My Top Tens

Today, I bored my followers to tears on Twitter with my Top Ten Smells of all time. I was about to then begin listing my top ten other sense pleasers but thought that they’d probably read enough for one day. So I decided I’d list them on the old blog-a-doodle.

So, here they are, in no particular order (and I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that for completeness I have also included my Top Ten Smells);

[caveat: like most things in my transient mind, these things will probably change from time to time, do feel free to leave a comment and remind me of what I’ve missed :-)]

Top Ten: Smell

  • Freshly brewed coffee
  • Just cut grass
  • Fresh Basil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Freshly Baked Bread
  • A Barbecue
  • Fresh Coriander
  • The Christmas Tree in your home
  • A new car
  • Fresh Mint
Top Ten: Sound

  • Waves meeting the beach
  • Birds tweeting/chirping/singing
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Silence
  • My baby girl ‘chatting’
  • Tall grasses ‘swishing’ in the breeze
  • Thunder
  • The distant rise and fall of thrill seekers squeals at a theme park
  • Loved ones voices at the other end of the phone
  • The word ‘Brilliant’
Top Ten: Feel

  • Freshly laundered sheets on the bed
  • Water on the skin
  • Hugs
  • Grass under your bare feet
  • Silk
  • Taking your heels off after a long day/night
  • A warm blanket on a cold night
  • Popping candy on your tongue
  • Kisses from my beloved
  • My baby girl in my arms
Top Ten: Taste

  • Ice Cream
  • Apple & Cinammon anything
  • My beloveds Lasagne (the BEST, I swear!)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Milk & Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Lobster/Langoustines from the barbie
  • Caprese Salad on a hot day
  • Creamy blue cheese
  • Mint tea
  • Apple Martinis
Top Ten: Sight

  • My baby girl
  • Blue blue sky
  • Smiles
  • A twinkling blanket of pure white snow
  • Tigers (such majestic animals)
  • Flowers in full bloom
  • My little cat snoozing
  • Dancing (anyone, any kind)
  • The haze of heat you can see on a hot hot day
  • Rain on the window (when you’re dry on the inside!)
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Always

Image by Anna Cervova

Inspired to try to capture the extent of my feeling, I penned this for my Baby Girl:

From the moment
That you came into my life
I have been immeasurably thankful

From the moment
That I laid eyes on you
My soul has been deeply humbled

Every moment I am wakeful
Every moment that I sleep
My heart is forever hopeful

Every moment of our future
Every moment of our past
I know that I am blessed

Your happiness is my everything
My everything is you

My dear little Strawbug,
Precious and true,
Know in your heart, my love for you
Always

Today, I blog!

Today, I blog again…

My beautiful little girl is nearly 9 weeks old and the last 9 weeks have been the best and the worst of my life. People tell you it’s the hardest and the best job in the world (being a parent) and they’re right!

I once blogged about how overwhelmed with unconditional love I was for my little furball when he came into our lives. But my love for my baby girl is a gazillion times stronger than that. I could never have imagined it until the first time I looked at her.

Still now, every time I look at her, even when I’m at my lowest ebb; having had no sleep for days and she’s been screaming her little lungs out for what seems like hours (she has colic), all I can think of is that she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. How amazing she is and how lucky I am to have her. I miss her even when I’m just in the other room.

And my love, respect and admiration for my Beloved has grown too. Don’t get me wrong there have been times when the tiredness has presented, let’s call them, significant challenges. But I could not have delivered her without his fortitude. I would not have survived the baby blues or my battle with breastfeeding without his love and support. And I have grown as a person by learning to let him (and my friends and my family) help me.

She is definitely Daddy’s little girl! He brought her into this world with his own hands and she’s had him wrapped around her little finger ever since. But that is a good thing. He will love her and protect her forever, we both will.

Our family has grown and will hopefully continue to grow… although, I’m not sure where we’ll put them. This one tiny little girl has accumulated so much stuff in 9 weeks, we already need a bigger house. How is that possible?!

