Monday, June 14, 2010

Starting Over

My mother in law once told me that she and my father in law were scheduled to attend what she described as a "Tea and Dick Party". Having not long been married to my husband, I was wondering if perhaps I would have to re-evaluate what I believed that I knew about my in-laws. The British are certainly not alone in their penchant for perversion, but the quaintness with which they endow it often makes it seem all the more sordid. It turned out that it was a party being thrown by two friends called Theresa and Richard, which was vaguely disappointing.

At one of these parties, one of the male guests related the story of his first sexual encounter, which took place in a rather picturesque wood. Apparently, at the Moment of Truth, the gentleman in question suddenly experienced an excruciating pain in his feet which he took to be par for the course for The Nasty. It was not until several moments later that he realized that his legs were sticking out onto a public footpath and he had, in fact, been run over by a bicycle.

I always think of this story when I venture into the bluebell woods on the nearby Ashridge Estate. (Not only do I have this lovely anecdote to draw on, but during one of Mr. DD's and my trips to the woods while dating, we encountered a couple who obviously had the same idea, making the sightseeing slightly awkward.) Luckily, when I stopped by to take in the sights last month with The Squidlette, our fellow wood-goers were more likely to be worried about the state of their sock-suspenders rather than whether or not anyone could see their bare ass rising above the flowers.

The arrival of the bluebells every year has always filled me with hope. Although I've spent many seasons trotting amongst the blooms in heavy sweaters, they've always heralded the start of warmer weather and long, light evenings. This year, the sea of blue filled me with a slight melancholy, knowing that it may be the last time I see them, for who knows when I may next be in England during bluebell season.

Although Mr. DD and I have always known that we'd someday be leaving the UK for a life in America, now that it is only weeks rather than years until we go, it's brought little things into sharp focus. Like how much we'll miss family and friends. How we'll explain the dramatic life change to the Prawn. And how, in three years, we've gone from having precisely SQUAT to having an attic groaning under the weight of our belongings.

One of our tasks of the past weeks has been to cement both the Prawn and Squid's claim to US citizenship which, of course, meant a trip to London to the US Embassy who's security and imposing nature make it the ideal place for a fun day out with a toddler and newborn. (Not to mention the extremely child friendly appointment time of 9 am.) Squidlette got the morning off to a roaring start by staging a total meltdown in the car in some of worst London traffic I've seen since it took us 3 hours to go 2 miles once while taking my parents to visit the Tower. The "Bucket" (the word we use to refer to her carseat) was a magical device for the Prawn; pop her in and all was right with the world. It's spell would lull her to sleep and keep her that way until she was unceremoniously removed upon our arrival at home. The Squid, however, merely tolerates The Bucket and a traffic jam on the M1 pretty much tested her tolerance to breaking point. Said meltdown required me to unbuckle my seatbelt, lean over into the backseat and try to stick a bottle into the orifice that was creating the noise, all the while enduring funny looks from slowly passing fellow motorists and a barrage of "WHATCHA DOIN MUMMY?" from the Prawn.

After arriving nearly 45 minutes late for our appointment, a fairly long spell in a hot waiting room that has apparently remained unchanged since the Eisenhower administration was enough for the Prawn's patience to wear paper thin and on the way out she chose to become an immovable object on the subjects of a) wearing shoes b) holding hands and c) remaining vertical, necessitating Mr. DD to carry her, screeching, across several busy intersections while I crossed at pedestrian crossings with Squidlette and for a few brief moments was able to pretend like I had nothing to do with the wailing banshee across the street.

Our pain, however, was not all for naught and has yielded two small, blue books that now declare both Squid and Prawn to be US citizens, entitled to all of the rights, privileges and opportunities to buy cheaper products imported from China that goes along with it.

Mr. DD's visa process has been substantially more complicated. While it has NOT, in fact involved a Hollywood style simultaneous questioning in two separate rooms to determine whether or not we are aware of the other's favorite colors (after nearly 11 years and two children, we would have the least convenient marriage of convenience EVER.) it HAS entailed rather a lot of complicated paperwork and and a not insubstantial sum of cash. However, we are now down to the last hurdle of his interview which is booked for mid-July and we are at least marginally certain that it won't involve any probing beyond those questions that the embassy official will put to him. We hope to be re-united Stateside in early August.

