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?!

 

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M.I.A.

Hello stranger!… No, sorry that would be me!

I actually didn’t realise how long it’s been since I last posted to my blog. I knew it had been quite a while but I genuinely hadn’t realised it’d been three and a half months. Some of my “cyber friends” were starting to worry about me going M.I.A. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Or indeed when your life is being turned upside down?!

So, what news? Me? well little Strawbug is getting big now, and I appear to be growing at twice the rate that he/she is, my little furball is riding the emotional swing with me (one minute he loves us to bits and the next he looks at us like we’re the proverbial on his paw – I think he senses/smells/whatever cats do, the baby in my tummy and knows that something big is about to happen). The house isn’t ready (in fact it’s even more unready than the the last time I posted), we don’t have everything we need, we had planned a natural water birth at home and now I’ll be going to the birth centre at the hospital (and probably be taking huge amounts of narcotics given that I have not practised my deep relaxation techniques one bit!)

In general, I’m feeling massively underprepared and totally not ready for this.

But then I am 35 weeks pregnant and so, I’m hoping that this feeling is completely natural and every pregnant lady goes through this phase.

For the most part, I’ve had a pretty easy time of it (compared to many women) so I shouldn’t really complain (two ticks, need a quick swig of Gaviscon…) ah, that’s better. Though I have been growing increasingly scatty and in the last 2 weeks have returned to the depths of lethargy I experienced in the second half of my first trimester. Serves me right, I suppose, for boasting about how easy it’s been ūüôā

Still, only 5, 6 or 7 weeks to go. And there’s the most amazing gift at the end of it all… given how quickly the last 3 months have passed, Strawbug will be here in no time!

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!

In Sickness And In Health

I’m living in what feels like an Emergency Room this week. Thankfully (at the time of publishing, at least) little Strawbug and I are feeling good, for a change.

So, we’re playing nurse.

The trouble started two nights ago at around 4am. Our little furball appeared meowing his little heart out. Constantly. After 20 minutes of walking around the house with him, still meowing, he disappeared under the bed and then silence… A few minutes later he re-appeared and started making the most unimaginable noise. A cross between choking and gasping for air. Shortly after, the poor little mite vomited everywhere. I didn’t realise such a little thing could produce so much spew!

2 minutes after that, we smelled it. Whilst under the bed, he’d burrowed into a storage box of clothes and “had an accident”. MY storage box of MY clothes, I hasten to add. In his defence, I worked out later that the 20 minute tour of the house was him looking for his litter tray (which we’d packed away only last weekend on account of the fact he hadn’t used it in a month now that we don’t lock him in overnight).

I wont share with you the details of the accident. Needless to say, again it was everwhere and it was rancid. It kind of amazes me though that, even through the gagging (of which there was much), all I could think of was my poor little furbaby and how bad must be feeling. Maybe it’s true after all, that having a cat is a good training exercise for having a baby?

I did get let off relatively lightly though. Being pregnant, I couldn’t clean up any of it. So, it fell to my brave (but very green and almost vomiting himself) beloved to make everything like new. My guess is I will be reminded of this when Strawbug arrives and experiences an equally icky accident!

You’ll be glad to know that my little cat is all better now. Unfortunately, my beloved isn’t. He’s taken up the gauntlet! No coincidence, I fear. I feel terrible that he’s been plagued after his good deed. I just hope he steers clear of my clothes box!

If You Love Someone, Set Them Free

So, this weekend, my Beloved and I took a (fairly) major decision. Partly for selfish reasons and partly for selfless reasons.

We’ve always kept our little cat in at nightime. Mostly, because I can’t sleep wondering if the bigger cats in the neighbourghood (of which there are many) have beat him to a pulp or if (as has happened before and nearly destroyed me) he’s gotten stuck somewhere he can’t get out of, or some other horrific event has been visited upon him.

I have always reasoned that it’s also better for the local wildlife if he’s not out hunting their numbers to extinction – though how much wildlife a cat could actually find in a neighbourhood that’s not inner city enough to be urban but not far enough out¬†to be suburban, I don’t know. Helped to keep my concience clear(ish) though.

My Beloved (a cat owner since he was born) has always maintained that cats are nocturnal creatures and probably shouldn’t be cooped up all night. Though, as he does love me very very much, he went along with it and understood. The cat didn’t really seem to mind either. After all, he’d never known anything different. Until…

For the last 3 weeks our little fur-baby has been waking us around the 5am mark, then the 4:30am mark, then around 4am until the end of last week when he started waking us up at 3:30am to get out and do his ablutions (he doesn’t like to “Go” in the litter tray anymore – he’s discovered his dignity).