 

We are Fa-mi-lee

So, my Beloved and I attended the wedding reception of one of his work colleagues this weekend. Thankfully (as it was my first experience of a wedding sans alcool, like EVER!) it wasn’t a particularly boozy affair. Very family orientated, tonnes of kids… even one that looked about 3 weeks old (which got me very very excited every time I seen it! :-)).

It was a really lovely evening and it was great to get out and do something and talk to other people about things other than babies and lists and jobs to do. Well I say that, but in reality with a bump this size you’re never more than 30 seconds off the subject of babies!

There’s another wedding reception (seems there’s something in the water at my Beloved’s workplace) coming up on October 1st which I was reliably informed by the Bride-To-Be on Saturday will be a VERY boozy affair. How one attends a black tie wedding reception 3 days after giving birth (worst case scenario) and looks remotely like a human being, let alone a glamorous Goddess, I have no idea… pah! who am I kidding, whether it’s 3 weeks or 3 days, do I really think I have a chance of stepping foot over my front door without my days old baby? Err, No! Whilst it’s a nice idea, I really don’t think it’s feasible. She did say I could bring the baby, but I think she was just being polite. I had only just met her for the first time after all.

Inevitably though, the conversation moved along from babies to weddings as we talked about her plans for her big day. Now, in this day and age no-one really bothers when you’re 8 months pregnant and not married, but the question still comes up “Do you think you guys will ever get married?”, more in relation to co-habiting or just “going out” I think, because we’ve been asked that question for about 4 years now. And it’s something that we’ve talked about on several occassions.

Now, both my Beloved and I are casualties of the “Starter Marriage“. Not that either of us planned it that way and not that we’re proud of it. We both went into our marriages with total commitment and unfortunately it didn’t work out. Or as we like to look at it more positively now; fortunately, as we found each other (quite some time later, just to be clear) and it has allowed our ex-partners to move on with their lives and find happiness too. Which can only be a good thing for all involved. I digress…

So, yes, as I was explaining we’ve both been married before and so, for me anyway, I place infinitely more value on the strength of our relationship than on a piece of paper that says I’m legally committed to my Beloved. More than that though… I believe we are making the biggest commitment possible to each other right now. We are making a family.

Anyone that knows me (and I know some of you don’t) knows just how much importance I place on family. I’ve been brought up to love unconditionally where family is concerned. Rightly or wrongly. It may well be partly why I have found relationships difficult. No-one, no love, could compare to the love that I feel for my family. And I also believe that families should stick together – not that I’m getting on my soapbox and saying one parent families or multi-parent families are wrong. Families are diverse and it’s sticking with the love that we share that is important. Even if we don’t live in the same house anymore. I’m one of the lucky ones, my parents are still together, my siblings all still talk to one another and get on well and so I look around myself and I think; I love this! This what I want for my kids.

So, I guess I’m saying that for me, personally, it’s not that I don’t want to marry my Beloved, but having a baby with him is the single biggest most important commitment I could ever make to anyone. It’s the one thing that tells the world “I love this man, unconditionally. He is part of my family and we are a family”.

Easy like Sunday morning

This weekend in the UK is a 3 day weekend as we have the May Day Bank Holiday on Monday. Extra weekend days are such a treat! It’s like having 2 Sundays! You get a real shot at winding down and enjoying life.

I recently asked on my Facebook page; “What would be your perfect Sunday?”. I admit the response wasn’t overwhelming! (There were 0 comments, but its early days for the page and only 5 fans so far, so I remain positive for the future). But I have been thinking about how I would spend my perfect Sunday… and indeed whether I will be able to make the time to have a perfect Sunday this weekend.