The reason for the girls and my early departure, (apart from the fact that packing everything up will be much simpler without a small person questioning why all of her toys are being sealed up inside a cardboard box) has a lot to do with an unpleasant dispute with our downstairs neighbor; a woman who is sadly afflicted with cancer of the personality. While I don't wish to go into extreme detail, suffice to say, she has become only the second person my enormously mild-mannered husband has ever had a shouting match with in his life (the first being a stripper on my brother in law's stag do) and that existence in this apartment has become rather like living above a bridge with a troll underneath; a grossly overweight troll with a hatred for children and a propensity for revealing clothing, door slamming, sleeping til 4 in the afternoon and drinking heavily during the day.

Neither Mr. DD or I are fans of conflict, so despite the fact that we're not in the wrong, we're simply removing ourselves from the situation. I learned long ago that there is no "winning" against a thoroughly unreasonable personality and the only way to resolve the conflict is to walk away. Although it may give her pleasure to see us go, it is unequalled by the pleasure that I will gain in never having to see her face again in my life and the knowledge that just being her is punishment enough. Mr DD is rather anxious for us to leave on that account as we're fairly sure she is unaware of the fact that there's a guitar amplifier up here that could put cracks in the foundation of the building.

It's weird to think about going home after 11 years overseas. There are overtones of "leaving home" that I've not experienced since I was 18 and it occurs to me that repatriation is going to carry some of the initial challenges that I faced in 1999 when I relocated to the UK shortly before Mr. DD and I got married. Being American doesn't automatically prepare you for life in America, especially after over a decade abroad. When I think of the naive and easily offended creature that appeared on these shores all those years ago it is hard to believe that that same woman is returning to her country of origin a) with 7 more tattoos and two more children than she left with b) a far more cynical approach to everything and c) vaguely concerned that she might say something wildly offensive at any moment. It's all going to be about re-learning how to fit in. (and trying to keep the word "wanker" out of my vocabulary)

I've thought for years about "going home". While I still know that America is where we want to be, I realize more than ever that the UK has been just as much a home to me as the US ever was. My children were born here. Half of my family is here. THAT'S what makes a home, more than borders or nationalities.

And I will miss it deeply.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Two kids.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Birth Story, Take Two.

I remember writing The Prawn's birth story some 3 years ago from a fairly bad place on the other side of a birth experience that was utterly unexpected and traumatic. Over the last few days, I've devoted a very small portion of my brain (the only part not occupied by washing, feeding, expressing, disciplining and, on occasion, breathing in and out.) trying to figure out how I felt about my experience this time around.

In the first place, I didn't bother with a birth plan. While expecting the Prawn, I spent one very long evening composing a rather detailed plan for her birth which I responsibly printed out and included in the folder of notes that I took to the hospital. This piece of paper was instantly discarded and used as firelighters when it became apparent that the Prawn was having NONE of that labor shit and that she was QUITE HAPPY just where she was, thank you, necessitating the medical SAS to stage a uterine incursion to extract her. This experience taught me that that once you are caught in the current of the hospital system, it is best to behave as a very pregnant twig and follow where it leads. Knowing also that a Caesarian was on the cards this time around made it seem even more pointless to try to dictate the terms of The Squid's arrival when I myownself wasn't really going to have much to do with it other than turning up in an open backed hospital gown, showing my ass to the anesthetist, lying back and then marveling at the sensation of not being able to wiggle my toes.

The Rock Star and I arrived at the hospital unfortunately early due to my insistence that we were supposed to be there at quarter TO seven as opposed to quarter PAST seven, so we spent 15 rather whispery minutes sitting in an all too familiar cubical and surrounded by the all too familiar curtains with the all too familiar sights of Aylesbury and the surrounding areas. (Although this time around, I noticed that one of the buildings depicted was in the complex where I work) Of course, the catch phrase of the hospital is "hurry up and wait", so had a fair amount of time to get reacquainted with the local sights before called down to the theatre.

