Thursday, 6 December 2012

Without Child (and yet with child)

After a sickly and tiring November, I am still snotty but starting to feel Christmassy.  Cards are made, plans are in place, decorations are up, and all is well as long as I have a clean tissue nearby.

In the meantime, Charlie and Penny have gone to Greece for 5 days with Erika and Theresa to see Super-Papou, and it sounds like they are having a wonderful time.

Which leaves me home alone, though with a baby in my tummy, which kind of precludes me from going for crazy drunken nights out till 5am.

But in the meantime, some small observations:
  • It still only takes me 15 mins from being in bed to being showered, dressed and off to work.
  • It is refreshing not to feel a constant sense of urgency, which I think comes from wanting to be with Penny whenever I am not at work.  A symptom of working full time, but soon to be fixed via mat leave and considering a part time future.
  • I don't trust myself to remember my keys, especially with my current 'baby brain' memory ... so I check at least twice whenever I leave the house.
Looking forward to cuddling my little pudding-pie (and my big pudding-pie) very soon, but in the meantime I will be relaaaaaaxing :)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A Peaceful Saturday Morning


Penny kindly let me sleep in till 7:30 this morning, and we have had a lovely morning hanging out together, and getting some easy quick jobs done (Ocado online shop, cooking some Fimo beads I made last night).

Charlie is at his board game conference in Essen, and I am reminded how manageable life is, even if he is not here and I am pregnant (i.e. tired and sometimes a bit grumpy).  I miss him, but all is very well.  And he is clearly having the time of his life ("Games! Games! Games!")

My diary is pretty free, and there are some bits and pieces I would like to do, but nothing terribly urgent.  Erika, Ruth and Wela are coming round tonight, and I am completely looking forward to it as the cooking is already mostly done, so I can have a fun chatty evening with them and P.

And Penny is being a complete sweetie.  She is at an age where she can do so much, she loves to entertain herself but is also delightful to play with or read to.  And stroppy tantrums are still very rare.

So, a quick read of 'Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too', a cosy shower, and then P and I will be off for a walk around Brockwell Park ... perfect!  Hooray!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Little Boy that Never Was

Don't get me wrong, I know that except for death and taxes, very little in life is truly final.

We had a very good 20 week +6 days scan today, where the baby was shown to be healthy and growing well, and will also be a little girl.  And, as Charlie and I are only planning on 2 children, this seems to be a clear indication that we will not experience being parents to a baby boy.

Which is fine in many ways.  Sisters may well fall out, but hopefully will be very close as the years go by.  And there are various other generalisations I could make, but it does feel very final.  As we approach the end of our childbearing chapter, it is an emotional day in many different ways.

Even having another baby at all seems a bit like cheating on Penny.  But if we were to have expected a boy, we had a name chosen.  And the thought of bringing up a mini-Charlie when he is just so wonderful was too good to be true.  And of course I am already bringing up a mini-Charlie.  Penny is so much like him, even though it is the easy option to say how much she is like me just because she is a girl.  But she both looks like him and behaves like him.

And I know we won't be bringing up girls any differently than how we would if they were boys.  They will still climb trees and learn how to play chess and go.

So now I just want to meet the little fidget who is wriggling around in my tummy, because I know she will be wonderful in so many new and surprising ways.  

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Catching Up

So, returning back from America went ok, though getting over 8 hours of jet lag with a baby is hard ... even when you can sleep, odds are they can't!  And there were plenty of autumnal germs waiting for us, so there have been coughs and colds all round.

Feeling very seasonally chilled out though, enjoying the cooler air but not the rain.

As I am over 20 weeks pregnant now, the baby has been wiggling more and even kicking.  It really helps me to bond with the baby.  I mean, you know you are pregnant earlier on from the sickness, the scan and the line on the stick, but it feels abstract to have a baby in your tummy.  It is only when it starts moving that I can really connect.  And looking forward to seeing the baby again at the scan next Tuesday, though the anticipation of knowing what gender the baby will be is too much!

Having a relaxing weekend, seeing Kirsten, Matty and Anna, and as the others are going for the annual autumn walk tomorrow, and if it is not raining Penny may go to, and I may well get a day to myself ... what will I do?!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Home Again

A group of us had a late breakfast at the Spot Café before going for a walk in the park.  Some went for a game of Pitch & Putt, while P and I rested on the beach watching the boats and enjoying playing in the sand.