To me though, the perfect Sunday would be like a perfect any other day of the week. And it would start with having had a really sound sleep the night before…

I’d wake at a reasonable time; not too early, but early enough to enjoy the quiet of the morning, say about 8am? The sun would be shining, the birds would be tweeting and  there would be a lovely fresh summer breeze rippling through the curtains. I can almost smell the freshly cut grass just by picturing the scene.

My Beloved and I would make our way to the garden for breakfast. And somehow, magically, with no-one else in the house, there it would be sitting ready for us. Fresh hot croissants, fresh fruit salad and a pot of really nice coffee. We would read the newspapers, browse the magazines and generally relax. Now, I’d be happy to settle for breakfast in my own garden, but if we were in our garden in our little French property by the sea (a dream of mine… check out My Bucket List) then that really would be the perfect start to the perfect day!

After breakfast, we’d wander around a local farmer’s market and then take a stroll along the beach. Again, most happy for  that to be our own beach here (with internationally renowned art installation, but a little cold and no crashing or bubbling wave sound effects) but if it could be the south of France, Malibu or St.Barts that would be preferable!

Lunch would be light and al fresco. Then I’d get together with all my friends and family for a good old fashioned party. I’m thinking BBQ, a band and one of those raised, square wooden  dance floors they have at southern fairs in the movies.. with lights all around. Of course it would need to be catered, so that everyone could relax and just enjoy… and this would definitely need to be held at our French residence as there’s not enough room in our back yard for all of my family, let alone a dance floor and a hog roast!

The day would end around 11pm (hey, that’s a late night for me), with myself, my Beloved and our little furball all cuddled up in bed with warm milk and a feel good movie… and we wouldn’t have to worry about hangovers or work the next day because in the world of Perfect Days those don’t exist.

Oh and at some point in my perfect day, I’d receive a call from an Internet Mogul offering me mega-sponsorship so that I could give up my job and blog for a living!

It’s good to share

I felt my first flutters about 2 weeks ago… They were very faint and at first I wasn’t sure that it was actually my baby I could feel (thought it might be wind… not unusual for me these days unfortunately!). But in the last 3 days little Strawbug hasn’t stopped dancing! So now I know that’s exactly what I felt 2 weeks ago. It’s the weirdest feeling, but humbling and trully amazing (I know, I use that word a lot when it comes to Strawbug!).

My beloved was almost in tears the other evening (in his defence, he had drank a couple of glasses of wine). He told me that he can’t wait to be able to feel (from the outside) what I can feel (on the inside). It’s kind of nice that, for now, it’s just me and Strawbug sharing these moments together… but I feel a little sad that my beloved is “left out”. So, I’ve been thinking a lot these last 2 days about how I can include him more in something that’s happening inside of me…

It’s difficult, because I can’t help him to feel what I’m physically feeling (though I do a pretty good job of helping him feel how I’m mentally and emotionally feeling! poor thing!). And I know I’m not the first mum-to-be who has felt this way. As always, my research for this blog started with the obvious google search; which led me to this post on peainthepodcast.com and many other blogs and articles which recommend taking your partner along to classes, to ultrasound scan, buying him (or her) books for the daddy (or mummy) to be, who isn’t carrying the child. These are all great tips. But my beloved is already very involved in all of these ways and I still feel like he’s missing out.

I love my partner with all of my heart and more… we share just about everything (come on, it wouldn’t be healthy to share 100% of your lives!). And I desperately want him to share this.

The other big piece of advice on offer is talking. Talk to your partner. Tell him/her what’s going on. Refer to the pregnancy experience as a joint experience, answer questions with “we” instead of “I” or “me”. And talking is good, talking is great… though my beloved will tell you that I have a tendancy to talk too much! But it still doesn’t help him experience it the way I am experiencing it.

So how do I really share this pregnancy with him, as fully as I want to? Maybe the answer is, I don’t… or more likely, I can’t.

Any ideas you guys have though, would be greatly appreciated! Please leave a comment…

I’ve got a new set of ‘L’ Plates!