Unlike my visit to the theatre with the Prawn, I walked in under my own power, getting a really quite detailed look at all of the instruments that would be being used shortly to expose my insides to daylight. Perhaps it was this fact or the fact that we'd been waiting for nearly 25 minutes in a very hot hallway, but the proceedings did NOT get off to the best start when the very talented anesthetist (to whom I felt much indebted later) put a relatively simple cannula in the back of my hand, and I pretty much nearly fainted like a big girl. My thoughts, through my rapidly diminishing field of vision, was that this was NOT a good start, considering what was to come.

During the Prawn's birth, I did not have the luxury of a spinal block. The epidural that I had been enjoying the services of for 12 hours or so was simply topped up for the surgery. While epidurals are great for blocking out labor pains, they are not ideal for being attacked with sharp surgical implements and towards the end of the surgery, I started to get some sensation back at a rather inopportune moment, requiring me to be put under for the duration of the procedure. Because of this, it was AGES before I actually got any bonding time with the Prawn. The anesthetist was dead set that I should make it through this procedure awake and to make sure of it, gave me a fairly heavy dose of the numb stuff. So heavy, in fact, that I was not ENTIRELY sure they had begun the operation until suddenly I heard a baby crying and was informed that it was, in fact a girl. (Which both the Rock Star and I were hugely relived about as we had a) neglected to choose a name for a boy and b) had a large drawer of pink clothes waiting at home.)

Of course, because this is me. this is around the time that things started to go wrong.

The Squid was bundled up tightly and given to The Rock Star and I got a full 3 minutes or so of gazing adoringly at my new daughter's face before it became apparent to me that all was not going completely well on the other side of the curtain, where bits of me that had never seen the light of day lay open to the elements.

First I was hot. Then very cold. Then incredibly sick. The Rock Star informed me that the anesthetist was very busy twiddling buttons behind my head, trying to keep ahead of my plunging blood pressure and the nausea that resulted from the blood pressure medication. The junior and senior registrars were called into theatre due to the fact that things were going a bit pear shaped in the uterus contracting department. Despite the fact that I was now completely numb and no longer about to pass out or throw up, I could tell that there was a fair amount of pulling, tugging and shoving going on. The Rock Star was made to clear out of the way and was standing on the other side of the theatre with The Squid looking nervous. However, I didn't really notice any of these things as I was just so grateful to feel absolutely nothing.

Things finally DID come under control, albeit after some major bruising and blood loss and I was wheeled into the recovery room where I was able to hold the Squid. But what kind of birth experience would it be without a little MORE drama? One of the theatre nurses noticed that the Squid was making a rather demure squeaking sound which was not par for the course as far as newborns go. A consultant from pediatrics was dispatched forthwith and agreed that they'd like to have a little bit of observation time in the NICU. Of course, this is the news that NO new parent wants to hear, but as shot away as I was, I was keen for her to be looked after as well as she needed to be, so rather reluctantly surrendered her to a pair of blue scrubs and asked another midwife if, since they were taking my baby, could I please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD have a glass of water as I'd not drunk anything since the night before? I then proceeded to ignore advice to drink slowly and nearly drowned due to the fact that my diaphragm was in a spinal block induced coma and was temporarily unavailable for lung clearing activities.

It was, in fact, several hours before the Squid was returned to our be-curtained cubicle back on the ward. The Rock Star was valiantly trying to keep a full fledged freak out from occurring when they finally wheeled her back in, looking rather pitiful with a My Very First Cannula sticking out of her tiny left hand. We were informed that she'd been started on a course of precautionary anti-biotics and given a chest x-ray ("Welcome to the world. ZAP!") to make sure there was no infection lingering about. They were fairly sure she'd just gotten a snootful of fluid as many babies delivered by Caesarian do, but they wanted to be 100% sure.

Thus began again a rather traumatic time on the wards, much as I'd remembered it from the Prawn's birth. I would simply like to re-iterate the fact that whoever thought it was an awesome idea to stick 6 post op women AND their babies in the same room for a minimum of 2 nights should be promptly found and set on fire.