Then one final fat burger before driving to the airport.  Returning the cars was seamless, and P and I snuggled up on the plane to have a fair bit of sleep, though I was happy to know that I wouldn’t be back at work till Tuesday.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Cycling and Walking

French Toast breakfast at the Spot Café.  Then the 3 of us jumped on bikes (and a trailer) to cycle round Stanley Park.  It seems to be the main thing to do in Vancouver, and it was clear why.  

Such fantastic views of the bay, with seaplanes landing and tugboats plodding along.  

We stopped off on the beach to play in the sand with Penny, which she loved. 

On returning the bikes, we started walking.  Down Denman Street, spotting a good restaurant for our last evening together (The Boathouse).  Then all the way down Davies Street, stopping at a couple of good second-hand/thrift shops.

Then we walked all the way over the main bridge to get to Granville Island.  Fantastic views of the city, but a long way to walk.  Especially as we had to double back a long way to actually get to where we were heading.

We stopped off for some well-needed food in a great little fish restaurant, and went in a few shops.  Which included a hammock shop, where we decided to buy an enormous family hammock on a whim!  A splurge, but you really can’t get hammocks as good as American hammocks in the UK.

As I was exhausted from all the cycling and walking, we took a taxi to Gastown to see the old gas lights and architecture.  Then back to the hotel to meet the others for dinner.

The restaurant was slow, but we had our own corner and the food was terrific.  My steak was especially good.  Penny was a bit restless at the beginning of the meal, which was hard, but she settled down eventually.  And we hung around for ages, making friends with other diners too, as we went through all of our top ten experiences of the trip.  Mine were as follows:

10 – 3Cs Cowboy music show in Cody
9 – House on the Rock Inn – Submarine Pool and Hot Tub
8 – Dave’s all you can eat attempt in Butte
7 – Chicago – Architecture and posh dinner at The Signature Restaurant
6 – Seattle Karaoke
5 – Dressing up in the 1880’s Cowboy Town
4 – Cycling in Vancouver
3 – Yellowstone
2 – Rushmore
1 – House on the Rock

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Canada Ahoy

We jumped on the Monorail with Matthew, picking up Katie and Dave on the way, as we headed towards the markets in the middle of Seattle.  Stopped off at Ludi’s on Pike for a brilliant hash brown and bacon breakfast.  Then we wandered through the markets, along the waterfront to the Curiosity shop (which was nothing much, in my opinion).  Then quickly into the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) shop before meeting the others back at the hotel, and we found a tremendous fountain on the way back.

We then drove to Canada, meeting a pleasant but firm border guard as we tried to get across.  Anca had had to leave us in Seattle as she had some last minute visa issues, so we were down another person at this point.

Vancouver was very impressive as we approached, such an impressive city by the bay with mountains in the background.

After driving down Robson Street, we got to our rooms at Robson Suites.  Walking back up Robson, we found Earl’s on a recommendation from a local.  And it was fantastic, being fairly Penny friendly with amazing food and great service.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Washington and the Ocean

Stopped off just over the border in Ellensburg to see Dick and Jane’s garden, full of lots of homemade colourful art.  Then we chose to have lunch in a beautiful converted yellow church, where they had made Heavenly Loaf (fluffy ciabatta with cheese, garlic and plenty of salt, yum!)

Arrived in Seattle, realising that we were nearing the end of our trip by hitting the ocean.  The roads were undergoing repairs and were hard to navigate, but Charlie managed to get us to our posh hotel, The Maxwell.

Got to the Space Needle just as the sun was setting, was hilarious to see it ‘unset’ as we went up in the lift.

Afterwards we all jumped into taxis to get to the karaoke place.  Charlie was looking after Penny for the evening, so I snuck out to have tacos with them before they headed back to the hotel.  Singing was fun, as always, with lots of enthusiasm all round.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Eating and Driving

Drove to Butte for lunch, and not just any lunch.  We headed for Trimbos pizza so Dave could attempt the 5lb Jumboli Calzone challenge.  An enormous amount of food on a plate, he did pretty well, getting through about a third of it.  They did make yummy pizzas, but not sure if I would want to gorge my way through 5lb of it. 

Dave’s attempt was fantastic though, even when he turned a bit pale, he wasn’t sick.

This was a day of lots of driving.  We stopped off at the $50,000 bar which was covered in endless $1 silver dollar coins.  The barlady Phyllis sang at Jamie, and the shop had plenty of fun things in, including an infinite drinking bird which we just had to have one of.

Arrived late in Coeur d’Alene, and had a meal at Tomato Street restaurant where you could draw on the paper tablecloths with crayons.