So on Friday night, we decided (at my suggestion – this surprised me more than my Beloved I think) that we should maybe not lock the cat flap at night and then he could get out if he needed to “Go” without waking us up at silly o’clock in the morning. We decided best to trial this new venture that very¬†weekend as we would be at home all weekend and he would then feel more comfortable that we hadn’t abandoned him (I know, I’m totally crazy).

So here we are, 5 nights later. The first night I don’t think he realised it was open so stayed in until his normal 4am before giving it a try. The next couple of nights he was out, and in, and out and in and out all flaming night! But last night, he went out after dinner to (I hope) play with his friends and then came in about 11:30pm and slept all night (well till about 6am) in his old favourite spot, right underneath my half of the bed ūüôā I couldn’t believe my luck. My cat does love me!¬†(NB: his new favourite spot is behind a box bed in an entirely different room, as far away from me as possible!).

So, there you go. We¬†managed to achieve¬†a win/win situation. (Status Quo dependant).¬†If you love someone, you have to set them free. And then there’s a very good chance¬†they will want to come back to you!

But yes, I’ll admit, I’m still finding it hard to sleep but I’m learning. And yes, I do have a mild pang of guilt about the longevity of the local widlife – especially as this morning my Beloved found a “little present” waiting for him in the guest room!

Home Sweet Home

Earlier I tweeted this: “I LOVE my home! Just love it! Love coming home to it. Love being in it. Just love it. Love it. Love it.” A slightly random statement to make and I was (only a little)¬†surprised when the thought entered my head. But it did. Randomly. And the feeling that accompanied the thought was so strong,¬†I just felt I had to share it.

Let me be clear. I’m not talking about my house; the bricks and mortar, about the colour of the paint (well, maybe the colour of the paint in the box room, for which I spent years trying to find¬†a match to the prefect shade that was in my mind’s eye!). I’m not talking about the things in it, though I suppose those things help make it what it is. I’m not even sure if it’s the people who live there (namely myself, my Beloved and my litttle cat) because I feel it even more when it’s empty and quiet.

My home is not my castle, it’s my Sanctuary. As soon as I walk in and close the door behind me I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I take a deep breath and start to relax, warm up, cool down, whatever it is I’m looking for; I find it here.

I’m also acutely aware that I’m extremely lucky to have a roof over my head, let alone a safe place of Sanctuary. And I genuinely thank God/Mother Nature/The Stars/Whoever is listening¬†on a regular basis for the priviledge.

I hope that you have a Sanctuary, whether it’s your home or somewhere else. And for those who¬†aren’t lucky enough to¬†feel safe in their homes, or don’t have a roof over their heads, I will keep you in my¬†thoughts and do what I can to make the world a safer place.

And Your Point Is, Caller?

Not so long ago, in the dead of winter, I spotted something that made me stop and pinch myself (mentally, at least).

It was freezing… I mean really, really,¬†cold. So cold that I couldn’t feel my toes through 3 pairs of thick socks. And there was a man sitting on a bench, waiting for a train (as many of us were, being that this happened at a train station), wearing fingerless gloves… FINGERLESS GLOVES!!! What’s the point in that? I thought to myself. I couldn’t feel my face and there he was risking his digits without a care in the world.

I laughed a little, about 15 minutes later once I had sat down on the train and my face had had¬†a chance to thaw out. And it made me think of Big Mac meals, you’ll see shortly why. So,¬†I decided I would try to¬†think of as many pointless things as I could, write them down and share them with you (an infinitely more¬†difficult¬†task that it sounds, let me assure you!)

Here’s my list (in no particular order). Feel free to share your own by leaving a comment!

A few of my favourite (pointless) things:
–¬†Fingerless gloves (OK, that’s a bit of a cheat)
– Ordering a Diet Coke with a Big Mac meal
– Alcohol free beer
– De-caffeinated coffee
– Wearing sunglasses at night
– Leaving a light on in the house for the cat, when you’re out and it’s dark (what really? just me then?)
– Owning a mobile phone and leaving it at your desk/on the kitchen table whenever you go anywhere (it’s¬†got the word “mobile” in its name for a reason, you know!)
– Invisible ink
– Off Road/All Terrain vehicles that only ever go from the 5 bed detached, to the school, to the shopping mall and back again (unless any of these destinations are atop a hill with no access road)
– And of course, the old classic: Having a dog and barking yourself! (though, in all honesty, in 36 years I’ve yet to hear anyone actually do that)