One thing that had definitely changed was the speed at which the hospital was intent on getting Caesarian patients out of beds and out of their hair. With the Prawn, I remember begging every nurse and doctor that passed me if they could PLEASE GOD TAKE OUT THIS GODDAMMED CATHETER only to be told that I had to wait for someone very senior in charge to give them the go- ahead. However, this time around Operation Mobility was sincerely in force and midwives were working furiously to get those of us who had just undergone major abdominal surgery walking around again so we didn't keep hitting the Call button every time our new offspring sneezed. Unfortunately for me, while I was able to get out of bed fairly soon, due to some unexplained internal bleeding, I was equipped with what was rather simply called "a drain". For those not acquainted with this particular post-surgical apparatus, I shall spare you a detailed description save for the fact that it is deeply unpleasant to have to carry around a bag of fluids that are currently leaking out of you via an opening that, up until 24 hours previous, did not actually exist. And if I thought having it IN was bad, this was nothing compared to taking it OUT. This was done by a very kind midwife who was just as surprised as I was that the surgical team had left approximately half a mile of tubing in my innards which, at the end, whipped out rather suddenly, tagging what felt like every organ I owned on the way and causing me to yelp like a stuck pig. Oh, the indignity.

Unusually enough, my sister in law was on the maternity ward at the same time as I was. Sometime during my second day, The Rock Star texted his brother asking whether they were upstairs yet and discovered that they were, in fact, behind a set of curtains on the other side of the room with our new niece, who has been affectionately christened "Wubba", born less than 24 hours later than the Squid. Luckily, the midwives were on the ball and two women with identical surnames and nearly identical addresses in the same bay caused little to no consternation or pharmaceutical mishaps. Although I would not have wished a c-section on Trumpet, it was rather nice to have someone to text across the ward at 3 am when a VERY young woman was brought up with a new baby who proceeded to scream ALL NIGHT. It's mother, not possessed with much in the way of initiative, took to tapping half heartedly on the plastic cot beside her bed rather than pressing the buzzer for the nurse who could have been of some assistance. Trumpet referred to the ward as "Guantanamo Bay for new mothers".

Round about Friday, when I was ready to pack my bags to go home, we were dealt another blow to our morale when a pediatric doctor said that although all of the blood cultures were negative, they were awful gosh darn sorry, but they'd forgotten to have a good look at that pesky chest x-ray very closely and due to what they saw, they were keen to keep The Squid in for two more nights to complete the course of anti-biotics. Not only this, but due to a miscommunication with the NICU, the Squid's cannula had already been removed, meaning that my 3 day old daughter would have to have a second ENORMOUS FREAKING NEEDLE inserted into her hand. Not only THAT, but THIS time, I got to be the one to hold her tiny arm still while they did it, making me feel even more like Mother of the Year.

This of course, also meant two more nights in for ME. By this point, I was beyond tired; not due to the Squid, (who spent rather a lot of time sleeping) but rather to the lack of opportunity to have ANY peace and quiet for 2 nights running. I don't mind saying that this lead to an absolute melt-down on my part- the idea of two more nights on the wards were more than I could bear. However, I was kindly offered one of the private side rooms for the duration of my stay so that I might actually be afforded half an hour here and there to catch 40 winks. So while still in the depths of despair at having to remain in hospital, the idea of a private room made it slightly more palatable.

I was feeling especially desperate due to the fact that I'd hoped to be home for the Prawn's birthday on Sunday. In an uncharacteristic burst of foresightedness, I'd wrapped all of the Prawn's presents before leaving for hospital, so it wasn't much work for the Rock Star to gather them up and bring them to my little room along with the Prawn so that we could have a birthday of sorts in hospital. This was probably way more depressing for me than it was for the Prawn, who was thrilled with a bounty of Peppa Pig merchandise and a gingerbread man to munch on. While I felt terrible at making her share her birthday with me and her new sister in a clean but wholly sterile environment, she was quite happy to run around and try to find a moment when the two of us weren't looking to press the "CPR" button on my bed control.