In an earlier blog, I noted that my regular January period of contemplation was longer than usual. I can now tell you why… My Beloved and I are having a baby! A first for both of us. And we’re genuinley VERY excited, if also a little terrified!!

So I can now add Learner Mummy to my Bio. And my Beloved has already named the bump-to-be (for the purposes of this blog we’ll use the name Strawbug) For anyone who’s interested, I kept an offline diary of the first 8 weeks or so (post HPT) and I’ve inserted it below. Though I have no intentions at present to become a Mommy Blogger (there are already so many far better than I – modernmomdooce and mommy off the record to name just a few) I can’t promise there’ll be no baby blogs at all. We’ll just have to play it by ear… err, eye.

If there’s anyone out there with any level of experience in this (I count myself as sub-novice) who are willing to share their experiences (particulalry handy hints and tips) – I’m happy to hear them. Just use the comments box and leave a note.

Diary
4 Wks Pregnant – Found out. In shock! Mild panic even. Feel like my period is coming. Don’t feel pregnant at all. Boobs seem to have upped a cup size already, though!

5 Wks – OK, really worried about these cramps now, some of them are really strong and I’m totally knackered. Had to buy bigger bras.

6 Wks – Went to the Doctor, they didn’t even test me. Just gave me a list of what not to eat, congratulated me and sent me on my way.

7 Wks – Feel sick. OMG this is horrid. Bring back the cramps! (Thankfully
only lasts Thursday to Monday).

8 Wks – My birthday. Starts out a bit of a limp event. Ends up lovely. Partly because I dress up; make up, heels, feel like Me for a few hours and partly because I fell asleep for 3 hours again in the afternoon so kind of realising I wouldn’t have coped with a big deal birthday anyway!

9 Wks – Feeling mostly normal again. Still knackered. Towards the end of the week I get an angry head on for no reason. OMG just had a bubble in the loo at work, how embarrassing! Now I’m giddy as hell, think I’m going bi-polar!

10 Wks – Rollercoaster! Low and tired and done in. Hate work. Not overly happy about sitting on the sofa every night and every weekend either but can’t find the energy to do anything else. This should be the happiest time of my life. Why am I miserable? Wait! … It seems Michael Jacksons “Thriller” album is the perfect cure.
Broke the news to the family on Sunday. Everyone very excited!
Feel sick again and have permanent headache behind my right eye. Thankfully, my Beloved is working from home this morning and makes me a sweet cup of tea with some ginger biccies. All better.
Spoke too soon! Caught tummy bug. Hope Strawbug‘s OK!

11 Wks – Feel normal again. Too normal… Strawbug? You still there?
Got a constant headache behind my right eye. Making me feel queasy. Caved in after 3 days solid and took 2 paracetemol… not sure they’ll be strong enough.

12 Wks – Bought The Best Friends Guide to Pregnancy a couple of days ago. Been reading it avidly. Trouble is, it makes me laugh so much and laughing makes me cry! My Beloved thinks I’m a nutcase!
So nervous, can hardly sleep. Have my dating scan tomorrow and I’m convinced there’ll be nothing there. My friend told me about someone she knows having a Phantom Pregnancy… But then even if there is something there, what if there’s something wrong… Feel sick with nerves.

WOW! My life has just changed forever!!

This morning I seen my baby for the first time. I cried my eyes out, though my Beloved managed to stay strong. He was passing me tissues with one hand and squeezing my hand so hard with the other. The scan print out is amazing. So clear. I was expecting an experience closer to Rachel in Friends (where is it? I can’t see it) but this is just the most incredible picture in the world. Strawbug was moving around like crazy (not that I could feel it, but I could see it). His/Her arms were flailing around in front – either he/she is going to be a boxer, or dance like his/her Dad! And then, just before the session ended, he/she started sucking his/her thumb!!! I want to stay hooked up to this machine for the next 6 months… I don’t want to miss a minute of my beautiful baby’s life.

Our Little Rhubarb