few times when I've told him I can't do something because it hurts, he'll do it for me, and when he's fighting going for a nap, he seems to settle after I tell him I need a rest too. I'm sure it's just wishful thinking, but it's nice anyway! Perhaps he's taking the advice from one of his current favourite books, about helping Mummy get some rest because she has a 'house' inside her to grow the baby in...

Speaking of newborns, I had the pleasure of meeting little 6 week old William on Monday at the Essex Mums coffee morning. I meant to post about it earlier in the week but didn't get round to it. Holding a newborn was quite weird - he was so tiny, and I'd forgotten the funny little noises they make, the way they don't keep still and look at you really intently. Aww. Good to get some practise in though! There was a great turn-out at the meet though, and a good time was had by all, I think. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves too, which is always a bonus.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Sunday, 15 February 2009

ABC, as easy as SPD...

So. I'm in pain. Boo hoo. Seriously though, it bloody hurts. I've had this particular ache since the first trimester that I just put down to being another of the general discomforts of pregnancy but this last week or two it's got so bad I started to think that perhaps it's not completely normal. I asked around about and it seems like it's probably SPD, which is apparently very common in pregnancy but can get really quite painful, sometimes resulting in women needing crutches in the later stages. Thankfully mine's not quite that bad at the moment but it is making it very difficult to do anything, even things like climbing the stairs, picking up toys, chasing a toddler who is determined he can walk down the stairs by himself etc. Thankfully Kester's been letting me rest as much as he can, and Mum has offered to come round more. I'm not really very good at asking for help though, and even though it's hurting me to move around I hate sitting there while people busy themselves with things I should be doing. Bah.

We see the midwife on Tuesday so I'm hoping she'll have some magical solution. Actually, speaking of the midwife, I'm really quite looking forward to this appointment. She's coming to see us at home so that we have a bit longer to chat about everything, including the homebirth. We went for a hospital tour at Southend Hospital today, just in case we end up needing to go there and if nothing else it left me feeling like we've made the right choice in deciding to have a homebirth. There's nothing wrong with the hospital itself, in fact it has a very good reputation for maternity and neo-natal care, but it's just the whole systematic approach to it all - all the moving from one area to the other at different stages of labour, the visiting hours, having to stay in for a set time after the birth... that and the fact that the woman who showed us round was about as unenthusiastic as it's possible to be. Nah, give me my nice house, comfy bed and lack of visiting hours any day. After being induced with Felix, I'm hoping this labour will be as intervention-free as possible, as comfortable as possible (ha!) and as short as possible... I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. If you remind me I said that when the contractions start, however, there is a good chance I will hit you. Just a gentle warning.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

What it is

Had a lovely evening yesterday. Mum and Dad babysat while Kester and I went out for a meal and then to see Dylan Moran at the Cliffs Pavilion - real talent so close to home! Who'd have thought it? We went to the Gattapardo on Hamlet Court Road, mainly because we liked the name and it looked nice and it didn't disappoint. The food was great (I risked the mussels assuming - I think correctly - that they would be nice and fresh and local. The service was fantastic and the place itself a nice romantic 'grown-up' spot. Unfortunately after we'd paid the bill we realised we didn't have any cash for a tip - how embarrassing!

We then went on to see Mr. Moran and he was fantastic. It was quite nice as we seemed to be the target audience as a lot of the show was about getting older, growing up, family dynamics etc. I couldn't find any clips from this tour but thought I'd share a couple of my favourite Dylan Moran clips from previous ones:

Dylan Moran on kid's parties

Dylan Moran on getting old

Friday, 6 February 2009

Does my bum look big in this?

I bought a batch of cloth nappies from ebay so that we could try a few different types with the new baby and got them today. It was good, baffling fun trying to work out which was which, whether they needed extra bits etc. Some of them are the birth to potty sort, so I thought I would try to get Felix in one. At first he wasn't sure, said 'no no no' and handed me a disposable but once he looked at himself in the mirror he seemed quite taken with it and said 'niiiice'.

Here he is modelling it:

So yesterday Felix and I were out shopping and stopped to have a bit of lunch. We were eating and he was chattering away and generally being pretty adorable, and I found myself just staring at him and getting quite emotional about what a great kid he is and what's to come.

I'm really looking forward to the baby coming, honestly I am but it just struck me how much things are going to change, how we won't be able to do things just the two of us any more, and how I hope this isn't too hard for him. I'm sure he will benefit greatly from having a sister, and it's not that I'm upset about the thought of a new baby, but suddenly the idea of how much everything will change overwhelmed me quite a lot.

I suppose some of it is that I feel like I haven't really appreciated how great Felix is enough, and how special some of the times we've had have been. Like us eating lunch out together is something we do once a fortnight, often more, if we happen to be in Southend shopping. I enjoy it but it's more convenience than a special time... and suddenly I realised that it actually is pretty special.

All I wanted to do all afternoon was cuddle him (which thankfully Felix is more than happy to do) and even that made me sad because I couldn't help thinking I didn't do it enough.

From what I've been told a lot of people feel this way in a second pregnancy, especially around this time, and obviously the old hormones are all out of whack anyway, but it was still a bit of an emotional experience. How embarrassing it would have been if I'd actually cried, which I nearly did!

Anyway, to close here are a couple of pics of Kester and Dinger being cute:

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

"Man! Milk! Nom nom nom! Man! 'Nana! Nom nom nom! Man! Milk! 'Nana! Nom nom nom!"

Snow II

We got more snow on Monday. Quite a lot of it in fact. Well, for here. The entire country ground to a halt, trains and buses stopped running, everyone stayed home from work or school, it was 'impossible' to get anywhere. It was kind of funny really, having lived in Chicago where they have that much snow pretty much every day throughout winter, yet everyone manages to carry on as normal.

I know that a lot of it has to do with the fact that we're not as prepared for it because it doesn't happen often (despite what the films say - re: Kester's snow in films theory). There's no point in having fleets of snow ploughs sitting in garages doing nothing for years. I know that on paper at least, this is the reason we can't cope with snow.

Really though, I think it has a lot to do with a difference in the UK and the US when it comes to attitudes towards work. There seems to be this feeling over there that you have to get to work, that productivity and good honest slog are the most important things in life and that the poor average pleb should always make it in, regardless of whether or not they are in the middle of a hurricane, are on death's door, have suffered a terrible personal tragedy etc. Anyone who dares take a day off when it hasn't been officially sanctioned suffers the wrath of the higher ups and puts their job on the line. I'm sure most normal people don't feel this way, but they've been made to believe it's the only way to have a society that works.

Over here, people see a single snowflake and turn to each other hopefully saying 'Ooh, snow! Day off?'.

Anyway, Felix enjoyed it and looks out of the window every day saying 'Nah? Nah?' which I think means snow. We had fun too and built a snowboy. It was going to be a snowman but Kester got bored halfway through. He looked good though and had a rakish Victorian urchin look about him. Felix gave him a kiss, of course.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Krispie Karnage

I hear some strange noises in the kitchen and wonder what Felix is up to

"Come quickly, something dreadful has happened over here. Nothing to do with me, of course"

*Gasp* "Look at the mess Mum! It must have been Dinger!"

"Handy for snacking though"