We were finally given the all clear to leave on Monday morning. While I had visions of being made to wait until sometime in the afternoon for the drug trolley to rumble my way, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted in the morning by an enthusiastic midwife who'd obviously been informed about the melting down earlier in the week and had made it her mission to get me out of that ward as fast as humanly possible, so by the time The Rock Star arrived at 11 for visiting hours, both the Squid and I were packed, dressed, in possession of powerful painkillers (those were for me) and ready to get the HELL out of there.

Life since the hospital has been blessedly easy in comparison to what I was actually expecting, although both the Rock Star and I are waiting for the penny to drop. As far as sibling rivalry goes, The Prawn has pretty much been acting like your garden variety 3 year old with a burr up her tailpipe, but none of her acting out has actually been DIRECTED at her new sister, who she seems to be surprisingly well disposed towards. As for the Squid, she does rather a lot of sleeping and remarkably little shouting, although she has drenched both of her parents in bodily fluids various, but since this is par for the course for newborns, we shall not hold it against her. In the hospital, I took to calling her "Spitty Frog" due to some highly comical amphibian-style faces she was wont to pull. Upon her return home, we christened ourselves "The Itty Bitty Spitty Committee", which, let me tell you, sounds HILARIOUS coming out of the mouth of a 3 year old.

We are well, but tired. Happy, but exhausted. And we are a complete family.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Squid and the Prawn

Just wanted to post a quick picture of my girls. I've not decided if the look on the Prawn's face is cute or an expression of "just wait until you're looking in the other direction and this thing is SO going to be covered in permanent marker."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Arrival

Eleanor Kestrel Anne arrived at 1pm on Wednesday, March 17th- 7 lbs, 13 oz. More to come when mama and baby manage to make it out of hospital! :)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Luck of the Irish?

It's going to be a St. Patrick's Day baby.

It's going to be a c-section. I'm a little disappointed, but it's probably the most sensible option.

Fingers crossed for spontaneous labor before the 17th!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Good News

Well, it certainly could have been worse.

My numbers are on the low side of high, so no big needles for this mama. Whew.

The specialist midwife actually told me that thinking on treating diabetes in pregnancy has changed significantly over the last few years and that insulin is only ever used in the most extreme cases of GD or in women that were diabetic pre-pregnancy. Luckily, all I've had to do is change my diet and check my blood sugar three times a day, which DOES require a little bit of pricking, but no biggie. We got to see the Squid again too, which was nice.

I've got another appointment with a consultant this Thursday when I SHOULD get a better idea of what kind of birth I should be in for, i.e, whether they'll let me go til at least 39 weeks and give a natural birth a try or if the baby will be too big necessitating a repeat c-section.

The no sweets/no carbs lifestyle is a bit of a bummer, but I'm grateful that it wasn't too bad when it was caught even if it WAS quite late. Although I am missing my good friend chocolate, I am making do with rich tea biscuits in the meantime.

3 weeks to go.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stumbling a Bit in the Home Stretch

35 weeks.

Due to a family health crisis, I had to fly to America in January, right around the time I should have been taking my Glucose Tolerance Test. On my return, our entire household contracted Martian Death Lurghy which didn't abate until the end of the month, so rescheduling took a little longer than it should have.

So when I got a call from the antenatal clinic of the hospital yesterday informing me that I had Gestational Diabetes and a) could they please see me Thursday to figure out what to do about it and b) could I knock off my cookie/juice/fruit/carb/everything scarfing ways in the meantime, it was a bit of a bummer.

It's one of those things that you can't help but feel totally responsible for and in my case, not getting around to the test sooner is a double whammy. Luckily, according to the midwife, my blood sugars aren't THAT bad, so I'm hoping that it's something that I can treat with diet rather than needles. (pleaseohpleasedontmakemestabmyselfbecauseiwilltotallyfaint.)

Fingers crossed for the most positive of outcomes.

Monday, February 01, 2010


This afternoon, I've been looking back through my blog archives for late 2006 and early 2007 when I was pregnant with The Prawn, trying to draw some inspiration from the fact that, yes, pregnancy does, at some point END.

Due to my body's unfortunately tendency toward miscarriage, I have pretty much been pregnant for all save two months since last January. This has lead me to an enormous sympathy for elephants. (22 months is a long time, ladies.) So, 10 months and counting since I could, in all good conscience, refer to myself in the singular. Oy.

The first mention of any serious complaint in my pregnancy with the Prawn came in February, about a month away from her due date. I suppose it should have come as no surprise that 3 years on, the niggly bits might begin to start a bit earlier. As I included in my Facebook status the other day, I've already come to the point where when I drop something that I need on the floor, I tend to take it rather personally. The fact that the Prawn does not know any of the most popular dirty words is a minor miracle. (To be honest, she learned the S-word after The Rock Star dropped a running hard drive on the floor once, but he managed to convince her that "sugar" is a much more interesting word. She now says it exclusively in times of stress.)

Of course, I must add the traditional "how grateful I am for this pregnancy" disclaimer at this point. Other than our early roller coaster ride, the rest has been pretty much a piece of cake up until now. That I can bring myself to complain at all is testament to a ferocious head cold, which, on top of other discomforts has reduced me to being a big whiney girl about the whole thing. (Diminished lung capacity will do that to you. So will heartburn so bad that it's started eating the back of your tongue.)

The serious waddle is about 3 weeks old at this point. Pain in places I wasn't aware that I had ligaments started last week. And new for this week, just in time for the head cold, sneezing and hoping I don't wet myself! Awesome. Of course, I am, in fact, a limber and adept frolicking flower fairy in comparison to my unfortunate sister-in-law, Trumpet, who has spent most of her pregnancy on the couch, wedged into positions that could charitably be called "not as uncomfortable as sitting on a rusty spike" with complex arrangements of pillows and hot water bottles.

Last week, I dutifully made my way to a midwife appointment for the usual pokings and proddings. When it came time to listen in to the heartbeat, the midwife, as is often the case, had to pursue the Squid around her uterine squat in order to get a good reading. When she finally DID manage to get a handle on the little bugger, she said, "Ah."

"Ah?" I said.

"I was wondering why I couldn't find the heartbeat where I was expecting it. The baby's breech at the moment!"

This was not exactly news that I wanted to jump up and down about, even assuming that I was CAPABLE of jumping up and down any more.

People make a pretty big deal about the METHOD in which babies come into the world. I would certainly be the first to admit that this is a VERY big deal to a lot of women and with seemingly unnecessary c-sections on the rise, (more down OBGYNS who are anxious to get back to the golf course rather than a SUDDEN INABILITY OF WOMEN TO DELIVER BABIES NATURALLY. Seriously, I don't for a minute believe that our pelvises have been evolutionarily sabotaged in the last 30 years.) it's even MORE of a thing; creating feelings of weakness and guilt for women who are rushed into surgery. It's taken me a good few years to process the ordeal of the Prawn's birth but after a few chats with a very helpful hospital midwife, had begun to hope to take the natural route this time around.

However, if the Squid remains resolutely head up, in four weeks, I'll be scheduled in for an elective c-section 2 weeks after that whether I like it or not.

There are several things wrong with this.

a) GETTING CUT OPEN AGAIN WHILE AWAKE. I can not over-emphasise how fucked up this is. This is something that happens in horror films. (Luckily, at no time during the Prawn's birth did any of the surgeons gloatingly attempt to show me my lower intestine.)

b) 6 weeks is in no way enough time for me to pick enough underpants up off the bedroom floor to fit in a moses basket. Also, there's a not insignificant mildew problem that needs some serious attention before we end up with sentient fungus.

c) Do you have any idea where our bottle sterilizer went? Cause I don't. Also, the crib?


Do I wish for an end to c-sections? Of course not. They undoubtedly give a fighting chance to mothers and babies that under other circumstances, would not have been so lucky. But I can't tell you how much I don't want another one.

So I will be spending the next 4 weeks trying desperately to get the Squid interested in the upside down lifestyle. One website recommended putting headphones down your pants and trying to "coax" the baby down with Mozart. (It occurs to me that moving the headphones up to the top of the belly and replacing Mozart with Wu Tang Clan might be more effective.) However, I think I'll stick to bouncing on our newly ordered exercise ball, spending some time on my hands and knees and maybe joining the Prawn in the enthusiastic dance routine she's developed to "Single Ladies".

Or maybe I should just get on with picking up those underpants.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Friends

So, here's the fun bit about socialism.

Since I had the Prawn, a "Health in Pregnancy" grant has been introduced that gives every pregnant women past the 25th week £190. To buy fruit, presumably. However, I think I'm not speaking out of turn when I say that most women don't, in fact, use the money on organic bananas.

Since we're fairly sure that the Squid will be a girl, there' s not a huge amount that needs buying. However, as soon as the £190 hit my account, I immediately bought everything that DID need buying. These essentials including new, PBA-free bottles, (while I intend to give breast feeding another shot, I want to be prepared) a moses basket that hasn't been sitting and moldering in the attic for 3 years, a new and more ergonomic baby sling instead of investing in a double buggy and lastly, the little fellow above.

It is difficult to explain the affection that I hold for the Prawn's favorite toy, the infamous Mr. Moo. He's like her little avatar; if you've ever read His Dark Materials, you could almost say I think of him as her Daemon. She is never without him, his tail or horns shoved up her nose or in her ear. (making frequent washings VERY necessary.) So, I suppose we're hoping on going two for two with Frank and Fischer toys, because two little pigs arrived in the post yesterday along with the more boring and practical things. Why two? Well, we've learned that you just don't screw with fate when it comes to favorite toys. Moo and his almost doppleganger, Moo Too, are in constant rotation (although we always have to go through "Moo's wearing his white hat today" when Moo Too comes out since he has different colored horns) so we thought getting two pigs was probably the best option.

And if the Squid isn't a fan...the other can go to some other lucky little person.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Having spent two days over the last 8 or so on trans- Atlantic flights (WHICH, by the way are not exactly designed for the comfort of your average knocked up person), my levels of cranky are slightly elevated in any case. But then there are days when the universe says, "This day? Not so much for you."

It began with a total stranger in a car shouting at me that I was a "dippy tart" due to the fact that I couldn't move forward 2 inches in a traffic jam. I honestly couldn't. I was already vehicularly sodomizing the car in front of me on a treacherously slippery road and was not going to risk kissing their bumper, so I smiled a friendly smile at the gesticulating BMW driver and gave him the finger. I fantastized, of course, about rolling down my window and equating his need to abuse a pregnant woman on the way to a midwife appointment with his microscopic genitalia, but I refrained and simply turned up my radio instead to block out the torrent of abuse I could hear coming through both his and my window.

After said midwife appointment, (which went just dandy, thank you) I decided to brave the supermarket, which was obviously an idea that everyone else who has been stranded for days in their own homes due to the depraved indifference of the local councils during the recent snow had, because it was packed to pre-Christmas levels.

Being pregnant, does not, as you might believe, keep people from ramming shopping trolleys into you. In fact, I was run into no less than 4 times. The final ramming came from behind, made me jump and accidentally run into another woman. I profusely apologized, but was still treated to a "bitch" by my entirely able bodied victim as she rather exaggeratedly limped away.

By the time I arrived at the checkouts, I was biting my tongue and trying not to announce to the entire store that they were all bastards and I hoped they'd all get hemorrhoids when the woman behind me smiled sweetly and said, "Ooo! Not long now!"

"Pardon?" I said.

"When are you due?"

"Oh, right. March."

"NO. Really?? But you're so BIG!"


But wait. There's more.

The checkout woman then followed this lovely observation with:

"How're you feeling? A bit fat and fed up?"


It was at this moment that the large jar of spaghetti sauce that I'd just purchased made a valiant bid for freedom and plummeted to it's rather messy doom on the floor, earning me withering looks from surrounding customers, who didn't know how lucky they were that, in my rage, I didn't pick up one of the large, jaggedly broken pieces of glass and become probably the most interesting newspaper headline of the year in the Aylesbury Vale.

Pregnant Slasher Rampage At Local Tesco

Not so much for me, with today.